Development and validation of the Career-related Teacher Support Scale: data from China

Abstract

Support from teachers is essential to students’ career preparation and planning, but few instruments assess their career-related support. We describe the development and validation of the Career-related Teacher Support Scale (CRTSS) among Chinese technical college students (N = 1674). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicate: (a) three types of perceived career-related teacher support; (b) best fit for a bi-factor model with a general factor and three sub-factors, with (c) the general factor explaining more common variance than sub-factors; (d) measurement invariance across genders; (e) good reliability and validity. Implications for researchers, policy makers, teachers, and students are discussed.

Résumé

Développement et validation de l'échelle de soutien des enseignant·e·s en matière de carrière : Données de la Chine. Le soutien des enseignant·e·s est essentiel pour la préparation et la planification de la carrière des étudiant·e·s, mais peu d'instruments permettent d’évaluer cet élément. Nous décrivons le développement et la validation de l' « échelle de soutien des enseignants en matière de carrière (CRTSS)» dans une population d’étudiant·e·s universitaires dans des instituts techniques chinois (N = 1 674). Les analyses factorielles exploratoires et confirmatoires indiquent: (a) trois types de soutien perçus en matière de carrière; (b) que le modèle plus adapté est bi-factoriel avec un facteur général et trois sous-facteurs, (c) le facteur général expliquant mieux la variance que les sous-facteurs; (d) l'invariance des mesures entre les genres; (e) une bonne fiabilité et validité. Les implications pour les chercheur·e·s, les organes décisionnels, les enseignant·e·s et les étudiant·e·s sont discutées.

Zusammenfassung

Entwicklung und Validierung der berufsbezogenen Lehrerförderungsskala: Daten aus China. Die Unterstützung durch Lehrkräfte ist für die Berufsvorbereitung und -planung von Schülerinnen und Schüler von wesentlicher Bedeutung, aber nur wenige Instrumente bewerten ihre berufsbezogene Unterstützung. Wir beschreiben die Entwicklung und Validierung der berufsbezogenen Lehrerförderungsskala (Career-Related Teacher Support Scale, CRTSS) unter chinesischen Fachhochschulstudenten (N = 1.674). Explorative und konfirmatorische Faktoranalysen führten zu folgenden Ergebnissen: (a) drei Arten der wahrgenommenen laufbahnbezogenen Unterstützung durch Lehrkräfte; (b) beste Eignung eines Modells mit einem allgemeinen Faktor und drei Unterfaktoren, wobei (c) der allgemeine Faktor mehr Varianz als die Unterfaktoren erklärt; (d) Messinvarianz zwischen den Geschlechtern; (e) gute Reliabilität und Validität. Implikationen für Forschende, politische Entscheidungstragende, Lehrende und Studierende werden diskutiert.

Resumen

Desarrollo y validación de la Escala de Apoyo Docente al Desarrollo de la Carrera: Datos procedentes de China. El apoyo del profesorado es esencial para la preparación y planificación de la carrera del alumnado pero existen pocos instrumentos que evalúen el apoyo relacionado con la carrera. Se describe el desarrollo y validación de la Escala de Apoyo Docente al Desarrollo de la Carrera (CRTSS) entre estudiantes chinos de la escuela técnica (N = 1674). Los análisis exploratorios y confirmatorios indican: (a) tres tipos de apoyo percibidos en relación con la carrera; (b) mejor encaje para un modelo bi-factor con un factor general y tres subfactores, con (c) el factor general que explica más la varianza común que los sub factores; (d) una medida de la invarianza entre géneros; (e) buena fiabilidad y validez. Se realiza una discusión de las implicaciones para investigadores, legisladores, profesorado y estudiantes.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Prof. Yiwei Cao from Shenzhen University for her guidance in conducting the exploratory factor analysis. They are also grateful to doctoral students Wei Yuan, Jing Huang and Jinjian Yu from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong for their comments on the initial item pool; Gratitudes are given to Yimei Chen, Jiehua Li, Huiyu Lou, Huijuan Li, Zhimei Li, Yuqing Liu as well for their assistances of the data collection.

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This article is based on the PhD research of the first author under the supervision of the second and third authors in the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Career-related Teacher Support Scale—English version

Each item is started with a sentence of “My teachers at my school/college/university…”. The answers are:

1. Never; 2. Rarely; 3. Sometimes; 4. Often; 5. Always.

Factor 1: enhancement of self-exploration.

My teachers at my school/college/university …

  1. 1.

    Help me identify my strengths and weaknesses.

  2. 2.

    Help me develop my career values.

  3. 3.

    Help me explore my career interests.

  4. 4.

    Help me develop my professional skills.

  5. 5.

    Guide me to explore the outside world of work (e.g., professional categories, characteristics, and requirements of the profession, career paths, etc.).

  6. 6.

    Help me analyze which job position is suitable for me.

Factor 2: informational support.

My teachers at my school/college/university …

  1. 7.

    Explain to me the prospects of my profession.

  2. 8.

    Explain to me possible career paths of related positions.

  3. 9.

    Explain to me the requirements of some job positions.

  4. 10.

    Give me tips and tricks for workplace situations.

  5. 11.

    Provide me with employment information.

Factor 3: emotional support.

My teachers at my school/college/university …

  1. 12.

    Hope that I can have good career prospects.

  2. 13.

    Believe that I am qualified for the work they assign to me.

  3. 14.

    Believe that I can successfully finish the tasks (e.g. finish homework, organizing activities, and participating competitions).

  4. 15.

    Believe that I can make good plans for my future.

  5. 16.

    Give me a lot of confidence for my career development.

Note. The English Version of Career-related Teacher Support Scale hasn’t been validated. Only the Chinese version was validated in this study.

Appendix 2: Career-related Teacher Support Scale—Chinese version

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Zhang, J., Chen, G. & Yuen, M. Development and validation of the Career-related Teacher Support Scale: data from China. Int J Educ Vocat Guidance 21, 161–185 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10775-020-09435-2

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Keywords

  • Bi-factor model
  • Career-related teacher support
  • Career-related Teacher Support Scale
  • Chinese technical college students
  • Measurement
  • Reliability
  • Validity