Elementary classroom teachers' knowledge of tort liability for negligence

1999 1999

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this research study was to investigate the legal knowledge of Florida's public elementary classroom teachers in the area of tort liability for negligence. A second purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge of school law in the area of negligence according to specific variables to determine if significant differences in knowledge existed among groups of teachers classified by: years of teaching experience, whether or not teachers took a school law course or inservice, college degree held and whether or not teachers had administrative experience. A validated survey instrument consisting of 22 scenarios based on decided court cases in the United States was utilized. These cases included court decisions ranging from 1938–1994, and represented the categories of duty and standard of care, proper instruction, proper supervision, proper maintenance, field trips, and post-injury treatment.

A random sample of 420 elementary classroom teachers were sent the survey instrument to complete, and a total of 309 surveys were returned producing a return rate of 77%. The results of this research study revealed that the overall level of legal knowledge of public elementary classroom teachers in the State of Florida produced a mean percent correct of 53%. The range of scores varied from 18%–82%, with the approximate average of correct answers of 12 out of 22. The category of proper instruction produced the lowest mean percent correct of 35%, and the area of post-injury treatment yielded the highest mean percent correct of 78%.

The findings of this study emphasize the necessity of preparing teachers regarding their legal rights, duties and responsibilities. The need for teachers to receive training at the preservice and inservice levels has become clear by this study.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Elementary education
0514: School administration
0524: Elementary education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Elementary school teachers; Negligence; Teachers; Tort liability
Elementary classroom teachers' knowledge of tort liability for negligence
Enteen, Aaron Lewis
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 60/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
0599554614, 9780599554610
Pell, Sarah W. J.
Florida International University
University location
United States -- Florida
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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