Novice teachers' perceptions of the extent to which the Brock University teacher education program focused on methods of promoting responsibility in students
Flockhart, Katie M.
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The purpose of this study was to determine novice t~ache~s' perceptions of th~ extent to which the Brock University teacher education program focused on strategies for promoting responsibility in students. Individual interviews were conducted with ten randomly selected teachers who were graduates of this teacher education program between the years of 1989 and 1992, and a follow-up group discussion activity, with the same teachers, was also held. Findings revealed that the topic of personal responsibility was discussed within various components of the program, including counselling group sessions, but that these discussions were often brief, indirect and inconsistent. Some of the strategies which the teachers used in their own classrooms to promote responsibility in students were ones which they had acquired from those counselling group °sessions or from associate teachers. Various strategies included: setting ~lear expectations of students with positive and negative consequences for behaviour (e.g., material rewards and detentions, respectively), cemmunic?ting'with other teachers an~ parents, and -. suspending students from school. A teacher's choice of any particular strategy seemed to be affected by his or her personality, teaching sUbject and region of employment, as well as certain aspects of the teacher education program. It was concluded that many of the teachers appeared to be controlling rude and vio~ent- behaviour, as opposed to promoting responsible behaviour. Recommendations were made for the pre-service program, as well as induction and inservice programs, to increase teacher preparedness for promoting responsible student behaviour. One of these recommendations addressed the need to help teachers learn how to effectively communicate with their students.