Unpacking Domain Results

With a working condition domain identified for consideration, honing in on a few critical issues within that area may help narrow your focus as you explore the potential ideas and reforms highlighted in the toolkit. When attempting to determine what the domain results mean, and interpreting how teachers responded to the questions that most accurately explain the particular domain, you should consider the following:

1) Are there any questions on which the school differs significantly from the district or state average?
Looking for differences between your school and the district or state average could help to identify a more targeted issue to address to improve working conditions.  As is the case with the domain averages, look for differences that are both significant and meaningful, positive as well as negative, and at a 3.00 or below.

2) Are there any questions to which teacher responses are more positive or negative than others in the domain?
Issues of concern may be identified by finding countervailing trends in the survey responses.  Are there any questions with a surprisingly low or high average?  Are there any questions that show general dissatisfaction while others were positive?  Are any negative while all others are positive? Why might teachers have responded to these questions differently than the others?  Are there any issues within the school or community that could be driving these responses?

Linking Perception and Reality: 
Identifying Issues that may be Influencing Question Results

Each domain contains questions about teacher perceptions and also a few questions regarding actual evidence of their working conditions.  

Domain: Leadership
Survey Questions that
Indicate Reality - Not Perception*

Which position best describes the person who is most responsible for providing instructional leadership for your work?

Domain: Professional Development
Survey Questions that Indicate Reality - Not Perception

In the past 2 years have you had 10 hours or more of training or professional development in any of the following areas? (check all that apply)
a) Of the areas, have those opportunities provided you with successful instructional strategies that you have also then been able to incorporate into your instructional delivery methods?
b) Of the areas, were these strategies useful for your efforts to improve student achievement?
Do you teach students who have an Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan?
Do you teach students who are Limited English Proficient?
In the past two years, have you enrolled or participated in any of the following professional development activities?

Domain: Facilities & Resources
Survey Questions that Indicate Reality - Not Perception*

None, all questions in this domain are perception questions

Domain: Empowerment
Survey Questions that Indicate Reality - Not Perception*

Please indicate how large a role teachers have at your school in each of the following areas:
a) Selecting instructional materials and resources
b) Devising teaching techniques
c) Setting grading and student assessment practices
d) Determining the content of in-service professional development programs
e) The hiring of new teachers
f) Establishing and implementing policies and student discipline
g) Deciding how the school budget will be spent
h) School improvement planning

Domain: Time
Survey Questions that Indicate Reality - Not Perception*

In an average week of teaching, how much non-instructional time do you have available? (not including time spent outside of the normal school day)
a) Of these hours, how many are typically spent on supervisory duties?
In an average week of teaching, how many hours do you spend on school related activities outside the regular school work day? (before or after school, and/or on the weekend)
a) Of these hours, how many are typically spent on school-related activities involving student interaction? (such as coaching, field trips, tutoring, transporting students, club sponsorship, etc.)
b) Of these hours, how many are typically spent on other school-related activities, such as preparation, grading papers, parent conferences, attending meetings, etc.?
It is necessary for me to work a second job
In a typical year, how many days beyond your current contract do you devote to school and professional responsibilities?

*Not all questions listed above will appear on every survey.

When interpreting how these reality questions relate to perception questions, you should should consider the following:

  • Does the perception of time match the realities expressed by teachers related to the amount of time given for instructional planning during the day and time spent outside of the work day on additional duties? How does your school's data on class and school size correspond to the reponses about "reasonable class sizes" and "reasonable overall number of students"?

  • Are teachers relying on others to provide instructional leadership?  What bearing might this have on the perceptions of leadership (either positive or negative)?  Are there reasons, either positive or negative, why others are considered “most responsible” for providing instructional leadership?

  • What are the decisions that teachers can make that have an impact on the school?  What role do teachers really play?  Are they involved in and part of a process with others?  How does teacher input receive consideration?  How is it considered relative to the input of other key groups like parents, district personnel, etc.?  How are important decisions about teaching and learning in the school ultimately made?

  • What is the quality of professional development being offered to teachers?  Do teachers feel that professional development is helping them change their practice and ultimately helping students achieve?  What opportunities are being pursued by teachers? Are the priorities of teachers matched by the actual professional development taken?  Is the method of delivery exclusively through workshops and courses? Was the method of delivery through which teachers received most professional development viewed as beneficial?

Next Step: Upon completing this part of the toolkit, you are ready to move to Identifying Potential Reforms.

If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us

data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource