Teacher social justice advocacy for children: a scale development and preliminary validity
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Social injustices on the school, neighborhood, societal, and family level can affect certain populations of children and these injustices have been associated with school-related consequences, including: unequal access to education opportunities, decreased academic achievement, grade repetition, expulsions and suspensions, and higher dropout rates (Bemak & Chung, 2005; Bowen & Bowen, 1999; Brookes-Gunn & Duncan, 1997; Evans, 2004; Garcia-Reid et al., 2005; Knitzer et al., 1991; Slavin, 1997; Walter, Gouze, & Lim, 2006). In light of this impact, scholars have called teachers to increase social advocacy efforts for students (Athanases & Larrabee, 2003; Bemak & Chung, 2005; Gallagher & Clifford, 2000; McCabe & Rubinson, 2008; Rogers & O'Bryon, 2008). There is limited empirical research and no known instruments measuring teacher advocacy orientation. This dissertation sought to develop the Teacher Social Justice Advocacy Scale (TSJAS) to measure teachers' social justice advocacy orientation, as well as provide support for the validity and reliability of the self-report instrument. Six hundred and seven K-12 teachers in the United States participated in the onlinesurvey study. Methodological procedures used to provide evidence of factor structure, validity, and reliability for the scale included: two randomly split samples of principal axis factoring, comparing TSJAS scores with additional survey instruments to assess convergent and criterion validity, and comparing TSJAS scores with specific demographic and participant data. The stability of TSJAS scores was examined with internal consistency values. Results supported a 22-item scale and three distinct factors: teacher advocacy orientation, social justice awareness, and student empowerment. Bivariate correlations demonstrated positive relationships between the TSJAS subscales and a measure of general social advocacy and political involvement, supporting convergent validity; and a negative relationship with a measure of just world ideology, also supporting convergent validity. No group differences were found on the scale depending on participants' race/ethnicity or sexual orientation. TSJAS scores also evidenced adequate internal consistency reliability. Overall, results support the initial psychometric properties of the TSJAS. The primary implication of this research concerns valid and reliable measurement of teacher social advocacy orientation using TSJAS scores. Directions for future application and research of the TSJAS are provided.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of the literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Table of original TSJAS items with item-specific citations -- Appendix B. Measures used in dissertation -- Appendix C. Final TSJAS items and subscales after factor analyses -- Appendix D. MANOVA and ANOVA results -- Appendix E. Solicitation and informed consent email -- Appendix F. Solicitation email for permission to submit survey on a website -- Appendix G. On-line incentive form -- Appendix H. Permission to use instruments