ERG SES C 14, Science and Maths Education
The classroom context has been regarded as one of the most important factors affecting student outcomes (Fraser & Walberg, 1991). Although it is commonly argued that students’ and teachers’ characteristics and behaviors in the classroom are potential factors affecting student outcomes (e.g. Harris, Rutledge, Ingle & Thompson, 2007; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997), the influential role of the teacher in classroom has not been received sufficient attention among the CLE researchers. Therefore, investigating the teacher role in creating qualified CLE is crucial for improving instructional quality and reaching educational goals.
CLE research was described by Fraser (1990) as research on the “Social, psychological and pedagogical context in which learning occurs and which affects students’ achievement and attitudes” (p.3). Over a few decades, the research on CLE has been grown by the development of several measures (see Fraser, 1998). Past research on CLE mostly focused on the association between students’ cognitive, affective and behavioral outcomes and their perceptions of social-psychological features of classroom (Fraser, 1998). On the other hand, although, empirical studies on the influence of teacher characteristics on CLE are so rare. Teachers can influence quality of CLE in many ways such as their personality, behaviors, and relationship with students. In the scope of this study, as important indicators of being effective teacher, teachers’ occupational well-being and beliefs (Klusmann, et al., 2008) were investigated for their association with CLE.
Research on teachers’ occupational well-being includes teacher burnout and job satisfaction (Klusmann et al., 2008; Kyriacou, 2001).Burnout was defined as “a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and cynicism that occurs frequently among individuals who do 'people-work' of some kind” (Maslach & Jacknon, 1881, p. 99) and includes three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Burnout has negative effects on teachers’ instructional performance and on student outcomes (Klusmann et al. 2008). Burned out teachers fail in performing some job related activities such as establishing well teacher-student relationship, providing good learning environment in classroom and meeting instructional requirements (Dorman (2003). On the other hand, schools that have teachers highly satisfied with teaching profession are expected to provide qualified education and to be successful in enhancing students’ educational gains (Demirtas, 2010).
Regarding teacher beliefs, the focus of this study includes teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) and implicit theories about students’ ability in science (Dweck, 1999). Teachers’ sense of efficacy beliefs has been defined as a teacher’s “judgment of his or her capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated” (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001, p.783). Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs affect their behaviors in the classroom (Ashton & Webb, 1986). Implicit beliefs refer to teachers’ beliefs about whether students can change or improve their ability in learning science. Teachers’ implicit theories influence their behaviors and attitudes in the classroom (Deemer, 2004; Lee, 1996; Lynott & Woolfolk, 1994).
Therefore, the present study is aimed to investigate the extent the teacher effectiveness and CLE literature and investigate the role of teachers’ occupational well-being, self-efficacy beliefs, and implicit beliefs about science ability variables on perceived classroom learning environment in science class.
- Are there differences in students’ perceptions of CLE (i.e., Student Cohesiveness, Teacher Support, Involvement, Investigation, Task Orientation, Cooperation, and Equity) among classes?
- Which effective teacher characteristics (i.e., Efficacy for Student Engagement, Efficacy for Instructional Strategies, Efficacy for Classroom Management, Job Satisfaction, Emotional Exhaustion, Personal Accomplishment, Implicit Theory of Ability in Science, Gender, Experience) are associated with the differences in students’ perceptions of CLE (i.e., Student Cohesiveness, Teacher Support, Involvement, Investigation, Task Orientation, Cooperation, Equity)?
Selected References Dweck, C. S. (1999). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Philedelphia, PA: Psychology Press. Fraser, B. J. (1998). Classroom environment instruments development, validity and applications. Learning Environments Research, 1, 7-33. Fraser, B. J., Fisher, D. L., & McRobbie, C. J. (1996l). Development, validation and use of personal and class forms of a new classroom environment instrument. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). New York, NY. Fraser, B. J., & Walberg, H. J. (1991). Educational environments: Evaluation antecedents and consequences. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Klusmann, U., Kunter, M., Trautwein, U., Ludtke, O., & Baumert, J. (2008). Teachers’ occupational well-being and quality of instruction: The important role of self-regulatory patterns. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(3), 702-715. Kyriacou, C. (2001). Teacher stress: Directions for future research. Educational Review, 53, 27-35. Lynott, D. J., & Woolfolk, A. E. (1994). Teachers' implicit theories of intelligence and their aducational goals. The Journal of Research and Development in Education, 27(4), 253-264. Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1881). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Occupational Behavior, 2, 99-113. Ololube, N. P. (2006). Teachers job satisfaction and motivation for school effectiveness: an assessment. Essays in Education, 18(1-19). Patrick, J., & Smart, R. M. (1998) 'An Empirical Evaluation of Teacher Effectiveness: the emergence of three critical factors'. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 23( 2), 165. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2010). Teacher self-efficacy and teacher burnout: A study of relations. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 1059-1069. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 783-805.
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