Advertisement

Research in Science Education

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 213–235 | Cite as

Changing Primary Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Interpersonal Behaviours in Science

  • B. Waldrip
  • Paula Reene
  • Darrell Fisher
  • Jeff Dorman
Article

Abstract

The paper reports on part of a large-scale study aimed at examining students’ perceptions of teacher–student interactions. This paper will report on a study utilising mixed methodology in 12 Queensland primary classrooms. After the students’ perceptions were established, the teachers, through a consultative process, developed strategies to change the students’ perceptions of their classroom over a 3 month period. The paper reports on what strategies these teachers utilised and what changes in students’ perceptions resulted. The classroom teachers were interviewed about the change in students’ perceptions, what changes they had sought to promote in their classrooms, and what they felt had been achieved in their classrooms. The study found that students were able to articulate what changes the teacher had implemented, what their reaction was to these changes and their perception of the classroom environment as a result of these implemented strategies.

Keywords

Students’ perceptions Teacher–student interactions Mixed methodology Classroom environment Teacher change 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research described in this paper was supported in part by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP0343626.

References

  1. Aldridge, J. M., Fraser, B. J., & Huang, I. T.-C. (1999). Investigating classroom environments in Taiwan and Australia with multiple research methods. Journal of Educational Research, 93(1), 48–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angus, M., Olney, H., Ainley, J., Caldwell, B., Burke, G., Selleck, R., et al. (2004). The sufficiency of resources for Australian primary schools. Canberra: DEST.Google Scholar
  3. Blose, R., & Fisher, D. (2003). Effects of teachers school-level environment perceptions on changing elementary mathematics classroom environments. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April.Google Scholar
  4. den Brok, P. (2001). Teaching and student outcomes: A study on teachers’ thoughts and actions from an interpersonal and a learning activities perspective. Utrecht, The Netherlands: W. C. C.Google Scholar
  5. Chavez, R. C. (1984). The use of high inference measures to study classroom environments: A review. Review of Educational Research, 54, 237–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dunkin, M. J., & Biddle, B. J. (1974). The study of teaching. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  7. Evans, H., & Fisher, D. (2000). Cultural differences in students’ perceptions of science teachers’ interpersonal behaviour. Australian Science Teachers Journal, 46, 9–18.Google Scholar
  8. Fiedler, M. L. (1975). Bidirectionality of influence in classroom interaction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 735–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fisher, D., & Camillus, Bro. (1998). Improving nursing education classroom environments. Journal of Nursing Education, 37(5), 232–236.Google Scholar
  10. Fisher, D., Fraser, B., & Cresswell, J. (1995). Using the questionnaire on teacher interaction in the professional development of teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 20, 8–18.Google Scholar
  11. Fisher, D., & Rickards, T. (1997). Cultural and gender differences in teacher–student interpersonal behaviour in science classrooms. In D. Fisher & T. Rickards (Eds.), Science, mathematics and technology education and national development. Proceedings of the International Conference on Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Hanoi, Vietnam, (pp. 1–9). Perth, Australia: Curtin University of Technology.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, D. Rickards, T., & Fraser, B. (1996). Assessing teacher–student interpersonal relationships in science classes. Australian Science Teachers Journal, 42, 28–33.Google Scholar
  13. Fraser, B. J. (1994). Research on classroom and school climate. In D. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of research on science teaching and learning (pp. 493–541). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Fraser, B. J. (1998). Science learning environments: Assessment, effects and determinants. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), The International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 527–564). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  15. Fraser, B. J. (1999). Using learning environment assessments to improve classroom and school climates. In H. J. Freiberg (Ed.), School climate: Measuring, improving and sustaining healthy learning environments (pp. 65–83). London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  16. Fraser, B. J. (2002). Learning environments research : Yesterday, today and tomorrow. In S. C. Goh, & M. S. Khine (Eds.), Studies in educational learning environments, an international perspective (pp. 1–25). Singapore: World Scientific.Google Scholar
  17. Fraser, B. J., Anderson, G. J., & Walberg, H. J. (1982). Assessment of learning environments: Manual for Learning Environment Inventory (LEI) and My Class Inventory (MCI) (3rd vers.). Perth, Australia: Western Australian Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  18. Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. (1983a). Use of actual and preferred classroom environment scales in person–environment fit research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 303–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. L. (1983b). Student achievement as a function of person–environment fit: A regression surface analysis. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 53, 89–99.Google Scholar
