Vol.1 No.1 July - December 2013 ISSN: 2321 - 6530

WORKING ENVIRONMENT OF TEACHERS IN ENGINEERING COLLEGES AT BIJNOR



DR.Ali Mohammad
Associate Professor
Inst. of Adv. Studies in Edu., Fac. of Edu.
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi- 110025
And
Nida Khan
Senior Research Fellow
Inst. of Adv. Studies in Edu., Fac. of Edu
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi- 110025
e-mail : khannida786@yahoo.com


Abstract

This research paper discusses the working environment of Teachers in Engineering Colleges at Bijnor. Today, it is felt that engineering college’s education has deteriorated because of several reasons. In which, one of them is the mushrooming growth of engineering colleges in India. A large number of substandard colleges or institutions has grown up without any planning, with ill-equipped materials and untrained teachers, with less salary without any concern for its quality. In spite of various plans and programmes to improve the conditions of engineering college education, serious attempts have not been made to identify the factors that deteriorated the working environment of teachers in engineering colleges. A supportive working environment is crucial to the enhancement of teaching experience. So it becomes necessary to assess the teacher’s perceptions on working environment related to their satisfaction and to determine whether gender was a differentiating factor. To achieve the objectives of the present study, the descriptive survey method was used. A total 100 teachers of different engineering colleges responded to the Teachers Working Environment Survey. The result revealed that most of these teachers had favorable perceptions. They rated collegiality and principal leadership high but gender equity relatively low. Female teachers scored higher than male teachers on work pressure, collegiality and student-teacher relations. Keywords: Working, Environment, Engineering College Teachers.

Introduction

In the present age quality education plays a vital role for the social, economic and political development of a nation. Since the dawn of independence, India has been attempting to raise the standard of living of her masses. The success of such efforts along with other factors depends to a great extent on the quality of man power, which in turn is influenced by the standard of education in the country. The very shape of India’s future depends on education. This is truism to say that teacher is the heart of every educational institution and success of an institution depends upon the attainment of goals of teachers. It would be interesting to note that man has been closely connected with work. So far as satisfaction at work is concerned, it is enhanced when the employee or teacher enjoys pleasant, cordial working conditions. For doing so, that is to deliver high quality of education, colleges must attract, develop and retain effective teachers. Working environment plays an important role in a college’s ability to do so. Colleges that are able to offer their teachers a pleasant, safe and supportive working environment and adequate compensation are better able to attract and retain good teachers and motivate them to do their best. Working in a poor environment can cause teachers to lose motivation and interest in their job duties and look for work elsewhere. A positive environment in the workplace can promote innovation and dedication to the colleges. Teachers working environment is important to students as well as teachers because they affect how much individual attention teachers can give to students. Large class sizes or disruptive students, for example, can make both teaching and learning difficult.

Need For The Study

This context, nothing is more important than the preparing and creating satisfactory conditions of work in which the teachers can be fully effective. The present study is linked to Lewin’s (1936) field theory that proposes that human behavior is the function of both the person and the environment. In other words, the interaction of personal characteristics and the environment is a determinant of human behavior This theory was applied by Murray (1938) to educational settings in a need- press model in which personal needs refers to motivational personality characteristics that tend to move toward certain goals, whereas environmental press provided an external situation that supports or frustrates the expression of personality needs (Fraser, 1974). Today, there is generally a widespread feeling that teachers do not have satisfaction in their job across the spectrum of working environment. At present in spite of various plans and programs to improve the working environments of teachers, serious attempts have not been made to identify the factors affecting their working conditions. It is therefore considered necessary to conduct an investigation to know the current state of working environment in which the teacher works. Incidentally, there is no study available exclusively on working environment of teachers in engineering colleges at Bijnor. Hence the present study has earnestly been under taken.

