Associations between student levels of achievement and perceptions of teacher-student interactions
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This thesis reports on a research study of the associations between the interpersonal interactions students have with their teachers and shifts in cognitive achievement. Effect sizes were calculated to determine the shifts students had in cognitive achievement and these were compared to the perceptions of the teacher student interactions that were gathered using the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI). This was one of the first times that the QTI was used in a New Zealand Primary School. The 48-item QTI was used and shown to be both valid and reliable within the New Zealand Primary School context.The study found that there was a correlation between the interpersonal interactions and cognitive achievement of students. Students generally had better achievement shifts with teachers that matched the Tolerant/Authoritative typology and lower shifts with teachers who matched the Directive typology. The study also confirmed that there is variance of teachers within schools. It is this variance that needs addressing and the tools used in this research enable teachers and educators to make decisions about what is working within a classroom and what is not. This leads to opportunities for the professional development of teachers, which will in turn improve both the learning environment and cognitive achievement of the students. Teaching and learning are complex and determining what and where to improve can only happen effectively when you have evidence of what is occurring. The tools used in this study provide that evidence, and when you have the evidence, you have the ability to make powerful changes in the lives of students.
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