A beneficiary analysis of the communication process relative to the teacher-pupil paradigm of the preadolescent student

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University of Alabama Libraries

Teacher-student relationships are an increasingly important component of middle school education. Evidence suggests that teachers who care for their students often exhibit communication behaviors that facilitate positive relationships. This study focused on teacher-student interactions in the middle school setting as they relate to teacher-student relationships. Thirty-seven teachers and 218 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participated in this explanatory sequential mixed methods study. The Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) survey was employed to measure ideal teacher communication behaviors and actual teacher communication behaviors in the middle school classroom. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) test revealed a statistically significant difference between ideal teacher communication behaviors and teacher self-perceptions of communication behaviors. Follow-up analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests indicated a statistically significant difference between ideal teacher and teacher self-perceptions of communication behaviors for leadership and admonishing scores. Independent-samples t-tests revealed that teachers consider themselves to exhibit more leadership, understanding, helping/friendly and strict behaviors than their students perceived. Additionally, leadership, understanding, helping/friendly, admonishing, and strict scores between ideal teacher communication behaviors and student perceptions of ideal teacher communication behaviors were also significantly different. Interviews were conducted with five teachers and seven students to further explain quantitative results. Qualitative data from teachers and students regarding communication behaviors in the classroom were comparable in regards to leadership, understanding, and helping/friendly behaviors; however, qualitative findings disconfirmed the quantitative analysis for student/responsibility, uncertain, and dissatisfied behaviors. Implications for middle school education are discussed, including recommendations for future study with communication behaviors and teacher-student relationships.

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Education, Secondary education