ERIC Number: ED394935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Sri Lankan Teachers' Preferred Modes of Helping Students.
Dharmadasa, Kiri H.; Gorrell, Jeffrey
Citing research indicating that U.S. teachers commonly use verbal persuasion techniques to help low achieving students, this study extends the research to Sri Lanka to explore differences in helping strategies adopted by teachers across cultures. Study participants were 237 Sri Lanka teachers who represented the majority Sinhalese population and who had a median of 13 years of teaching experience. The study used a Sinhalese translation of the Student Assistance Survey (SAS), which contained six scenarios depicting students who are performing poorly and for whom the teacher may have one of three primary objectives: (1) raising students' confidence level, (2) getting students to try harder, or (3) helping students improve their performance. Analysis of the data revealed that the dominant choice across all scenarios was enactive attainments representing actual accomplishment or effort, followed by modeling, anxiety reduction, and verbal persuasion. Active attainments and modeling are oriented toward making immediate and direct changes in students' performances, as opposed to verbal persuasion and anxiety reduction, which are directed toward changing attitudes and emotional states as preconditions for changes in behavior and accomplishments. These patterns suggested that cultural differences related to school expectations and roles of teachers may be quite different, and that the practices of Sri Lankan teachers are rooted in social, economic, and cultural traditions of the country. Sri Lankan teachers were more likely to select direct behavioral interventions as means toward academic objectives, while American teachers tended to choose indirect, more motivational and emotional approaches for resolving academic problems. (Contains 23 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Sri Lanka; Teacher Preferences; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Biloxi, MS, November 1995).