The Effects of Teachers Behavior on Student Performance

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The effect of teacher interpersonal behaviour on students’ subject-specific motivation Perry den Brok, IVLOS Institute of Education, Utrecht University Jack Levy, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University Mieke Brekelmans, IVLOS Institute of Education, Utrecht University Theo Wubbels, Institute of Educational Sciences, Utrecht University Re-submitted to: Journal of Classroom Interaction January 2006 Corresponding author: Dr. P. J. den Brok IVLOS Institute of Education Utrecht University P. O. Box 80127 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands tel. +.31.30.2532231 fax. +.31.30.2532741 email: p.j.denbrok@ivlos.uu.nl Teacher interpersonal behaviour and students’ subject-specific motivation Abstract This study brings together insights from research on teaching and learning in specific subjects, learning environments research and effectiveness research by linking teacher interpersonal behaviour to students’ subject-related attitudes. Teaching was studied in terms of a model originating from clinical psychology that was adapted to education. Teacher interpersonal behaviour was analysed in terms of two, independent behaviour dimensions called Influence and Proximity. This study investigated the added value of students’ perceptions of teacher interpersonal behaviour (after correction for covariates such as gender, report card grade, class size, etc.) on students’ subject- specific motivation. Data of 52 third-year EFL-classes (English as a Foreign Language; 1041 students), taught by 32 secondary teachers, were included in the analyses. The study used multilevel analysis of variance to investigate the effect of teaching on motivation and included several covariates as well. For all of the discerned subject-related attitude variables – pleasure, relevance, confidence and effort – a positive and strong effect was found for teacher Proximity. In addition, for three of the outcome variables – pleasure, relevance and effort – Influence also had a positive effect. Overall, however, proximity seemed to be of greater importance than teacher influence. The results demonstrate the significant role of teacher interpersonal behaviour in student motivation and the importance of combining insights from various educational research disciplines. 2

Teacher interpersonal behaviour and students’ subject-specific motivation The effect of teacher interpersonal behaviour on students’ subject-specific motivation 1. Introduction
The question of how to motivate students has occupied educational researchers, teachers as well as teacher trainers for several decades. Interest in the effect that teachers may have on students’ affective outcomes can be found in multiple educational research domains, including educational psychology, the teaching of specific subjects, school and teacher effectiveness research, and the study of learning environments. The present study investigates the relationship between students’ motivation and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers’ interpersonal behaviour on a sample of 52 third-year classes (1041 students) in secondary education in the Netherlands. Although many scholars in the domain of learning environments research have addressed the area of motivation and the ways in which teachers can influence it, the current study tries to add to the field by combining particular insights from previous work. First of all, while most previous studies focussed on pleasure or enjoyment as single motivational outcome, in this study motivation is conceptualised and measured in terms of a multifaceted construct. Second, the relationship between students’ subject-specific motivation and teacher interpersonal behaviour is being investigated with multilevel analysis and corrected for the effects of prior achievement and motivation (as well as various student, teacher and class characteristics), which allows us to more precisely estimate the nature of effects. Previous work using the same framework and instruments has used multilevel...
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