  20. Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. (1986). Using short forms of classroom climate instruments to assess and improve classroom psychosocial environment. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 5, 387–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fraser, B. J., Giddings, G. J., & McRobbie, C. J. (1995). Evolution and validation of the personal form of an instrument for assessing science laboratory classroom environments. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32, 399–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fraser, B., & Walberg, H. (Eds.). (1991). Educational environments: Evaluation, antecedents and consequences. Oxford, UK: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  23. Fraser, B., & Walberg, H. (2005). Research on teacher–student relationships and learning environments: Context, retrospect and prospect. International Journal of Educational Research, 43, 103–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gess-Newsome, J. (1999). Pedagogical content knowledge: An introduction and orientation. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical knowledge: The construct and its implication for science education. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  25. Goodrum, D., Hackling, M., & Rennie, L. (2001). The status and quality of teaching and learning of science in Australian schools: A research report. Canberra, ACT: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  26. Henderson, D., Fisher, D., & Fraser, B. (2000). Interpersonal behavior, learning environments and student outcomes in senior biology classes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 26–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods resserch: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Krathwohl, D. R. (1998). Methods of educational and social science research: An integrated approach (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland. pp. 284–301.Google Scholar
  29. Leary, T. (1957). An interpersonal diagnosis of personality. New York: Ronald.Google Scholar
  30. Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  31. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. (2002). Pub. L. No. 107–110, 115 Stat. 1425.Google Scholar
  32. Palmer, D. H. (2001). Factors contributing to attitude exchange amongst preservice elementary teachers. Science Education, 86, 122–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Punch, K. F. (2005). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Rawnsley, D., & Fisher, D. L. (1997). Using personal and class forms of a learning environment questionnaire in mathematics classrooms. In D. Fisher & T. Rickards (Eds.), Science, mathematics and technology education and national development. Proceedings of the International Conference on Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Hanoi, Vietnam, (pp. 52–63). Perth, Australia: Curtin University of Technology, January.Google Scholar
  36. Rickards, T., & Fisher, D. (1999). Teacher–student classroom interactions among science students of different sex and cultural backgrounds. Research in Science Education, 29, 445–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Saunders, K., & Fisher, D. (2006). An action research approach with primary pre-service teachers to improve university and primary classroom environments. In D. L Fisher & M. S. Khine (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to research on learning environments: World views (pp. 247–272). Singapore: World Scientific.Google Scholar
  38. She, H., & Fisher, D. (2000). The development of a questionnaire to describe science teacher communication behavior in Taiwan and Australia. Science Education, 84, 706–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sinclair, B. B., & Fraser, B. J. (2002). Changing classroom environments in urban middle schools. Learning Environments Research, 5, 301–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tobin, K., & Fraser, B. (1998). Qualitative and quantitative landscapes of classroom learning environments. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), The international handbook of science education (pp. 623–640). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  41. Walberg, H. J. (1976). Psychology of learning environments: Behavioral, structural, or perceptual? Review of Research in Education, 4, 142–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Walberg, H. J. (1991). Educational productivity and talent development. In B. J. Fraser & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Educational environments: Evaluation, antecedents and consequences (pp. 93–109). London: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  43. Waldrip, B. G., & Fisher, D. L. (2003a). Teachers’ confidence in primary science and teacher–student interactions. In D. Psillos, P. Kariotoglou, V. Tselfes, E. Hatzikraniotis, G. Fassoulopoulos, & M. Kallery (Eds.), Science education research in the knowledge-based society (pp. 405–414). Dordrecht, The Nehterlands: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  44. Waldrip, B. G., & Fisher, D. L. (2003b). Identifying exemplary science teachers’ through their classroom interactions with students. Learning Environments Research, 6(2), 157–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wubbels, T., & Brekelmans, M. (1998). The teacher factor in the social climate of the classroom. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), The international handbook of science education (pp. 565–580). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  46. Wubbels, T., & Brekelmans, M. (2005). Two decades of research on teacher–student relationships in class. International Journal of Educational Research 43(1–2), 6–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wubbels, T., Brekelmans, M., & Hooymayers, H. (1991). Interpersonal teacher behaviour in the classroom. In B. J. Fraser, & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Educational environments: Evaluation, antecedents and consequences (pp. 141–160). Oxford, England: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  48. Wubbels, T., Brekelmans, M., & van Tartwijk, J. (2005). Teacher–student relationships across the teaching career. International Journal of Educational Research 43(1–2), 55–71.Google Scholar
  49. Wubbels, T., Creton, H., & Hooymayers, H. (1985). Discipline problems of beginning teachers. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April.Google Scholar
  50. Wubbels, T., & Levy, J. (Eds.). (1993). Do you know what you look like: Interpersonal relationships in education. London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  51. Yarrow, A., Millwater, J., & Fraser, B. J. (1997). Improving university and primary school classroom environments through preservice teachers’ action research. International Journal of Practical Experiences in Professional Education, 1(1), 68–93.Google Scholar
  52. Yates, S., & Goodrum, D. (1990). How confident are primary school teachers in teaching science? Research in Science Education, 20, 300–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Waldrip
    • 1
  • Paula Reene
    • 1
  • Darrell Fisher
    • 2
  • Jeff Dorman
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.SMECCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationAustralian Catholic UniversityVirginiaAustralia

Personalised recommendations