Volume: III, Issue: I, January-June 2012
TEACHER COMMITMENT IN RELATION TO THE APPROPRIATENESS OF QUALIFICATION AND EXPERIENCE OF TEACHERS AT SECONDARY STAGE
The present study is an attempt to study teacher commitment and its dimensions in relation to teaching experience appropriateness of qualification of teacher at secondary stage. A sample consisting of forty schools, including government and private schools , randomly selected from Jalandhar District forms the basis of this study. Out of the selected schools, approximately twenty teachers from each school were taken keeping in view the availability and experience. In total, the investigation was carried out on 800 teachers to whom teacher commitment questionnaires were administered. 2X2X3 analysis of variance is employed on the scores of Teacher commitment. The main findings of the study are that teachers with high experience are more effective than teachers with low experience. Female teachers are more committed towards profession and basic values than male teachers. Male teachers are more committed to attaining excellence for Professional Actions than female teachers. Teachers with high experience are more committed towards the learner, society, profession and basic values than teachers with low experience. Teachers with less than required qualification and more than required qualification are more committed to the learner and to the society than teachers with appropriate qualification.
Commitment is a part of a teacher’s affective or emotional reaction to their experience in a school setting. It can be seen to be part of a learned behavior or attitude associated with the professional behavior of teachers. From these affective reactions to the school setting, teachers make decisions (both consciously and unconsciously) about their level of willingness to personally invest to that particular setting. Commitment is the willingness of the person to give his energy and loyalty to the social systems. In broader sense, commitment is the willingness of an employee to extend high level efforts on behalf of the organization; the degree of belongingness or loyalty to an organization; acceptance to major goal and value of the organization and positive evaluation of organization. Commitment represents a set of feelings more closely connected to the individual’s desire to stay and remain attached to a particular work situation [Porter et. al.,1974]. He explains organizational commitment as “The relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a particular organization.” Buchanan  views commitment as a partisan, affective attachment to one’s role in relation to goals and values and to the organization for its own sake, apart from pure instrumental worth. Nias  says, ” Commitment is a term the teachers frequently use in describing themselves and each other. It is a word they use to distinguish those who are ‘caring’, ‘dedicated’ and who ‘take the job seriously’ from those who put their own interests first.” Commitment embodies a sense of living bound emotionally or intellectually to some course of action, which may include a person’s relationship with another individual, group or organization Huntington et al. 
TEACHER COMMITMENT AREAS ACCORDING TO THE NCTE
NCTE emphasized the need for quality teacher education in terms of competency based and commitment oriented teacher education. The commitment areas according to NCTE are :
1) COMMITMENT TO THE LEARNER
Commitment to the learner implies teacher’s genuine love and affection for the children, tolerance towards mistakes and mischiefs complete with their pedagogical correct interpretation and commitment to their progress and development, concerns for their empowerment and care for the development of quality of life for any and every child. Teachers should make sincere efforts for the wholesome development of the children in every respect under their caring nature.
2) COMMITMENT TO THE SOCIETY
The teachers also have to remember that they are responsible to the local community individually as well as collectively. Teacher commitment to the community may basically relate to the developing sense of equity for the children of poor and illiterate parents, willingness to take initiative to advise the parents for enrichment of the child and community mobilization for development of the school and willingness to actively participate in the enrolment drive.
3) COMMITMENT TO THE PROFESSION
This commitment area involves two essential components viz. pride in one’s being in the teaching profession and a strong desire for professional development. During and even after school hours, a committed teacher’s mind always remains occupied with thoughts of children, their growth individually as well as collectively and improvement of their performance.
4) COMMITMENT TO ATTAINING EXCELLENCE FOR PROFESSIONAL ACTIONS
Professionally committed teachers’ first love is their quest for knowledge and excellence, both on their own part as well as on the part of their students. Teacher education must try to develop this first love among teachers during their pre-service preparation programme and should try to keep it up through in-service education as well, in order to firmly establish their commitment as part of their personal and professional culture.
5) COMMITMENT TO THE BASIC VALUES
The teachers commitment to the basic values is very urgent as well as important, specially in the context of the crisis of values. In the present day world, the value system always acts as a radar and shows to the human beings the way to follow, even though it differs not only from community to community but also from person to person. However, there are certain common values, other than those enshrined in our Constitution which need to be reflected in the teacher’s feelings, willing and doing and indeed as manifestation of their behavior as teachers. These include honesty, cooperation, love, truth, objectivity, regularity, punctuality, etc. Observance of these values by the teacher as a role model can create a great impact on the impressionable minds of the pupils who will gradually adopt these values as an integral part of their personality.
Rosenholtz  used a sociological perspective to study teacher commitment and suggested that an uncommitted staff leads to devalue work and orient towards satisfaction other than those that come from successful job performance.That professional development enhanced teacher commitment was found by Martinez-Ponz ; at the same time Rutter and Jacobson  found no direct relationship between staff development and teacher commitment. Research findings suggest that low levels of commitment might result in decreased student achievement tests, higher teacher absenteeism and increased staff turnover [Kushnan, 1992; Reyes and Fuller, 1995; Rosenholtz, 1989]. Fresco, Kfir and Nasser  found that teaching experience was negatively associated with teacher commitment whereas Riehl and Sipple  found that the same variables were not significantly associated.” Lortie  regards commitment as the willingness an individual enacts in investing personal resources to the teaching task.
