Due to changes in legislation and recent school reforms, a lot of attention has been placed on teachers and their influences on students' academic success. For instance, as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), No Child Left Behind states that every student should have a quality teacher who is licensed and effective. The act focuses on teachers' academic qualifications and licensure requirements as a measure of their effectiveness. However, as will be discussed later, there are many other teacher characteristics that are identified as being important to student's achievement in school. In addition, Sanders and Horn (1998) found that the single most important factor in student academic achievement is the classroom teacher. Therefore, it seems that identifying the characteristics that make teachers most effective should be a high priority for school administrators, legislators, teachers, and students alike. There has been much research conducted about teacher effects such as age, experience level, college coursework, attitudes, and teaching styles on students' academic success and learning. For example, in a review of past literature, Wayne and Youngs found that teacher college ratings, licensure test scores, degrees, and certification status were positively correlated with student achievement gains. They concluded that students learn more from teachers with higher ratings in each of the stated characteristics (2003). In addition, a study of first-grade teachers found that those who conveyed more positive attitudes and beliefs produced significantly higher achievement gains in their students (Cantrell, Stenner, & Katzenmeyer, 1977). These characteristics account for some of the teachers' influence on students' achievement, but other, less researched teacher qualities may be responsible for this influence as well. Studies exploring teacher personality effects on student academic success have found that teachers with certain personality profiles may be more effective, depending upon their students' learning styles and the classroom environments (Fairhurst & Fairhurst, 1995). However, much of this research focuses on high school and college students' own evaluations of their teachers' classroom styles and perceived effectiveness (Radmacher & Martin, 2001; Erdle, Murray, & Rushton, 1985). In addition, these same studies tend to encompass several general personality traits, such as charisma, supportiveness, leadership, and orderliness, as opposed to focusing on one definite aspect of personality. It would be beneficial and informative to learn more about how specific teacher personality traits effect the academic achievement of students in the elementary or middle school grades.
This type of research is important for current and prospective teachers to know as they may be able to adapt themselves to become more effective in the classroom. Colleges may even be able to use data about personality traits and teacher success to help screen prospective teachers, and direct certain students toward the teaching profession. Administrators and teacher leaders may also be interested in using information from this research to construct workshops and professional development programs to improve teachers' efficacy. Knowing which personality traits compose the most effective teachers can benefit students in schools all over the country, so this type of research should be considered very important and prolific for education. Purpose
The purpose of this study was to learn more about how teacher personality affects teacher efficacy and student academic success in the elementary school setting. The researcher planned to contribute to the limited body of research on the influences of teacher personality, while conducting a more focused examination of a particular personality dimension. More specifically, the researcher wanted to explore how the levels of the extraversion/introversion personality...
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