Exploring "The Ripple in the Pond"- A Correlational Study of the Relationships between Demographic Variables and the Teacher Change Agent Scale
As a result of the proliferation of standardized testing and academic standards, there are new expectations for teachers and the role(s) they play in improving student learning and achievement (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999; Garet et al., 2001). However, little is known about teachers who initiate positive changes outside of their own classrooms and even less about what they “look like.” As such, this study was designed to determine whether there was a relationship between the demographic variables of age, gender, years of teaching experience, grade level taught, and primary teaching responsibility and scores on the Teacher Change Agent Scale (TCAS), its subscales, and individual items. Bivariate correlations and means comparison (ANOVA) were used to analyze the responses of 652 teachers. Results indicate that: a teacher’s age is negatively correlated with teacher change agency and membership in a professional community, grade level influences a teacher’s overall mean score, and teachers of all ages need support in working effectively with their colleagues. Given that teachers are being charged with making schools “work” for all students, these findings represent a meaningful contribution to the teacher change agency research.