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Hedvig Sallay: Perception of Teachers' Roles: Lessons From a Study in an Elementary School

The purpose of this pilot study was to explore how students perceive teachers' behaviour, how they form homogenous impressions about them. The subjects of the study were pupils from the 8th grade in an urban elementary school. They filled in questionnaires relating to lessons and teachers teaching them. The items of the questionnaire connected to all those areas that play an important role in forming impressions about teachers. The dimensions of the questionnaire were as follows:(1) evaluation of pupils' achievement; (2) maintaining discipline in the classrooom; (3) atmosphere during the lessons; (4) the teacher's personality; (5) the teacher as an ideal model; (6) the Pygmalion-effect; (7) the teacher's professional knowledge; (8) interpersonal relationships between teachers and pupils. The results of statistical analyses revealed well-characterized behaviour patterns of teachers, i.e. (1) optimal behaviour; (2) emphasizing him/herself while neglecting the students; (3) autocratic, unpopular among his/her students; (4) unsuitability for the role of a teacher. These patterns also involve easily-identifiable attitudes toward pupils showing poor academic achievement and an inclination to be biased toward certain students (Pygmalion-effect). The different behaviour patterns described above show some facets of the role of a teacher; the manifestation depends both on personality traits and situational variables, as well as their interaction of these factors.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 95. Number 3-4. 201-227. (1995)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Hedvig Sallay, Department of Psychology, Lajos Kossuth University, H – 4010 Debrecen, Pf. 28.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia