Professional Orientation Scale

Corwin, R. G. (1963). The development of an instrument for examining staff conflicts in the public schools. U.S. Office of Education, Dept. of Health Education and Welfare, Contract No. 1934.

Comments: The scale originally contained 45 items as developed by Corwin. Corwin’s scales were designed to analyze staff conflict in public schools. Later work by Kuhlman modified the original Corwin 45-item scale into a 24-item instrument. Fifteen items comprise the Bureaucratic Orientation Scale and nine items comprise the Professional Orientation Scale.

Sample: The scale was administered to a sample of 322 prospective elementary and secondary school teachers from four New Jersey colleges in spring of the year at the completion of their undergraduate teacher preparation training. A follow-up of the same sample was made one year later after they completed their first year of teaching.

Reliability: A split-half reliability estimate for the entire scale was 0.83. Individual subscale reliabilities for the five factors are not provided.

Factor Analysis: The 15-item BOS scale was factor analyzed, yielding a five-factor solution that measures five aspects of bureaucratic orientation. The factors were named organizational control, subordination-standardization, rule orientation, community orientation, and organizational loyalty. The author indicates that a total BOS score, across the 15 Likert-type items, provides an overall index of bureaucratic orientation.


Corwin, R. G. (1970). Militant professionalism. New York: Appleton.

Kuhlman, E. L., and Hoy, H. K. (1974). The socialization of professionals into bureaucracies. Journal of Educational Administration 2:18–27.

Bureaucratic and Professional Orientation Scales

Form B-P

1. Teachers should subscribe to and diligently read the standard professional journals.
2. Rules stating when the teachers should arrive and depart from the building should be strictly enforced.
3. Unless he/she is satisfied that it is best for the student, a teacher should not do what he/she is told to do.
4. Personnel who openly criticize the administration should be encouraged to go elsewhere.
5. Teachers should be active members of at least one professional teaching association and should attend most confer- ences and meetings of the association.
6. Teachers should be obedient, respectful and loyal to the principal.
7. Teachers should be completely familiar with the written descriptions of the rules, procedures, manuals and other standard operating procedures for running the class.
8. The criterion of a good school should be one that serves the needs of the local community.
9. A teacher should consistently practice her ideas of the best educational practices even though the administration prefers other views.
10. There should be definite rules specifying the topics that are not appropriate for discussion in a classroom.
11. It should be permissible for the teacher to violate a rule if he/she is sure that the best interests of the students will be served in doing so.
12. Teachers should not publicly advocate a position on the place of religion in the school which differs greatly from the majority of the community.
13. A good teacher should not do anything that he/she believes may jeopardize the interests of the students regardless of who tells him or what the rule states.
14. In case of a dispute in the community over whether a controversial textbook or controversial speaker should be permitted in the school, the teacher should look primarily to the judgment of the administration for guidance.
15. A good teacher should put the interests of his/her school above everything else.
16. Teachers should not attempt to discuss any controversial issue (such as abolishing the House Un-American Activi- ties Committee) which may jeopardize the school’s public relations.
17. Schools should hire no one to teach unless he/she holds at least a four-year bachelor’s degree.
18. Teachers of the same subject throughout the system should follow the same kind of lesson plan.
19. The ultimate authority over the major educational decisions should be exercised by professional teachers.
20. Teachers should take into account the opinions of their community in guiding what they say in class and in their choice of teaching materials.
21. It should be permissible to hire teachers trained at nonaccredited colleges.
22. When a controversy arises about the interpretation of school rules, a teacher should not “stick her neck out” by tak- ing a definite position.
23. The school should have a manual of rules and regulations which are actually followed.
24. Teachers should not allow themselves to be influenced by other teachers whose opinions and thinking are different than the administration’s.

Scoring: SA = Strongly Agree; A = Agree; U = Undecided; D = Disagree; SD = Strongly Disagree; Items 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21 are reverse scored.