A study of students' cultural background and teacher-student interpersonal behaviour in secondary science classrooms in Australia.
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This thesis examines the cultural background of students and investigates differences in the way teachers interact with students of different cultural backgrounds. The study comprises three parts. Firstly, it validates the new classroom environment measuring instrument, the Cultural Learning Environment Questionnaire (CLEQ). This instrument is used for the first time to assess the cultural factors that students bring to their classrooms. Secondly, as well as providing validation data for the use of the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI), it investigates associations between students' cultural background and their perceptions of student-teacher interactions. The third part of the study looks at whether the students' cultural background affects their attitudes and achievement. This study is significant because teachers in multicultural classrooms need to be informed about how cultural factors interact with student perceptions of their preferred student-teacher interpersonal behaviours. As a result of this study, a tool is now available that can be used by teachers to monitor what is occurring in their own classrooms and to guide improvements in their teaching, thereby leading to improved learning among students.
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