The Relationship of Tort Liability Knowledge Level of Alaskan Elementary School Teachers to Selected Demographic Variables

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Bobby D. Anderson

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


This study examined Alaskan elementary teachers' knowledge of tort liability and whether a relationship existed between selected demographic variables and teachers' knowledge of tort liability. Tort liability was divided into total tort and six subscales of teachers' knowledge of standard and duty of care, proper supervision, proper instruction, proper maintenance of facilities and equipment, injury treatment, and field trips. The demographic variables were gender, age, highest degree held, years of teaching experience, participation in a school/law workshop, completion of a course in school law, and holding an administrative certificate. A random sample of 148 teachers from 41 school districts responded to the instrument consisting of 18 scenarios, three for each subscales. The data were analyzed using SPSSx multiple regression and $t$-test. Eight hypotheses were tested at the.05 level of significance. Seven hypotheses tested a relationship between total tort or its subscales and demographic variables. One tested the difference between elementary physical education and classroom teachers' total tort liability knowledge level. Hypothesis 1 and subscales a, b, c, d, and f were rejected as no significant relationship was found. Accepted were subscale e as having a significant relationship and Hypothesis 2 as a significant difference between the knowledge level of physical education and classroom teachers was found. The conclusions drawn were that Alaskan elementary: teachers need to increase their tort liability knowledge level; teachers do possess a legal knowledge of injury treatment; and classroom teachers scored significantly lower than physical education teachers. Recommendations were suggested for further studies.