Date of Award

4-1982

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Betz

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Payne Smith

Abstract

It has been proposed that there are three "facilitative" characteristics of the helpful relationship--genuineness, empathy, and positive regard--which, if offered to students by teachers, would result in desirable educational outcomes. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between teacher facilitative functioning and desirable outcomes of the educational process in secondary schools. Four desirable outcomes were identified: (a) enhanced student self-concepts, (b) student course achievements, (c) more "in-depth" involvement with course content, and (d) more frequent class attendance.

Sixty-eight classrooms (containing over 1,500 senior high school students from four school districts) qualified for study because required subjects were taught within them and they were open to all students. Students described their relationship with their teachers by completing the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory and described themselves using a 10-scale Semantic Differential during the second and 15th weeks of the semester. Teacher judgments of the "quality" and "quantity" of students coursework were collected near the end of the semester; as were student reports of class activities (associated with "lower" and "higher" level cognitive objectives) and student attendance data.

It was found that: (a) There is a direct relationship between teacher facilitative functioning and students' classroom self-concepts. (b) There is a direct relationship between teacher facilitative functioning and teacher judgments of the "quantity" and "quality" of student coursework, although it is unclear whether actual student performance or teacher generosity is chiefly responsible for this outcome. (c) There is an inverse relationship between emphasis on class activities associated with lower level cognitive objectives and teacher facilitative functioning. However, no support was found for the hypothesis that a direct relationship exists between teacher facilitative functioning and emphasis on class activities associated with higher level cognitive objectives. (d) No support was found for the hypothesis that teacher facilitative functioning and student classroom attendance are directly related for all students. However, for those students who exercise more discretion with respect to school attendance--juniors and seniors who typically perform below average in their coursework--there is a direct relationship between teacher facilitative functioning and class attendance.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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