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The beliefs of educational administrators about problem formulation

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Title: The beliefs of educational administrators about problem formulation
Author: Gill, Averlyn Penelope Pedro
Degree Doctor of Education - EdD
Program Higher Education
Copyright Date: 1985
Subject Keywords Problem solving
Abstract: This study developed a scale for use in assessing administrators' beliefs about problem formulation behaviour, examined selected aspects of its construct validity, and used the scale in an exploratory study to assess the problem formulation beliefs of educational administrators. Based on theoretical and empirical studies of problem formulation (Allal, 1973; Getzels and Csikszentmihalyi, 1976) and the theory of Cognitive Orientation (Kreitler and Kreitler, 1972; 1976) a conceptual framework was developed in which four kinds of beliefs could be held about each of four component behaviours of problem formulation. A set of statements which were consistent with this framework was developed. Screening and rating procedures yielded four equivalent sets of statements, one set for each belief domain. With the addition of questions about biodemographic characteristics these formed the instrument which was pilot tested and revised prior to being sent to 317 administrators in 12 Community Colleges and four Provincial Institutes in British Columbia. A 60% (189) return rate yielded the data for the study. Psychometric analyses indicated adequate internal reliabilities for the subtests. Hypotheses were tested by means of correlational analyses and showed that Normative, Goal and Self beliefs about problem formulation were moderately correlated with each other but not with General beliefs. Normative beliefs were positively and more highly correlated with Goal beliefs than with General or Self beliefs. A comparison of the responses of selected respondents (low scorers and high scorers) revealed that high scorers were more consistent than low scorers in the level and configuration of their responses. Training in problem solving was the only biodemographic characteristic found to distinguish significantly between low and high scorers. The results suggest some need for further examination of existing theory: the four belief domains may not be independent but organized in particular ways; computation of a summary "cognitive orientation" score is not well legitimized by the present data. Respondents' ability to recognize four component behaviours of problem formulation is confirmed by the study but their beliefs about the components are not equally consistent. The study concludes with speculations about the usefulness of the scale as a tool in administrative preparation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/26041
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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