Date of Award
Education Specialist (Ed.S)
W. Clement Wood
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate and compare perceptions of behaviors desirable to elementary science teachers. A related purpose to this study was to investigate the relationship between these perceived behaviors and the various roles of teachers --- Extraclass, Instructional, and Administrative and Executive. Three volunteer groups of respondents (thirty in each group) in rural Northwest Kansas were utilized -- pre-service students in elementary education (pre-block), students in the senior block who were doing their directed teaching (block), and in-service teachers in cooperating schools of the Fort Hays Kansas State College student teaching program (post-block). Three null hypotheses were developed and tested: 1. there is no difference in the way the following groups (Pre-block, Block, and Post-Block) will rate each item pertaining to the competencies of elementary science teachers. 2. There is no difference in the way the groups (Pre-block, Block, and Post-block) will rate sub-groups of items as to the perceived role functions of elementary science teachers. 3. There is no difference in the way the groups (Pre-block, Block, and Post-Block) will rate the total number of items pertaining to the teaching of elementary science. For the Behavioral Q-Sort instrument that was developed, a process of judging by a pilot group was used to reduce the number of behaviors, selected from the literature, from 100 to 60. Respondents were requested to make rank order judgments concerning the importance of the sixty behaviors. By utilizing Trow’s classification of role functions of teachers, the items in the Q-Sort were selected by four judges to be appropriate to the Extraclass, Instructional, and Administrative and Executive roles. They were also categorized under suitable sub-headings. A mean score was tabulated for each of the behaviors, the behaviors were placed in rank order, and a t-test was calculated for the items by groups. A comparison of sub-groups by items, by role functions, and by total groups was made. On the basis of the data, the first and second hypotheses were rejected on items showing differences at the .05 level of confidence or above. The third hypothesis was accepted on the basis of the calculated t-test. The rank ordering of the high priority categories of behaviors by the groups indicates greater agreement than disagreement in those competencies needed by elementary science teachers. Of the five behaviors designated to the two high priority categories, the following were found to be of high importance to all groups: 1. Behavior No. 4 -- Has developed the ability to act as a guide to learning rather than simply as a dispenser of information. (Given a rank order of one by all groups.) 2. Behavior No. 38 -- Has developed the ability to listen to children with interest and involvement. 3. Behavior No. 22 -- Considers each student’s contribution legitimate and important. The three behaviors listed above have also been classified under “The Instructional Role of Teachers” in the Trow study; therefore, the three groups are consistent in identifying the qualities these teachers perceive as being of highest importance to instruction. Even though repeated surveys indicate that seniors consider the directed teaching portion of the senior block to be the most beneficial part of the course work required for teacher certification, this study would not support any significant change in their perceived role as the teacher of elementary science during the directed teaching experience since the Pre-block and Block groups saw only four behaviors as significantly different. Pre-service (Pre-block and Block) participants did perceive a group of thirteen behaviors significantly different from the in-service (Post-block) teachers. Perhaps of greater concern is the fact that most of those behaviors related to the instructional role function of a teacher and included sequencing, observation of pupil behavior, strategies for learning, and evaluation. The low priority given to these instructional competencies is in contrast to current trends in education.
Copyright 1974 William E. Claflin
Claflin, William E., "A Study of the Behaviors and Role Functions of Elementary Science Teachers as Perceived by Students at Fort Hays Kansas State College and Elementary Teachers of Northwest Kansas" (1974). Master's Theses. 1490.