Teacher commitment is crucial to effective schools, teacher satisfaction and retention [Fresko, Kfir and Nasser, 1997; Singh and Billingsley, 1998]. Teachers' commitment is thought to decrease progressively over the course of their teaching career [Fraser, Draper and Taylor, 1998; Huberman, 1993]. Singh and Billingsley , Graham , Reyes and Fuller  found that collaboration (defined as two or more teachers working together on a task) was associated with higher levels of commitment. Commitment is part of a teacher's affective or emotional reaction to their experience in a school setting Ebmeier and Nicklaus, . Teacher commitment is crucial to effective schools, teacher satisfaction and retention [Singh and Billingsley, 1998]. A study by Tiernan  revealed that the organizationally committed teachers value religion, faith and teaching. As cited by Elliott and Crosswell  “Some teachers see their commitment as part of their professional identity, it defines them and their work and they ‘get a lot of enjoyment from this.’ Some other teachers feel the demands of teaching to be significant, requiring great personal investment and view it as a job that can ‘take over your life’ [Nias, 1981]. Gohier  concluded that a teacher shares a relationship with his teaching profession. This involves the relationship with work, the relationship with responsibilities (towards society, the reflexivity of his educational work), the relationship with learners (an affective and also an intellectual relationship: guiding the pupil in building knowledge), the relationship with colleagues and the teaching body and finally the relationship with the school as a social institution.
Learners are immersed in different family environments from each other, such that their identity and relations with school are also very specific. For teachers, this implies the need to recognize these specific features and adapt what they do to the many different contexts to which their learners belong [Pourtois and Desmet, 2003].
The total number of years put in by the subject in teaching is taken as his/her teaching experience. Committed teacher is the product of long span of experience which develops his attitudes, beliefs, concepts and understandings. This view was based on the assumption that as the experience of a teacher increases, his misconceptions are replaced by correct and useful ideas. Sheldon  suggested that the work place also becomes a nest of social involvements. These social involvements serve as a very important factor in enhancing commitment.
Hrebiniak and Alutto  found that seniority, which connotes enhanced experience, was important. They observed that, as work experience increases, there is greater ease, and less tension and ambiguity with roles that serve to enhance commitment. They also concluded that teacher’s age, years of total experience, lack of attention to seek advanced degrees, marital status and gender are associated with positive commitment. Saran  found that the attitude towards teaching profession was not positively related to experience in the teaching profession as well as age. Bateman and Strasser  stated that total experience was significantly and correlated to organizational commitment. Freestone , Rosenholtz  and Reyes  found that teachers who have greater tenure in an organization are more committed than those with less tenure and older teachers tend to be more committed than younger ones. Teaching experience, educational level and gender are related to levels of commitment.
In a study by Kadyschuk , it is seen that sum of more prominent variables effect upon dimensions of commitment included years of experience, job task characteristics and leadership factors. Chung’s  study indicated that there were significant relationships between job commitment and satisfaction and selected demographic variables including years of teaching experience.
APPROPRIATENESS OF QUALIFICATION OF TEACHERS
Teacher qualification combines aspects of subject matter knowledge and knowledge about teaching and learning. It means the sum total of various certified courses which an individual have pursued and is thus counted eligible for a particular profession. Its meaning varies across the states because of differences in licensing requirements, but qualification generally means that teacher has been prepared in a state-approved teacher education program at the undergraduate or graduate level and has completed either a major or a minor course in the field(s) to be taught. Thus, it is essential that a teacher with appropriate qualification is placed appropriately or else it will hinder the progress of the entire educational system at large. C.V. Good  defined teacher education as all formal and informal activities and experiences that help to qualify a person to assume the responsibility as a member of the educational professional and to discharge the responsibilities more effectively.
A number of studies suggest that the typical problems of beginning teachers are lessened for those who have had adequate preparation prior to entry [Adams, Hutchison and Martray, 1980; Glassberg,1980; Taylor and Dale, 1971]. Studies of teachers, admitted with less than full preparation, with no teacher preparation or through very short alternate routes, have found that such recruits tend to be less satisfied with their training [Darling-Hammond, Hudson and Kirby, , and they tend to have greater difficulties in planning curriculum, teaching, managing classroom and diagnosing students’ learning needs [Bents and Bents, 1990; Darling-Hammond, 1992; Lenk, 1989; Feiman-Nemser and Parker, 1990]. Both the teachers and the principals surveyed by Monahan (1993) believed that advanced graduate study was one of the best ways for teachers to develop professionally. Darling-Hammond [2000b], Darling-Hammond, Berry and Thoreson , Goldhaber and Brewer , Hawk Coble and Swanson  gave their view, “Teachers assigned to the area in which they are certified have been found to have more influence on student learning than uncertified teachers".
Sex is the quality of being male or female. Boys and girls have been found to differ in their interest, aptitudes, attitudes and adjustments. A study of sex has been under investigation for quite some years, but a limited amount of work has been reported regarding this problem. Mehrotra  concluded that attitudes of women teachers are more favourable than men. It is positively correlated with age and experience. Singh  concluded that no significant difference was found in the mean scores of male and female teachers on the scores of commitment. Harrison and Hubbard  argue that women display greater commitment because they encounter fewer options for employment. The Research School of Social Sciences  concluded that female teachers do better at teaching literacy.
The present investigation has been taken up keeping in view the present scenario in secondary schools. The commitment of the teachers in relation to the appropriateness of qualification and experience level of the teacher are varying in nature. These factors may contribute positively or negatively in the professional career of the teacher. To make the best out of the available opportunities for teachers and modify the existing infrastructure, a study is required in this field. This would help in maximizing the fruitful results that can in turn be obtained by students. It shall be of immense help to the present as well as upcoming teachers in this profession for whom this study is being undertaken.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The present problem is stated as follows:
“Teacher Effectiveness and Teacher Commitment in Relation to thr Appropriateness of Qualification and Experience of Teachers at Secondary stage.”
DELIMITATION OF THE PROBLEM