Objectives

The following objectives are framed for the study:

  1. To study the engineering college teachers perceptions on various aspects of their working environment.
  2. To identify the gender differences in the teachers perceptions on various aspects of their working environment.
Reasearch Questions

Following research questions were undertaken:

  1. Is the working environment of engineering colleges accepted by the teachers ?
  2. Is the working environment of engineering colleges accepted by the male and female teachers equally ?
Review Of Literature

James, S & Holmes, C (2012) : studied learning environments within work environments in developing vocational excellence. He rather than focusing on a deficit model draws on a study of skills competitions to begin to understand better what vocational excellence looks like and how it is developed, focusing particularly on the learning environment at work. The study surveyed 124 young people, vying for selection into the world skills team UK in 2009 and 2011, about their workplace working environments. The findings shows that the more expansive the workplace environment, the more likely the competitor is going to have the necessary and sufficient skill base to begin working towards meeting world skills international standard in that skills.

Rajareegam, A & Doss, I.C (2012) : : studied the job satisfaction of engineering college teachers at Puducherry. He analyzes the sub samples sex, age, marital status, educational qualification, salary, timely promotion and teaching experience in the present role of job satisfaction of teachers in engineering colleges. From the total population, the 150 engineering college teachers were selected for the study. Job satisfaction inventory developed by Jayalakshmi Inderisan (1973) used as a tool for the study. He observed that job satisfaction form a positively skewed platykurtic distribution, which indicates that there is a greater satisfaction in the present job among the teachers in engineering colleges. He also concluded that there is no significant difference in the job satisfaction with respect to gender, marital status, educational qualification, salary, timely promotion and teaching experience.

Ladd, H (2009): studied the teacher’s perceptions of their working conditions. He analyses working conditions on five domain viz. leadership, facilities and resources, teacher empowerment, professional development and teacher evaluation. He used a questionnaire containing 54 questions on a five-point likert scale for obtaining the data. He concluded that time constraints play a more important role at the elementary and middle school levels than at the high school level. Finally it appears that the quality of leadership in a school is more predictive of planned moves within a district.

Darmody, M & Smyth, E (2008) : studied job satisfaction and occupational stress among primary school teachers and school principals in Ireland. The 2000 school teachers and principals were selected for the study. A questionnaire was used to collect the information. He finally concluded that overall majority of Irish primary school teachers (96%) and principals (93%) were happy in their job, though some experienced occupational stress (45% teachers and 70% principals). Job satisfaction and occupational stress were associated with a number background and school-level factors viz gender, age and length of service.

Schaps, E (2005) : studied the role of supportive school environment in promoting academic success. The research concluded that building in school community is a means of fostering academic success. Students who experience their school as a caring community consistently become more motivated, ambitious, and engaged in their learning. In –school community affects motivation and engagement in school, which appear to lead to higher academic grades and test scores.

Huang, L (2001):The purpose of this study was to investigate high school teacher’s perceptions of school environment. A total 275 teachers from eight high schools was taken as the sample for study. The result revealed that most of the teachers had favorable perceptions on job satisfaction and principal leadership. Female teacher score high on teacher influence, discipline, ethnic equity and student- teacher relations.

Methodology

Sample

To achieve the objectives in present study the descriptive survey method was used. Working environment is alone taken as the independent variable. The Population of the study is the Teachers teaching in engineering colleges at Bijnor managed by the private bodies. Stratified random sampling procedures were adapted to drawn out the sample of the study. As first strata 2 colleges from rural area and 2 colleges from urban area was selected at random. Gender of the teachers considered as the second strata. Total 100 Engineering College teachers (50 males and 50 females) are taken as sample.

Tool

The tool used for the present study is working environment questionnaire constructed by the investigator. The help of subject experts along with the information on the website of working environment in schools and colleges was used by the investigator for the preparation of the questionnaire. The tool consists 40 items covering eight areas of working environment viz student-teacher relationship, collegiality, staff freedom professional interest, resources and equipments, principal leadership, work pressure and gender equity. Each item is in the form of question and on two point scale; Yes and No. Test-retest reliability of the test is .78. Also the investigator used the “Personal data sheet” for finding out the background variables of engineering college teachers.

