Differences Between Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of Learning Expectations and Their Effects Upon Achievement in Algebra
Van Overmeer, Albert W.
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The problem. This study was conducted to examine whether differences existed between the perceptions of algebra teachers and algebra students. Procedures. Inventories comprised of forty questions related to classroom tasks were sent to teachers and students to obtain their perceptions. Means were calculated for each question and the Hotelling's T2 was conducted on three of the hypotheses. The fourth hypothesis was tested, utilizing the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation. Findings. Treated data indicated that there was significant difference between teachers and students in their perceptions of classroom activities. Students did not perceive what the teachers perceived. Significant differences exist in the perceptions of male and female students as to the teacher's expectations. Males had higher means than the females, concluding that male perceptions were closer to the teachers' perceptions. Findings indicated that there was not a significant difference in the achievement of males or females. Conclusions. Differences were found to exist in the perceptions of teachers and students. Conclusions drawn from this study include: (1) Students and teachers do have different perceptions of what takes place in the classroom. Students do not perceive activities and other functions to be as important as the teacher. (2) Male and female students have different perceptions of the teacher's expectations. (3) Achievement was effected as it related to students' perceptions of teacher expectations; however, it was a negative correlation in that students who received high grades did not perceive the expectations. (4) The sex of the student did not have a bearing on achievement. Recommendations. The goal of schools and universities should be training and educating the staff in the art of teaching and communication, conducting teacher training or inservice programs, reviewing the curriculum, and placing emphasis on the skills necessary to work with students in the process of learning. Teachers must take into account when planning their classes that effective teachers know their students' abilities, skills, and perceptions. Teachers must plan appropriate learning activities for the student for maximum achievement.
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