This chapter discusses comparisons between students' and teachers' perceptions which are usable variables in investigating the teacher-learner process and the preparation and staff development of teachers. A review of over 30 learning environment studies that describe differences between teacher and student perceptions indicates that the majority of these studies have focused on teacher interpersonal behaviour, that differences often were not the main focus of these studies and that most studies focused on differences between groups of teachers and students, rather than individual teachers and their classes. It appeared that, on average, teachers have higher perception ratings than do their students, and that divergence seems to be related to teaching style (in terms of students' perceptions). The present study investigated divergence and convergence in the perceptions of 72 teachers (from various subjects) and their classes (1,604 students) with the Questionnaire of Instructional Behaviour (QIB) and pertained to teacher control of student learning (strong, shared or loose), clarity and classroom management. Results showed that almost half of the teachers had higher perception scores than did their students, that no relationship existed between teacher experience and the amount of divergence, and that teaching style was related to the amount of divergence found. It is argued that more research is needed in the domain of learning environments research that can explain convergence and divergence between student and teacher perceptions.
|Title of host publication||Contemporary approaches to research on learning environments: World views|
|Editors||D. L. Fisher, M.S. Khine|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|