Statistical Treatment

For analysis and Interpretation of data, item wise frequency and percentage were calculated and result was interpreted accordingly.

Findings

The descriptive results showed that teachers generally had positive perceptions of their actual working environment.

Work Pressure : It has several dimensions including the amount of time spent working, the number of classes taught, and the number of students in each class. The amount of time a teacher devotes to his or her job is partly self-determined, reflecting not only what the school requires or expects but also the teacher efficiency, enthusiasm and commitment. Only 60% of the teachers experience the work pressure in their working environment, in which 28% are male and 32% are female.

Professional Interest: To provide high quality education, school not only must hire well qualified teachers, but also must help them to improve their skills, stay current in their fields and learn about new teaching methods. District and colleges support for professional development is likely to contribute higher teacher morale and lower attrition.48% teachers think that their professional interest should be taken care off. Female thinks higher than male in respect of their professional interest.

Principal leadership: Positive and supportive leadership by principals matters to teachers. Principals as instructional leaders can enhance workplace conditions by attending the teachers professional need for clear and consistent discipline policies, instructional support and recognition.72% of the teachers thinks that their principal communicates with teachers and provide instructional leadership. Female and male equally thinks that their principal supports for and belief in the role of teachers as experts in instruction and learning.

Resources and Equipments: Teachers expect their colleges to provide the resources and materials they need to implement the curriculum and support good teaching. Resources need range from the basics (e.g. paper, pencil, chalk and textbooks) to more expensive equipment and services. 24% teachers are of the opinion that teaching resources, facilities and equipments are suitable and adequate. Males are much satisfied with the resources and equipments in their college as compared to females.

Collegiality: Collaborative work among teachers can contribute to teacher satisfaction and increased student achievement. In strong professional communities, teachers help and support each other, develop innovative approaches to instruction and accept collective responsibility for student achievement. Despite its benefits, collegial interaction is unlikely to occur unless the workplace culture and structure promote it. 76% teachers get along well with other teachers in colleges. Disparities found in the opinions of male and female teachers.

Staff Freedom: Historically, teachers have been permitted to make instructional decisions within their classrooms but have experienced much less influence in other college’s functions. Teachers derive greater satisfaction from their work when they are able to contribute to decisions such as scheduling, selection of materials and professional development experiences. 44% teachers said that they are free of set rules, guidelines and supervision to ensure rule compliance. Both had same opinion in respect of staff freedom.

Student-Teacher Relationship: Students and teachers co-produce results. Success in learning and student achievement depends on the will, co-operation and skills of both. Effective teacher professional communities foster the view among teachers that all students can meet high standards, provide moral support for teachers and help them in exploring ways to improve practice. 64% teachers were of the view that students are cooperative and get along well with teachers. Female teachers have good relationship with students as compared to male teachers.

Gender equity: Research on teacher quality, effective teaching and teacher retention all points to a set of workplace conditions that can facilitate these goals. Therefore improving workplace conditions is an important strategy for school success. Collaborative work among teachers irrespective of the gender can contribute to teacher satisfaction. Only 40% of the teachers were of the view that they treat equally. Female teachers feel gender disparities in their workplace as compared to male teachers.



Figure-1: Teachers perceptions on the aspects of working environment

Conclusion

This study has both theoretical and practical implications. It suggests that the working environment where teachers engage should be best fit for teachers, in terms of their satisfaction. It found that teacher’s satisfaction may increase by promoting professional interest, staff freedom, resources and equipments. If public education is to retain high quality teachers in all colleges and enable them to teach effectively, comprehensive and systematic, efforts to be done in making all engineering colleges as good workplaces. Research suggests that investments to improve workplace environment will have greater and longer lasting benefits. Thus a working environment has broad influence on teacher’s satisfaction and teaching.


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