Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel U. Levine


This study involved the development of a new instrument, the Teacher Outlook and Perceptions Survey, to explore the nature of teacher morale, what predicts teacher morale, and the influence of the anticipated outlook of the job situation on teacher morale. The instrument consisted of 47 items, including a global item in which teachers assessed their morale levels. The scores of the instrument produced an alpha reliability coefficient of .91. Elementary teachers from a large urban district participated in the study (N = 308). The instrument was based on a morale model developed by the researcher. Morale was defined as a psychological state which stems from the interaction of job-related fulfillment of needs, anticipated fulfillment of needs, and perceived obstacles to needs fulfillment. Comparison of the morale levels of lower and upper elementary teachers was conducted, using t-tests. No statistically significant or substantive difference between the two groups was evident. These findings were inconsistent with a pilot study (N=95) which found a statistically significant and substantive difference between the morale levels of lower and upper elementary teachers (p = .02, d = .65). Factor analysis produced five factors through which reliability scales (a > .60) were developed. The five factors were labeled “Administrative Issues,” “Student and Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Classroom Experiences,” “Workload and Demands,” “Anticipated Outlook of the Job Situation,” and ‘Teacher Autonomy and Influence.” Two additional factors were included in the analysis, “Conflict,” and “Peer Support.” Anticipated Outlook of the Job Situation was determined to be a reliable predictor of overall teacher morale. Student and Classroom Experiences was found to be a stronger independent predictor of teacher morale than Administrative Issues. Administrative Issues was a reliable predictor of lower elementary teachers’ morale levels, but not a reliable predictor of upper elementary teachers’ morale levels when taking into account the other factors. Using discriminant analysis, five items on the instrument were able to correctly predict classification of low morale teachers with 82% accuracy. Teachers tend to believe that their own morale level is higher than that of their peers.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 1999 Marcellina Hummer Anderson.

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