Teacher's Academic Press and student achievement in reading comprehension
In this dissertation, I investigated a new form of academic press that focuses on the collective belief of a faculty in mastery learning and high expectations for all students. This construct, Teacher's Academic Press (TAP), may explain why some schools are more effective than others at raising student achievement. To explore this, I addressed two research questions. The first dealt with the validity of the scale used in this study and the reliability of the collected scores. The second research question examined the relationship between TAP and the performance of second and third graders in reading comprehension.
This study was conducted in 157 Reading First schools in Michigan with 1,841 teachers and 12,317 students in second and third grade. TAP was assessed through eight teacher survey items that were aggregated to the school-level and factored together. Validity for the scale was established in three areas: evidence based on questionnaire content, evidence based on internal structure, and evidence based on relation to other variables. Additionally, reliability was established with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.92. To address TAP's relationship to student achievement, three level HLM models were constructed with students' standardized score on the ITBS reading comprehension subtest as the outcome. Separate models for second and third grades included student demographic covariates at the student-, classroom-, and school-levels, as well as four school-level correlates of TAP (teacher-teacher trust, reflective dialogue, quality of professional development, and innovation). Results indicated that TAP had a positive association with student achievement in both grades (beta = 0.027 in second grade and beta = 0.033 in third grade). In addition, the models explained a large amount of variance at all three levels.
Results of this study indicate the TAP scale demonstrated validity and the scores demonstrated reliability, which indicates that TAP has the potential to be a useful measure of school culture. The positive findings in the achievement models imply that TAP explains some of the differences in reading achievement between schools. This finding is encouraging given that TAP is a malleable characteristic of a school as compared to student demographics.
Elementary school students;
0524: Elementary education
0535: Reading instruction