Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Characteristics of an Effective Teacher as a Function of Discipline Orientation: A Mixed Methods Investigation

Oct. 20, 2008

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 279 – 301. October 2008 .

This mixed methods study investigated the extent to which preservice teachers' discipline orientations are consistent with their perceptions of what makes an effective teacher.
The study's first purpose was to determine whether preservice teachers tend to possess a predominant discipline style. The second purpose was to ascertain the degree to which preservice teachers' endorsement of each of the three discipline styles (i.e., interventionist vs. interactionalist vs. non-interventionist) predicts their perceptions of characteristics of effective teachers.
Participants were 63 preservice teachers enrolled at a large southeastern university.
Both interventionism and interactionalism received significantly greater endorsements than did non-interventionism.
A phenomenological analysis revealed seven characteristics that many preservice teachers considered to reflect effective teaching: student-centered, effective classroom and behavior manager, competent instructor, ethical, enthusiastic about teaching, knowledgeable about subject, and professional.
A canonical correlation analysis revealed that the degree of discipline orientation was a predictor of some of these characteristics. Implications are discussed.

Updated: Nov. 10, 2008