M.C. Matteucci, D. Guglielmi

University of Bologna (ITALY)
Introduction. Over the past twenty years, educational policies across Western countries have focused on improving the quality of education, placing new demands on teachers, increasing their responsibilities and widening their duties. As a consequence, increasing attention has been placed on teachers’ changing professional role, including their formal level of accountability. Recent research has begun to focus on the link between teachers’ responsibility and their behavioral, motivational and emotional correlates [1,2]. In a recent work [3] responsibility emerged as strongly related to the engagement dimension in teachers who are starting their career. However, the teacher sense of personal responsibility remains a less studied variable, especially concerning its impact on work engagement. Aim. This study was designed to explore the influence of teachers’ beliefs about their personal responsibilities and of contextual and personal variables that are conceptually linked to teachers’ responsibility (including school climate, implicit theories of intelligence, motivations for having chosen teaching as a career, perceptions about the profession, self-efficacy beliefs), on work engagement, in a sample of Italian teachers. Method. Participants were 293 high-schools Italian teachers. They completed an online questionnaire including the following scales: Factors Influencing Teaching Choice Scale; Teacher Responsibility Scale; Revised-School-Level Environment Questionnaire; Theories of Intelligence Scale. For the purpose of exploring variables influencing teachers’ work engagement, linear statistical regression analyses were conducted. An ANOVA was utilized in order to examine whether motivations for having chosen a teaching career influence the teachers’ work engagement and their sense of responsibility.

Results. The one-way ANOVA revealed a significant effect of the participants’ motivations for the choice of teaching as career both on the degree of work engagement and on teachers’ perceived responsibility score. As expected, the Bonferroni post-hoc comparisons revealed that the teachers who declared that teaching was absolutely their first-choice career obtained significantly higher values on the responsibility and on the work engagement scale scores.

Multiple regression results showed that the teachers’ work engagement is affected by the perceived responsibility of teachers for positive outcomes (e.g. student motivation and achievement) and by the teachers’ career–choice satisfaction, as well as by a perceived school positive climate concerning the relationships with students. Implications for practice will be discussed.

[1] Lauermann, F., & Karabenick, S.A. (2013). The meaning and measure of teachers’ sense of responsibility for educational outcomes. Teaching and Teacher Education, 30, 13-26.
[2] Matteucci, M.C. & Guglielmi, D. (2013). Teachers’ sense of responsibility and its correlates on a sample of Italian high-school teachers. Paper presented to the15th Biennal EARLI Conference "Responsible teaching and sustainable learning" , Munich (DE), 27-31 August 2013.
[3] Guglielmi, D., et al. (2011). Motivational drivers and work engagement among teachers: Can age play a role? Paper presented to the EAWOP Small Group Meeting, "Age Cohorts in the Workplace: Understanding and Building Strength through Differences", Rovereto (IT), 11-13 November 2011.