Year

1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

The Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) policy was first implemented in government schools in New South Wales in 1991. The policy was an attempt to reward teachers deemed to have advanced skills for remaining in the classroom. As such the policy was recognition that the traditional promotion path for proficient teachers increasingly removed them from classroom teaching. By rewarding classroom teachers with advanced skills, the policy intended to make classroom teaching more attractive for teachers and thus improve the educational outcomes for students. Original policy intent envisaged student outcomes would be improved, not only through the activity of an Advanced Skills Teacher in their own classroom, but also through their mentoring of other teachers at the school via their Advanced Skills Teacher role. This study explored the belief that at a school level, teachers had been witness to the disparate implementation of the policy. The Bowe, Ball and Gold, (1992) cyclical model of policy implementation was used to illustrate the opportunities and motives which made this disparate implementation not only possible but likely. Accepting this proposition, a questionnaire was designed to ascertain changes, if any, in teachers' attitudes towards the policy pre and post implementation. This was further examined by comparing the attitude changes of groups of teachers based on selected personal and school characteristics identified through a review of the literature. With a view to informing future policy development in this area, the questionnaire also used a framework based on theories of employee motivation and compensation to determine the school level implementation practices which had resulted in teachers having a positive attitude toward the policy.

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