ERIC Number: ED201581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Inviting Problem-Solving in Upper Elementary Students: Steps Towards Isolating and Measuring Teacher Invitations.
Gorrell, John Jeffrey
The purpose of this educational research project is to assess whether teachers actually encourage and foster (invite) their elementary students to solve problems. Teacher invitations are verbal and nonverbal messages sent to students either intentionally or unintentionally. Teacher invitations are significant because they indicate the teacher's expectancy toward the student regarding problem-solving ability. Ten problem-solving behaviors were identified--taking a step-by-step approach to problems, working carefully, making many tries, developing plans for action, reviewing ways of getting information, generating specific alternatives, combining information into new forms, seeking the core of the problem, centering attention on the problem, and making sure the problem is understood. The method of discovering which teacher behaviors were most likely to foster these behaviors among students involved a three step process--(1) directing 46 public school teachers to rate teacher behaviors for their importance in promoting effective problem-solving behaviors in students, (2) preparing a 40-item self-report instrument to assess the degree to which a teacher invites problem solving in students, and (3) testing the validity of the test instrument. Findings indicated that there was a high degree of consistency among teachers regarding choice of behaviors which they identified as important for problem solving and that teachers were able to fairly well evaluate their own behavior regarding whether they encouraged problem solving among students to a high degree. Findings from a preliminary testing of the test instruments indicated that certain types of behaviors (including encouraging students to use their own ideas and paying attention to student responses) were quite powerful in discriminating between teachers who effectively invite problem solving and those who do not. The conclusion is that there are specific behaviors which may serve to assess the degree to which teachers invite problem solving in students. Additional research is suggested. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Invitation to Decision; Teacher Expectations
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).