A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS' TEACHERS' AND PRINCIPALS' PERCEPTIONS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING
With today's emphasis on excellence, accountability and effectiveness, there have been numerous studies, not only on how to excel but also on how to measure effectiveness. Education like other businesses has its fair share of criticism, and its scholars have sought the causes and made recommendations to improve the state of our schools today. Yet, there is one area where very little investigation has been done, and that is in acquiring formally the perceptions and opinions of the elementary and middle school students about effective teaching. The students, by being the actual recipients of classroom interaction, should be as able to perceive teacher effectiveness as outside observers, yet rarely are their assessments sought. A reason cited for this lack of involvement has been the reliability of students' perceptions. The thrust of this investigation was to address the accuracy of students' perceptions on teacher effectiveness. Using an instrument entitled Our Class and Its Work, data were collected from 40 teachers, 7 principals, and 332 students, enrolled in public and private metropolitan Milwaukee schools from grades 3 through 8. To some extent the students population represented various race/ethnic groupings. The instrument measures teaching behaviors related to student learning. An extension to the instrument was made by the investigator to measure communication, content and the integrity of the teacher, aspects which Ernest Boyer (1985) projected as necessary for effective teaching. The results of the study yielded a significant difference in perceptions of students and those of teachers and principals on aspects of communication and teaching behaviors. However, no differences were found between the three groups on one dimension of teaching behaviors, task orientation. Significant differences were also found between students' and teachers' perceptions on content and integrity. Students, however, did not differ among themselves either by gender nor by race/ethnic groups. The only aspect where a slight discrepancy was found was between grade levels on integrity. The four aspects of effective teaching, as identified by Boyer, did not predict students' reading achievement.
JENNIFER CAROL MENDEZ,
"A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS' TEACHERS' AND PRINCIPALS' PERCEPTIONS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING"
(January 1, 1986).
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