The Effect of Two Identified Teaching Variables on the Assignment of Secondary Teachers Between Student Tracks
Knuth, Richard Kent
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This study was designed to determine if such effective teaching behaviors as enthusiasm and verbal clarity impact decisions by administrators when they are faced with assigning teachers to high and low track classes. An experiment was conducted where subjects were presented two fictitious job descriptions (one low track and one high track) and asked to assign a fictitious teacher to one of the two positions. Nine fictitious teachers were created for the experiment. Two hundred and ninety-eight subjects were selected and within present position were randomly assigned to treatment conditions. The sample was stratified according to present position held (practicing administrator; teacher; administrative trainee, and teacher trainee), allowing a 3x3x4x2 (enthusiasm x verbal clarity x position x track assignment) completely crossed design. Dependent measures in addition to assignment to track were predicted teacher effectiveness in a low track position and predicted teacher effectiveness in a high track position. Methods of analysis employed included logic modeling, analysis of variance, and multiple regression. The major findings of this study indicated that the enthusiasm of a teacher affected the assignment of that teacher. The nature of this effect was characterized by a tendency to assign teachers exhibiting higher levels of enthusiasm to low track positions. This effect is in the opposite direction of what which would account for the previously reported imbalance of student perceptions of teacher enthusiasm observed between student tracks. Teacher verbal clarity and the position of the decision-maker did not effect the decision-maker's subsequent assignment of the teacher. While both teacher enthusiasm and verbal clarity were found to affect the predicted effectiveness of a teacher in a low track position, neither were found to affect the predicted effectiveness of a teacher in a high track position. Position of the decision-maker did not affect the predicted effectiveness of the teacher in either track. Based on subjects' responses to an open-ended question other variables identified as important to the assignment of teachers to high track positions are college GPA and coursework.
- Education - Seattle