The effects of teacher attending and responding behaviours on pupil achievement : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Education at Massey University
This thesis reports a field experiment of teachers' non-verbal attending and verbal responding behaviours and their relation to pupil achievement. It was expected that teachers who used higher level non-verbal and verbal skills would have children who achieved at a higher level. A group of fifteen teachers, five in three different schools, were video-taped at the beginning of the school year. Because all of the teachers were functioning at low levels on scales of attending and responding, one group of teachers was given ten hours of training in these skills. One other group of five teachers was given a placebo treatment and the remaining group received no treatment. All of these teachers were video-taped at the end of the school year. All of the children were tested at the beginning and the end of the school year on standardized achievement measures. Analysis of the data revealed that ten hours of training given one hour at a time at intervals of one week was not sufficient to establish average classroom conditions that were significantly different from the other experimental treatments. The trained teachers did improve in the expected direction more than the other teachers. The students of the two teachers who responded at the highest levels were compared to the students of the two teachers who responded at the lowest level. The results supported the hypothesis. From this sample of teachers those who were female, who responded to feelings, who had students from a higher socio-economic status, who were just beginning to teach, and who attended and responded appropriately had students with higher results.