ERIC Number: ED037373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Pre-Theoretical Considerations of Uncertainty: An Aspect of Classroom Communication.
Koff, Robert H.; Warren, Richard L.
Studies have demonstrated that students learn to seek pleasurable learning situations and learn to avoid painful ones; however, when they do not have sufficient information at their disposal to determine whether or not their behavior will have a pleasurable or painful outcome, they experience a psychological conflict we are calling "uncertainty." Such uncertainty is a function of inconsistency in teacher behavior. Inconsistency probably has a greater impact on the student when he first enters school, turning a significant percentage of students away from the process of schooling. Teachers have been observed to communicate consciously their expectations and then when making spontaneous decisions "under fire" to reveal contradictory expectations. Observations in a first grade classroom over a 3-week period produced several anecdotes to illustrate such inconsistency. The concept might be further examined in terms of a teacher's inappropriate or appropriate diagnosis of a situation and his subsequent dealing logically or illogically with the situation. Further exploration should produce a more operational definition and a typology for identifying and classifying teacher behavior which may contribute to uncertainty. Suggested questions: What teacher behaviors facilitate the acquisition of uncertainty? What are its effects on cognitive, affective, and social behavior? What personality characteristics describe a teacher who generates it? What ecological conditions foster it? (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching.