School Environment Less Favorable for Elementary Teachers

    This ultimately has a negative impact on student learning say

    TORONTO, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - A new research study has found that school-level
working conditions - how the school is organized and how this affects teachers
- are less favourable for elementary teachers than for secondary teachers. The
study's researchers suggest this can negatively impact student learning.
    School-level working conditions, which include such issues as
opportunities for school-wide collaboration with colleagues, relationships
with parents, and school leadership, is one of nine "working conditions that
matter" on which the study focused to arrive at the conclusion that working
conditions are more favourable for secondary public school teachers. The
report suggests that "insofar as teacher working conditions are student
learning conditions, better working conditions would seem to be an obvious
focus for school improvement."
    The study was undertaken by Kenneth Leithwood, a professor at the Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, on
behalf of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). Evidence for
the study was collected from interviews with a small number of teachers who
had recently worked in both elementary and secondary schools and from survey
responses from 3,000 elementary and secondary teachers.
    According to study results, secondary teachers' responses were more
positive than elementary teachers on 14 of the 17 items measuring school-level
working conditions.
    "As teachers, we know that a more positive workplace culture can generate
higher levels of morale and job satisfaction. In turn, this can more
positively shape how teachers interact with their students," said ETFO
President David Clegg.
    "Teachers can play a key role in closing the gap between student
potential and student achievement but only if they have a supportive school
environment and the proper resources.
    Details of the teacher working conditions study were released at the ETFO
annual meeting in Toronto. The meeting continues until 2:00 p.m. today.

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across Ontario and is
the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Larry Skory, (416) 948-0195 (cell),; Johanna Brand, (416) 948-2554 (cell),; Mary
Morison, (416) 948-3406 (cell),; August 11-14: ETFO Media
Centre, Queens Quay 1, Concourse Level, The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto,
Phone: (416) 957-7181, Fax: (416) 957-7180

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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