Differences in student perceptions of teacher-student interpersonal behaviour in regional streamed secondary mathematics and science classes
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The purpose of this study was to examine teacher and students' perceptions of teacher-student interpersonal behaviour in regional secondary classrooms. Teachers were then presented with this information so that a comparison between teacher ideal, teacher actual and student perceptions of their classroom could be examined. The results were then able to be used by teachers to reflect on and seek to improve their teaching practice. This study utilised the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) to collect data about the classroom learning environment of Australian regional mathematics and science classrooms. Qualitative information in the form of classroom observations and informal interviews has also been collected from a small subset of the student sample. This qualitative information was collected by the researcher in the dual roles of teacher and researcher. Triangulation of the methods of data collection sought to better validate the data collected, and assess multiple perspectives in the classroom. The study has involved a large sample of students from one country high school in Western Australia. All the mathematics classes from Years 8, 9 and 10 and all science classes from Years 8 and 10 have been included in this study. A particular focus for this study was the inclusion of both streamed and non-streamed classes from the mathematics and science areas.The value of this research has been enhanced in that the results have been used as a teaching feedback tool for participants involved in the study to examine, reflect and improve on their teaching practice. The research is a real world, authentic example of one instance where results from the study were used immediately on a local scale by participants. A unique feature of the outcomes from this project is that the teacher appears to play a greater role in determining the classroom climate than does the homogeneous or heterogenous grouping of students within a subject.
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