TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF WORK ETHICS: A LOOK AT PENNSYLVANIA’S COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Open Access
Author:
Dincher, Michael Anthony
Graduate Program:
Workforce Education and Development
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
December 01, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Edgar I Farmer Sr., Dissertation Advisor
  • Edgar I Farmer Sr., Committee Chair
  • Kenneth Carter Gray, Committee Member
  • Judith Ann Kolb, Committee Chair
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Occupational work ethic inventory
  • work
  • work ethic
  • hidden curriculum
Abstract:
The volume of literature for research on work ethics is extensive but most involves workers on the job or looking for employment (Petty & Hill, 2005). A gap in the literature exists for research of work ethics among students and instructors involved in Career and Technical Education. Using the Employability Skills Assessment (ESA) authored by Roger Hill (whose work ethics research is extensive) this study of students and instructors from Pennsylvania community colleges was completed to determine if the self-perceived work ethics of students and their instructors was different. This study further investigated the relationship of demographic data (gender, age, race, marital status, veteran status, GPA, years of teaching experience, and number of semesters enrolled) to the work ethic of Pennsylvania community college students and their instructors. The following is a summation of the research findings derived from the research questions prepared for this study. Several significant relationships were found among the variables of this study however in contrast to the research question; to what extent is there a significant difference in the occupational work ethics of career and technical students enrolled in two year programs in the Community Colleges of Pennsylvania and their instructors? Data analysis indicated there was no significant difference between the self-reported work ethic of community college students and instructors from Pennsylvania community colleges. Data analysis through multiple regression however produced statistical evidence that the second research question; to what extent is there a statistically significant relationship between the work ethic of community college students based on the demographic data collected; gender, age, race, GPA, program area, veteran status, marital status, semesters enrolled? Indicated no significant relationship existed between demographic characters and the self-reported work ethics for students. Gender however was shown to be marginally significant with females indicating a slightly higher initiative than males. Multiple regression analysis also produced statistical evidence that research question three; to what extent is there a statistically significant relationship between the work ethics of community college instructors based on the demographic data collected; gender, age, race, program area, veteran status, marital status, and years of teaching? was supported showing a significant difference for the self-reported work ethic of instructors for the following demographic characters; program area of hospitality and health sciences reported scores that were significantly higher than other program areas for the subscale dependability, initiative and interpersonal skills scores were significant for gender with females instructors reporting higher scores, the subscales dependability and initiative were found to be significantly higher for married instructors. The overall model showed differences in interpersonal skills to be insignificant while differences in dependability and initiative were found to be significant. Therefore when using this model dependability and initiative are predictable among instructors. The self-reported higher scores by female participants are consistent with the literature and post-hoc analysis through a one-way analysis of variance for gender showed significantly higher scores were reported between groups by all female respondents (students and instructors) compared to male respondents.