Student perceptions of health science teacher interpersonal behaviour
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The major aim of this study was to investigate the use of the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) in health science classrooms in Tasmania, Australia. In the past, the QTI has been used in a number of learning areas. However, it has not been used in the learning area of health science.This study involved 1,471 grade 9 and grade 10 health science students and their teachers in 75 classes. The QTI was used to study student and teacher perceptions of health science teacher interpersonal behaviour.Statistical analyses revealed that the QTI is a valid and reliable instrument for use in health science classrooms. Quantitative results from the QTI were supported by qualitative data including comments from the students and a reflective narrative of the experiences of the researcher as a health science teacher.An investigation into the associations between QTI scales and student attitudinal and cognitive outcomes revealed that all scales of the QTI related to student attitudinal and cognitive outcomes in health science classrooms. It is, however, the scales of Leadership and Helping/Friendly which make the greatest positive influence to student attitudinal and cognitive outcomes.Health science students perceived their teachers as displaying high levels of leadership, helping/friendly and understanding behaviour, and low levels of uncertain, dissatisfied and admonishing behaviour. Teachers generally perceived themselves in a more favourable manner than their students did.The students also perceived the less experienced teachers as less dominant and more oppositional compared to teachers with more experience. Female health science students generally perceived their teachers in a more positive way than male students and male students, in general, have better attitudes to health science lessons.
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