Teacher Role Survey

Maes, W. R., and Anderson, D. E. (1985). A measure of teacher locus of control. Journal of Educational Research 79:27–32.


The revised 24-item Teacher Role Survey (TRS) assesses control expectancies for elementary and secondary school teachers’ roles.

Scale Construction:

The original item pool consisted of 75 items in 14 categories. There were eight items in each of the following primary categories: work with students; relations with teachers; sense of achievement; curriculum and program freedom; responsibility; recognition; and attitudes of society and parents. One to five items were written for each of the following remaining categories: administration, personnel policies, salary, working conditions, workload, security, and social service. Each item consisted of two statements. One statement represented an external belief and the other an internal belief. Five forms of the TRS were constructed, by positioning the items in various sequences. The original results indicated that item position influenced responses. Thirty-two items were retained based on item correlations that ranged from 0.30 to 0.50.


The original sample consisted of 321 teacher volunteers who were enrolled in graduate education courses or who were teaching.


The alpha coefficient for the 32-item TRS was 0.86 (with a cross-validation sample of 166 teachers). Test- retest reliability over a two-week period was 0.75 (43 graduate students) and 0.62 over a three-week period (34 student teachers and student teacher supervisors).


Content validity was established by the procedures used to develop the survey. Factor analytic procedures were conducted to establish construct validity.

Factor Analysis:

Twelve factors were identified using a principal components factor analysis with a varimax rotation. However, only the first four factors had factor loadings of at least 0.35 or higher and fit within the logical framework for the construction of the survey. The four factors are recognition, teaching/learning process, relations with teachers, and attitudes of parents and society.


Anderson, D. E., and Maes, W. R. (1986). Teacher locus of control and teacher characteristics. Unpublished manuscript.

Guskey, T. R. (1981). Measurement of the responsibility teachers assume for academic successes and failures in the classroom. Journal of Teacher Education 32:44–51.

Maes, W. R., and Anderson, D. E. (1983). The Teacher Role Survey: A measure of teacher locus of control. ERIC ED 240 153.

Teacher Role Survey

1. a. Teachers will never be able to negotiate for satisfactory personnel policies.
b. It appears that teachers are just now on the brink of a period of improved negotiations over personnel policies.
2. a. Teachers are given recognition in proportion to the quality of their performance.
b. Given society’s attitude toward teaching, there is really very little a teacher can do to gain the recognition deserved.
3. a. If I work hard and perform effectively, administrators are very supportive of my work.
b. I find that principals and superintendents base their support of a teacher more on whim and hearsay than on quality of work.
4. a. Parents will cooperate with teachers if teachers put forth skillful effort.
b. Teachers have reason to be pessimistic about getting parents “on their side.”
5. a. One of the rewards of teaching is the chance to put one’s abilities to work.
b. School systems seem to invent obstacles to keep teachers from doing their best.
6. a. In this day and age, teachers are deprived of a strong sense of personal responsibility.
b. Teaching is a profession that enables one to develop a strong sense of personal responsibility.

7. a. The more one teaches effectively, the more one is delegated responsibility for classroom management.
b. With all the “snoopervisors” in schools, teachers are watched over regardless of their competence level.
8. a. To get duly recognized, a teacher needs only exert the effort to perform well.
b. One of the problems with teaching is that there is little recognition even when it is earned.
9. a. Teachers touch the lives of pupils and parents in effective ways, and a natural by-product is personal and profes- sional recognition.
b. One certainly does not choose teaching for the professional recognition it offers.
10. a. It is clear that a teacher can take delight in creative development of learning experiences.
b. More and more learning experiences are “canned” and mandated for the teacher.
11. a. Schools have been and perhaps always will be rather uninteresting, oppressive places in which to work.
b. The fact that teachers are so influential at the building level enables them to greatly affect their working conditions.
12. a. All about that is required of a teacher is the ability to follow directions from above.
b. The longer I stay in teaching, the more I feel that my presence in the classroom makes a difference.
13. a. The long-term negative attitude of our society toward teachers need not persist into the future.
b. The negative attitude of society toward teaching is something that just has to be endured.
14. a. Students are becoming increasingly independent and unruly.
b. If teachers really put themselves into the task, it is possible for them to exert meaningful influence on students.
15. a. There is always more work to be done by a teacher than can possibly be finished.
b. Careful planning and scheduling of time makes the job of teaching more manageable.
16. a. I feel that I am delegated the responsibility to do my job as I see fit.
b. I feel that my responsibility as a teacher is eroded by too many guidelines and supervisors.
17. a. Because a teacher’s best efforts go unobserved behind closed doors, it is natural that due recognition is not received.
b. In spite of the criticism leveled at schools, effective teachers receive due recognition from within and outside of schools.
18. a. Teachers will be treated as responsible professionals to the degree that they earn such treatment.
b. There is too great a tendency to treat teachers like children.
19. a. Teaching is a profession in which a sense of achievement is often missing because it is difficult to know the effect of one’s work.
b. One of the advantages of teaching is that one is the “manager of the classroom” and thus can arrange things so as to get a clear sense of what has been accomplished.
20. a. Being “a part of the group” of teachers in a building depends on one’s behavior.
b. Every school has its pecking order which determines those teachers who are accepted and those who are not.
21. a. Teaching is one of the last remaining job fields that permits genuine giving to others.
b. It is increasingly difficult for teachers to realize the joy of giving to others when they receive so little in return.
22. a. Parents are easily incited to discontent toward teachers.
b. I have never met a parent who couldn’t be won over by a sincere approach.
23. a. It seems inevitable that parents are quick to give negative feedback to teachers, but reluctant to dispense praise.
b. Parents appreciate teachers for work well done.
24. a. School administrators are highly responsive to directives “from above” but not very responsive to influence from teachers.
b. Teachers are heard and responded to by administrators to the degree that they effectively plead their case.


Each of the following statements receives a score of one: 1a, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 6a, 7b, 8b, 9b, 10b, 11a, 12a, 13b, 14a, 15a, 16b, 17a, 18b, 19a, 20b, 21b, 22a, 23a, 24a. Scores range from 0 to 24.