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Teachers Misunderstand the Effect of Coercion in the Classroom on the Lesson Social Climate

By R. van Winden

Abstract

Background. Teachers may believe that coercive behaviours such as punishing will increase their influence in class. However, according to students, teachers do not gain influence by using coercion while it does result in a loss of teachers’ warmth. Teachers’ misunderstanding of the effect of coercion on their influence and warmth during a lesson (i.e., the lesson social climate) may obstruct them in creating a positive social climate. Aims. To investigate teachers’ understanding of the effect of coercion on the lesson social climate and to test the hypotheses that teachers’ general authoritativeness and friendliness affects the accuracy of teachers’ understanding, we used students’ perceptions of the effect of teacher coercion on the social climate as a criterion. Sample. Dutch secondary school teachers (N = 48) and their students (N = 1208) rated, on average, 9 of their lessons (Nlessons rated = 447). Method. The social climate and teachers’ general authoritativeness and friendliness were tapped with the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction and teachers’ coercive behaviours with the Teacher Behaviour Observation Checklist. Multilevel models including cross-level three-way interactions were fitted to test the hypotheses. Results. The accuracy of teachers’ understanding of the effect of coercion on the social climate depended on their general friendliness. Conclusion. In general, teachers misinterpreted coercion as helpful to gain influence in class and as less harmful to their warmth. While friendlier teachers were more accurate in understanding the impact of coercion on their warmth during a lesson, less friendly teachers were more accurate in understanding the impact of coercion on their influence

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/286561
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