Freedman & Carver (2007) iterate that personally-held values and beliefs of the teacher have significant influence on in-class teaching practices. Hall (2005) supports this notion, opining that it is the personal beliefs of teachers that “inform their professional attitudes and conduct in the classroom.” There is, then, an undeniable link between personal value systems and the evolution of teaching style over time which could, theoretically, have significant impact on the decision to, initially, seek a career as a high school teacher. According to Morris & Maisto (2005), the complexities associated with teaching require a self-actualized individual that finds significant psycho-social rewards for promoting higher learning and educational development in students. Under most models of psychology and sociology, self-actualization is the state of emotional being in which an individual actively seeks to pursue their maximum utility and the pinnacle of their abilities gained once self-confidence and self-esteem have been developed within the individual. When a high school teacher first lands their position, they often seek to break the proverbial mold of teaching by attempting to create unique and differentiated classroom content and teaching styles. Filled with fresh ideas, the teacher seeks to create a sense of personal belonging with teaching peers and with students which influences initial teaching styles. Teachers will often seek out alliances with other teaching facilitators and administrators in an educational scenario referred to as communities of practice, a collection of skilled individuals that collaborate to promote learning about a specific skill or practice (Wenger, 2005). However, it is not long into career where such activities will often meet with centralized hierarchies of control where bureaucracy and budget issues prevent effective facilitation of these communities of practice. Many teachers will attempt to create more contemporary and innovative curriculum content, using assistive technologies to facilitate modern learning concepts and principles (Bausch & Hasselbring, 2004). Other teachers in an effort to establish a positive name for themselves in the academic environment attempt experiential learning curriculum, a form of hands-on learning to facilitate a genuine and innovative learning experience (Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, 2007). However, what is unclear is whether these preliminary and initial needs and values remain constant throughout the evolution of the teaching career. A Qualitative Study To determine what impacts attitudes of high school teachers early in career and throughout the evolution of practice, it was necessary to conduct a small-scale qualitative study utilizing a small sample of high school teachers as participants. Qualitative research was the most viable and reliable methodology for this study as measuring complex attitudes in a range of psycho-social principles cannot accurately be measured statistically. It was necessary to conduct semi-structured interviews with currently practicing high school
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