First grade pupils' perceptions of their teachers' roles and functions.
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The aim of this study was to fulfil two purposes: to gain deeper insights into what young children think about their teachers, and to examine the effectiveness of different methodologies which are designed to elicit information from school beginners. By employing a variety of qualitative techniques, the study focussed on the development of research methodologies specifically appropriate to this age group. Although the results of the study suggest that the children perceive teachers as performing the more obvious didactic and authoritarian roles, they also indicate an awareness of the managerial aspects of teaching. The data also suggested that the children placed greater emphasis on the teachers role as an entertainer than as a nurturer. An examination of the results in relation to the methodologies used, indicates the possibilities of further developing the drawing and interview technique for use by classroom teachers. The research highlights some interesting implications for teachers. A better understanding of childrens views about classroom practices may influence teachers decisions about how they wish to fulfil their roles and functions.
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