Work Orientation and Job Performance

The Cultural Basis of Teaching Rewards and Incentives

Edited by Douglas E. Mitchell, Flora Ida Ortiz, and Tedi K. Mitchell

Subjects: Education Policy And Leadership, Business
Series: SUNY series, Educational Leadership
Paperback : 9780887065682, 245 pages, November 1987
Hardcover : 9780887065675, 245 pages, November 1987

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Table of contents



Chapter I Teacher Incentives and School Performance

Effective Schools and Teachers

The Plan of this Book

Data Sources and Research Methods

A Preliminary Perspective on Teaching Incentives

Chapter II Work Motivation, Rewards, and Incentive Systems: A Review of Prior Research

Motivation, Rewards, and Incentives

Distinguishing Incentives from Rewards

The Work Motivation Literature

The Dangers of Overreliance on Some Incentives

Six Underlying Psychological Theories

Behaviorist Theories

Need Psychologies

Cognitive Psychologies

Toward a Cultural Theory of Teaching Incentives

A Cultural Perspective on School Organizations

Classrooms as Subcultural Groups

Culture at the Individual Level

Chapter III  The Work Orientations and Incentive Systems of Fifteen Elementary Teachers

Organizational Incentives: Achievement Production versus Child Nurture

Group-Level Incentives: Keeping School versus Teaching Lessons

Individual Incentives: Role Definitions and Career Orientations

Group 1. The Master Teachers

Group 2. The Instructors

Group 3. The Coaches

Group 4. The Helpers

Summary and Conclusion

Chapter IV Teaching Lessons: The Cultural Enterprise of the Classroom

Lesson Structures: Archetypes and Variations

The Teacher-Led Verbal Lesson

The Activity Lesson

The Drill and Practice Lesson

Tests as Lessons

Basic Elements of the Lesson Structure

Beginning Demarcations

Lesson Openings

The Lesson Proper

Lesson Closings

Ending Demarcations

Work Orientations and Lesson Structures

The Master Teachers

The Instructors

The Coaches

The Helpers

Summary and Conclusion

Chapter V Managing Classrooms: A Cultural Perspective on Rules and Their Enforcement

The Fragile Character of Classroom order

Using Rewards to Enforce Rules

Rule-Based Order: Overt Power Strategies

Rule-Based Order: Normative Strategies

Kindergarten: Where the Socialization Process Begins

Successful Enculturation: Direction Giving Rather than Rule Enforcement

The Intrusion of the School's Rule Structure


Chapter VI Five School Principals: Administrative Work in Cultural Perspective

The Principal as Manager: The Case of Mrs. P

Contradictions in Mrs. P's Style

The Principal as Administrator: The Case of Mr. Q

Contradictions in Mr. Q's Style

The Principal as Leader: The Case of Mr. R

Contradictions in Mr. R's Style

The Principal as Supervisor: The Case of Mrs. S

Contradictions in Mrs. S's Style

The Multistyle Principal: The Case of Mrs. T

Flexibility Rather than Contradiction

Summary and Conclusions

Chapter VII Cultural Incentives and Effective Teaching

Motivation and Rewards

Motivation through Reward Distribution

Distinguishing Rewards from Reinforcements

Types of Rewards

Distinguishing Rewards from Incentives

School Incentive Systems

Teachers Receive Both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards

Incentives as Cultural Expressions

Lessons and Rules: The Technical Core of the Classroom

Principals' Influence on Teacher Incentive Systems

The Cultural Roles Played by Principals


Chapter VIII Policy Implications

Establishing Culturally Grounded Teacher Incentive Systems

Enhancing School Achievement

Improving School Administration





With critical attention focused on education, and the teaching profession itself under close scrutiny by federal, state, and local officials and governing boards, a heightened sense of the need to attract and retain good teachers has surfaced as a national priority.

Based on data collected on elementary school teachers, principals, and central office administrators in a large unified school district, the authors draw upon cultural rather than economic or psychological concepts to reveal and explain how educators become oriented to their work responsibilities. The book presents a comprehensive description of the rewards and incentives provided for teachers. It also describes the roles of principals and links the principal's work to classroom performance and teaching effectiveness. Throughout this fascinating account the authors describe and reflect upon the ways in which teaching is controlled by a system of beliefs and meanings that specify the overall purposes of schooling and establish norms for social relationships with students and colleagues.

The three authors are affiliated with the University of California, Riverside, where Douglas E. Mitchell is Professor and Flora Ida Ortiz is Associate Professor in the School of Education.


". extremely relevant piece of research in terms of contemporary educational reform. In light of the current controversy over the restructuring of the teaching profession, merit pay, etc. a detailed ethnographic study of this type is enormously valuable. The theoretical introduction provided at the beginning of the book is particularly informative, along with the literature review. Their descriptions are concise and informative. "-- Eugene F. Provenzo Jr. , University of Miami