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Resource Availability, Metaphors and Teacher Effectiveness: A generic case study of a low performing school in Tobago

Transforming Teacher Education at all Levels

Discussant Information

Mrs. Barbara Parris

Author Information:

Nicole .N. Kent
Graduate Student, UWI, St. Augustine


teacher effectiveness, teaching resource availability, teaching metaphors, school development panning, covenantor, mentor

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 7
Date: 1st June, 2015
Time: 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)


Resource scarcity is a major factor affecting many schools world over. According to Taylor (1997) school resources are classified as materials, human, financial, time, training and goodwill. The latter, goodwill, is probably the most significant as it transforms teaching from a career to a vocation. ?Vocation refers to work that serves the good of others and at the same time offers meaning, identity and fulfilment for oneself as a teacher (Wineberg, 2008). School Y, an urban high school in Tobago, presents a very demanding educational context for its teachers over how they construct and utilize school resources. This is manifested in several areas including how they view material, financial, time and training resources. Accordingly there is a perception among teachers at this school that the availability of resources has an impact on their effectiveness especially when they view teaching as a vocation. To better understand this phenomenon, the study integrates as its conceptual framework, the claims by Danielson (1996) which posits that teacher effectiveness can be ?examined in relation to the areas of classroom management, planning and delivery of instruction; Mc Caughtry et al., (2006) which posits that resource challenges are related to the challenges of sufficiently serving the students; and ?Wineberg (2008) who claims that the impact on teacher effectiveness depends on the ethical metaphor teachers use in conceptualizing school resources since this is central to their ?personal-professional formation? (p.8). This paper is a?qualitative case study that reports on how fifteen teachers at School Y viewed and use resources essential for teacher effectiveness and the challenges they face in doing so when teaching is construed as a vocation. The findings of the study suggest that these teachers conceptualize their use of resources in terms of ethical metaphors and the majority of them conceptualized and used resources as a ?Covenant? (Wineberg, 2008), that is, they conceptualized resources as ?mutual gifts? coming from them and the other, in this case the school. The majority of them saw the school as breaking the ?covenant? by not providing its share of the resources for them to function as effective teachers. To overcome the ? ? ? ? ?challenges teachers face, metaphor deconstruction is suggested. This includes carrying out a needs analysis followed by the development of a systematic resource strategic plan at the school and reconstruct their new metaphors based on this analysis, if teacher effectiveness is to be enhanced.