Date of Award

Fall 12-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Vitale

Second Advisor

Dr. Jill Hutcheson

Third Advisor

Dr. Patty Corum

Abstract

As schools struggle to meet federal testing requirements, the importance of having highly effective teachers in every classroom has never been greater, and, given the downward trend in the economy, there are more teaching applicants than ever. School districts would benefit from a streamlined process to interview and select only the most effective and highly-qualified teachers. The researcher’s purpose was to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of a unique and specific teacher selection process which included three Ventures for Excellence screening tools and one innovative instrument designed for this study, the performance rating scale. A collaborative correlational study involving three investigators was conducted to determine if there was an association between the three Ventures for Excellence tools (the written application questions, the StyleProfile online screening tool, and the 22-question screening interview tool) and the performance rating scale. A multiple linear regression study was conducted to determine the relationship between the predictive qualities of the selection tools and the actual teaching performance during the 2007-2008 school year. The research question answered in the study was, “Are the teacher selection tools currently being utilized in the study district able to predict first year success?” The subquestion was, “Is there a difference in prediction related to experience, gender, or elementary and secondary levels?” This investigator focused on the experience issue. In the literature review, the researchers examined (a) the impact of quality teaching on student achievement, (b) characteristics of effective teachers, (c) teacher characteristics as related to experience, and (d) techniques and strategies that districts iii have adopted to select quality candidates. The common thread was that the teacher may be the most important factor affecting student achievement. The most salient finding was that overall the 22-question interview was the most predictive of teacher success. The researchers also found, overall, that the StyleProfile rarely predicted teacher success, but was the greatest predictor of one sub-group, inexperienced teachers. The recommendation to the study district was to use the StyleProfile tool cautiously with teacher candidates. A recommendation for future research is to replicate the study with larger subject groups.

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