First Advisor

Mary K. Kinnick

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Community College Education






Higher education, English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

4, ix, 203 leaves 28 cm.


This study had two objectives: (1) to test the appropriateness of an existing instrument for attitude measurement with Oregon postsecondary writing teachers, and (2) to discover formative influences thus identified. Data were obtained by a questionnaire composed of the Scales for Measuring Teacher Attitudes toward Instruction in Written Composition (Schuessler et al., 1981), and additional original questions on training, demographics, and experience. The questionnaire was mailed to 122 composition teachers at 3 Oregon universities and 2 Oregon community colleges. Response rate was 80%. Additional information was provided by 6 respondents who participated in follow-up interviews. Factor analysis of scale item results neither replicated the attitude scales of previous research with this instrument nor produced meaningful new scales. The scales were thus judged inappropriate for attitude measurement with this sample. ANOVA did show associations between combined categories of independent variables (training, experience, and demographic traits) and attitude statements as dependent variables. Specifically, teacher characteristics of part-time employment, under 7 years experience, non Ph.D., and strong influence of a teaching assistantship were associated with prescriptive, content-centered attitude statement responses. The interviews suggested a need for refinement in attitude measurement devices to include items on teachers as writers, current teaching methodologies, and blending student- and content-centered instruction. In addition, the interview findings suggested patterns of influence on attitude for further study. Among these are institution of employment, status of employment, training, and teachers' own uses of writing.


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Portland State University. School of Education.

Persistent Identifier