The classification of selected practices of college science instructors
Slater, Schuyler G.
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Statement of the problem.-- The basic problem considered was the determination of practices, behavioral or organizational, which were judged to be related to effective or ineffective science teaching at the college level. An organizational practice was defined as one pertaining to a method, or methods, which an instructor might employ while a behavioral practice is one which refers to a specific act of the instructor while teaching. Since these practices were suggested by both instructors and students under their direction, judgments by these two groups of the relevance of these practices to either good or poor teaching were compared. Other comparisons of the ratings of these practices by different groups of students and by two groups of instructors were made in order to find any statistically significant differerces in the judgments. Research procedures.-- Supervisors of science teachers, (the chairmen of science departments), instructors, and students under their direction in 68 colleges and universities Here asked to report practices which they judged to be either related to or responsible for teaching situations where the instructor was either particularly effective or ineffective. The participants were asked to recall those episodes where the instructor utilized practices which could have been classified as being either behavioral or organizational in nature. It was made clear that elements of personality were not to be reported. After such practices had been reported by 68 chairmen, in collaboration with their teaching staffs, and by 364 students taking courses in 15 of these departments, the list of practices was considered sufficiently comprehensive. The collected practices were then classified into those which were considered to be organizational or behavioral. Three separate lists were formulated: one included behavioral practices suggested as making for good or effective teaching; another included behavioral practices suggested as making for poor or ineffective teaching; and the third was formulated from organizational practices suggested as teing related to both good and poor teaching. The total number of practices was 177. A student group from 15 different colleges and universities and one composed of instructors from 15 different colleges and universities, approximately 100 in each group, then rated each practice in relation to its relevance to either good or poor teaching along a six-point scale. The ratings of each group were then compared for any statistically significant differences. The ratings of two sub-groups of students, one consisting of freshmen and sophomores, and the other of juniors, seniors, and graduates, were compared for any statistically significant differences. The ratings of two other sub-groups of students, one numbering majors in education and the other science majors, were also compared. The ratings of two sub-groups of instructors, one consisting of chemistry instructors and the other of biology, were compared for any statistically significant differences. Analysis of variance was used to test the null hypothesis concerning the differences between ratings of the student group and those of the instructor group, between the student sub-groups classified according to major, and between the two instructor sub-groups. Statistically significant differences in the ratings of the instructor group compared with the student group and in the ratings of the student groups when compared with each other were found by the analysis of variance. The correlation between the ratings of the instructor group and the student group on each list were found to be above .87 in each case. [TRUNCATED]
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