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Maria Cristina Matteucci, Dina Guglielmi

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1 Maria Cristina Matteucci, Dina Guglielmi

2 Introduction 1 Recently, the psychological research has begun to focus on the link between teachers’ responsibility and their behavioural and emotional consequences (Lauermann & Karabenick, The teachers’ sense of professional responsibility has been demonstrated being connected to important personal and professional implications, e.g teachers’ educational practices.

3 Introduction 2 However, the research on the teachers’ sense of personal responsibility is extremely limited and several research questions still need to be addressed to better understand antecedents and consequences of it. In particular, the relationship between perceived personal responsibility and work engagement and the role of the satisfaction concerning the career choice need further investigation since teachers’ career satisfaction has been found to be a predictor of work engagement

4 Aim The objective of the present study was to: explore relationships between the teachers’ sense of personal responsibility, work engagement and career-choice satisfaction

5 Participants and procedure
Methodology Participants and procedure Participants were 295 high-schools Italian teachers, aged between 27 and 64 years old (M = 50.14; SD = 7.31). The majority of the participating teachers were females (63%; F = 184). Participants were teachers working at public school at secondary level and 82.5% had a tenure position and, on average, they had 16 years of teaching experience (SD=10.49). All participants were invited to participate in an online survey. Participation was voluntary and informed consent was gained from each participant.

6 Methodology Measures Demographics
A single multiple choice item to examine the attractiveness of the teaching career choice. Career-choice satisfaction: two items from the FIT-Choice Scale (part). Teacher Responsibility Scale: 12 items + four items about teacher responsibility for positive outcomes The Italian version of the short version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale: 9 items

7 Methodology Data Analysis Bivariate correlations
GLM Univariate ANOVA analysis Multiple linear regression analysis

8 Results The results of the GLM Univariate ANOVA indicate that the model explained the 27% of the variance (adjusted R2 = .28, p. <.001). As for the variables included in the model, only three variables obtained significant values as predictor influencing work engagement: Aspiration for teaching as a career (p < .05), career-choice satisfaction (p < .001), and the perceived responsibility for positive outcomes (p < .001).

9 Results The pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences in work engagement scores between teachers who declared that teaching was their preferred career option or desired possibility among several ones and those who declared that teaching was a last resort career choice (p < .05). As expected, the teachers who declared that teaching was absolutely their first-choice career obtained the highest values on the work engagement scale scores (M=6.21; SEM = .10). Teachers who would had preferred another career path obtained the lowest values (M = 5.47; SEM = .19) significantly different from both the two alternatives.

10 Results Multiple linear regression analysis was then conducted to determine the predictors of work engagement. In the stepwise model only 3 variables were retained. Model 1: teacher responsibility for positive outcomes; Model 2: teacher responsibility for positive outcomes and career-choice satisfaction; Model 3: teacher responsibility for positive outcomes (beta = .27, p.< 001 ), career-choice satisfaction (beta = .22, p.< 001) and responsibility for student achievement (RSA), (beta = .13, p.< 05). The three predictors explained the 17% of the variance (adjusted r-squared = .17, p.< .001).

11 Discussion 1 From a theoretical perspective, the present research supports former results with U.S. teachers and expands upon prior research, as it examines also the perceived responsibility for positive outcomes (e.g. “I would feel personally responsible if a student of mine had very high achievement”), while prior research focused merely on perceived responsibility for negative outcomes (e.g. “I would feel personally responsible if a student of mine was not interested in the subject I teach”).

12 Discussion 2 From the practical point of view, uncovering which personal and contextual conditions are linked to work engagement is important for understanding how to create effective learning environments characterized by highly engaged teachers. Moreover, since work engagement has been found to positively affect job performance and job resources, suggesting that engaged workers are able to create their own job resources, find out the personal and professional conditions which are predictors of teachers work engagement is a central challenge in order to develop a positive and healthy school environment.

13 Conclusions The present research confirms the importance to study the teachers’ work engagement in relation to other theoretical constructs such as the personal sense of responsibility, the motivations behind the choice of becoming a teacher and the satisfaction for this career- choice. Specifically, the present study suggests the critical role of teachers perceived professional responsibility, both for positive and negative outcomes.

14 For more details, please contact: Maria Cristina Matteucci
Department of Psychology University of Bologna ITALY

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