Learning Environments Research

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 189–198 | Cite as

The circumplex model of the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction among Hong Kong students: a multidimensional scaling solution

  • Atara Sivan
  • Arie Cohen
  • Dennis W. K. Chan
  • Yee Wan Kwan
Original Paper


The Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) is a teacher–student relationship measure whose underlying two-dimensional structure is represented in a circumplex model with eight sectors. Using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA), this study examined the circumplex structure of the Chinese version of the QTI among a convenience sample of 731 primary-school students in Hong Kong. The study revealed that the SSA solution fits the circumplex structure of the Model for Interpersonal Teacher Behavior and uncovered a two-dimensional solution yielding five sectors in a clockwise direction: Strict, Leadership-Helpful/Friendly-Understanding, Student Responsibility/Freedom, Uncertain, and Admonishing-Dissatisfied. While the Leadership-Helpful/Friendly-Understanding sector was the largest, the Student Responsibility/Freedom sector was the smallest, with few items constituting it. For the two dimensions, the vertical dimension was named Structure Clarity, with adherence to external structure (Strict sector) at one extreme and lack of structure (Uncertain sector and Student Responsibility/Freedom sector) at the other extreme. The horizontal axis was labelled Attitude Valence, with benevolent valence (Leadership sector, Helpful/Friendly sector and Understanding sector) at one end and malevolent valence (Admonishing sector and Dissatisfied sector) at the other end of the axis. The positioning of the five sectors in the present study is in line with the factor structure that was often found in previous research on the circumplex model. By presenting a somewhat different interpretation of the two dimensions and some additional items, we hope that future research will verify our suggestions across different sociocultural settings.


Circumplex model Hong Kong Primary-school students Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction Smallest Space Analysis 



This research was supported by the Hong Kong Baptist University Teaching Development Grant (No. TDG/0708/IV/08). The authors would like to thank Professor Theo Wubbels for his constructive comments on the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  2. 2.School of EducationBar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong

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