THE PERCEPTIONS OF HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS REGARDING TEACHER EMPOWERMENT
The purpose of the study is to determine the perceptions of high school teachers regarding teacher empowerment. Study was conducted using a descriptive survey model. Sample group of the study consists of 627 teachers working at public high schools in Balçova, Bornova, Çiğli, Gaziemir, Güzelbahçe, Konak, Narlıdere and Urla districts of İzmir. Data was obtained using “Teacher Empowerment Scale". Findings suggest that general arithmetic mean (x̄=3.59) of the teachers‟ answers is at “I agree” level. The arithmetic means of professional growth (x̄=3.64), status (x̄=3.89), self-efficacy (x̄=3.94), autonomy (x̄=3.49) and impact (x̄=3.47) dimensions are at “I agree” level, too. Accordingly, it can be determined that participating teachers have been, overall, open to professional growth and they believed their occupation to have a high status. Moreover, they have high self-confidence as a result of thinking that they have the power to apply their individual ideas. Additionally, these teachers perceived themselves as having initiative in the organizations they are part of, with the ability to make their own decisions without external factors or pressures which has the result of making them perceive themselves as being strong, free-willed and effective teachers. However, the results have showed that the arithmetic mean of the decision-making (x̄=3.29) dimension is at “undecided” level. Thus, to improve the motivation of the teachers, and their sense of belonging to their schools, institutions and organizations, decision- making rate of teachers, who are the core of any education practice, must be increased. After analyzing “Teacher Empowerment Scale”, it is found that in terms of variables there is a significant difference between gender, professional seniority and the school types. But there aren‟t any significant differences between age, state of education and professional seniority in the current workplace.