Iowa Educators' Perceptions of the Functions and Purposes of the Iowa Professional Teaching Practices Commission
Ratigan, Gary J.
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The problem: This study measures Iowa educators' perceptions and understandings of the Iowa Professional Teaching Practices Commission's (IPTPC) code of ethical behavior, the teaching standards and practices established by the IPTPC rules and hearing decisions, and the educators' concept of professional self-governance. A random sample of lowa educators was administered a survey instrument that included thirty questions designed to measure their knowledge and awareness of the IPTPC and its functions. The sample included 200 classroom teachers, 100 elementary principals, 100 secondary principals, 100 superintendents, 50 Department of Education personner, and the 28 deans of education at the 28 lowa teacher preparation institutions. The Chi-Square test was used to determine if significant differences existed among responses from the various groups. Findings. Survey responses were analyzed by grouping items based upon their relationship to fundamental concepts associated with professional self-governance and basic knowledge and understanding of the IPTPC. A total of 473 responses was received and tabulated (81.8% of the sample). The six ID groups recorded 53 significant differences between groups on the 24 items. School size and years of experience appear not to affect responses, whereas educational background and gender do. Conclusions. 1. lowa educators lack awareness of the lowa Professional Teaching Practices Commission and its criteria. 2. lowa educators place emphasis on the concept of sewice rendered rather than economic gain. 3. Thirty percent of the educators responded they know and understand the IPTPC's code of ethical conduct. 4. lowa educators believe they are professionals and they should have the authority to govern their profession. 5. Many educators have not received undergraduate instruction on the code of ethics or the IPTPC's written standards. Recommendations. The IPTPC should: 1. be sufficiently funded to allow the commission to fulfill its role as the self-governing arm of the educational profession. 2. hire a professional educator to serve as its Executive Director. 3. develop and promote a comprehensive information system to adequately instruct educators on the established code of ethics and teaching standards. 4. become the organization which represents the entire profession's perspective on ethics, standards and practices, and other issues which impact on the profession as a whole.
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