The development of an inventory of teacher concerns for use in Taiwan

Yih-fen Chen

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to develop an inventory of teacher concerns for use with preservice teachers in elementary education programs in Taiwan. Initially, teacher concern items were collected through an open-ended questionnaire titled the Survey of Teacher Concerns (STC). A total of 155 preservice teachers enrolled in a teachers college in the central portion of Taiwan voluntarily participated in the study. Subjects were asked: "At this point in time, what things concern you about becoming a teacher?" Respondents listed their concerns anonymously. After the responses were collected, qualitative research procedures were used to analyze data. Each concern was listed and similar statements were combined into a single appropriate statement, producing a total of 69 items. The resulting instrument, the Inventory of Teacher Concerns (ITC), was administered in the Spring of 1998 to 449 preservice teachers in four teachers colleges, located in four different geographical areas of Taiwan. Factor analysis was conducted to determine the factors (i.e., dimensions) that compose the ITC for preservice teachers. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were used to examine the internal consistency of each obtained factor. Results of the factor analysis indicated that there are eight interpretable factors (i.e., dimensions) in the ITC. Sixty items from the 69 items that composed the original version of the ITC were found to represent the eight factors. The eight factors were labeled: Factor I--Concern about Instructional Performance, Factor II--Concern about Teaching Environment, Factor III--Concern about School Climate, Factor IV--Personal Concerns, Factor V--Concern about Problems of Students, Factor VI--Concern about Interpersonal Relationships, Factor VII--Concern about Educational Changes, and Factor VIII--Concern about Class Size. The ITC factor intercorrelations indicated that the ITC factors were moderately correlated. The reliabilities of the ITC scores were determined using Cronbach's alpha. The results indicated high internal consistency for the factors with alpha values ranging from.68 to.93. Overall, the findings indicated that the ITC is acceptably reliable for measuring concerns of preservice teachers in Taiwan.