ERIC Number: ED228064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Mr. Swift and the Clock: Understanding Teacher Influence in the Science Classroom.
Olson, John K.
Presented are views of a Canadian science teacher (Mr. Swift) on the nature of his science teaching and a discussion of a conception of influence which aids in understanding his ideas about time. Mr. Smith uses a provincial government syllabus, ignoring locally developed units and recent textbooks emphasizing student inquiry in favor of syllabus content with its stress on terminology and definition (science as "vocabulary"). With such a syllabus of well-defined subject matter to deal with, Mr. Swift is able to exert his influence on the classroom. He sees teacher-controlled activities as having a definite goal and a definite time to achieve the goal. In addition, the syllabus guidelines regulate time for Mr. Swift; squandering time is what the guidelines help him avoid by showing what material needs to be covered and giving a legitimate reason to stress control of student activity. This emphasis on control of teaching situations (influence) is addressed, considering the relationship between how teachers construe influence and persistence of the syllabus system. How teachers think about influence is illustrated by two approaches to science teaching based on high and low levels of teacher influence. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 1983).