The Feasibility of Training Teachers to be More Humanistic and the Training's Effect on the Teachers' Students
Herold, Dwight F.
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The problem. Research has indicated that human, person-centered characteristics in a classroom do make a difference. This study was concerned with the effects of a midwestern intermediate education agency's human relations training program. The study determined certain effects of this training on teachers and its transferability to the teachers' students in a midwestern school district. Procedures. Ten elementary teachers (five teachers in the control and experimental groups, respectively) were selected from a midwestern school district. The research design was a nonequivalent control group design. The five experimental teachers were selected from the group of elementary teachers who had registered for human relations training in the summer of 1978. The five control teachers were chosen from the group of elementary teachers not taking training. They were matched with the five in the experimental group by grade level, achievement of students in the last three years. and instructional setting. Data for the research study were collected by video tapes and achievement tests. Each teacher in the control and experimental groups was taped for one-half to one hour in the classroom as a pretest during May of 1978 and during April of 1979 as a posttest. The experimental group of teachers participated in forty-five hours of human relations training in June of 1978. In September of 1978, all students of the ten teachers were administered the Stanford Achievement Test. Data only from the subtests of Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Word Study Skills were used. In April of 1979, the three subtests of the SAT were administered to the students of the ten teachers participating in this study. The video tapes were viewed and rated by professional, trained raters from the National Consortium for Humanizing Education. The raters used the Carkhuff Scales to assess the pretest and posttest video tapes of the ten teachers for empathy, congruence, and positive regard. The ruters also rated the responses and actions of the students in the ten classrooms on the Taxonomy of the Affective Domain by Krathwohl, Bloom and Masia (for both pretest and posttest video tapes). Findings. There were no significant differences between the mean gain score of "the experimental group of teachers and the mean gain score for the control group of teachers for each interpersonal functioning variable: empathy, congruence, and positive regard. Also, there were no significant differences between the mean gain score of the students of the experimental group of teachers and the mean gain score of the students of the control group of teachers for each of the subtests of SAT: Vocabulary. Reading Comprehension. and Word Study Skills. By looking at the percentages of responses and actions of the experimental students versus the control students on the Taxonomy of the Affective Domain, there appeared to be no major changes in responses up the affecti ve scale from preaasessment tapes to the postassessment tapes. Recommendations. Replicate the study utilizing other evaluative instruments which may more accurately reflect the effectiveness of the program. The number of research participants needs to be increased and randomly selected from a population in any further research on this topic. Research to determine the validity of the Carkhuff Scales in studies of this type should be carried out.
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