ERIC Number: ED126063
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Causal Inferences of First Grade Teachers. Report No.76-4.
Selig, Harry M.; And Others
This paper attempts to identify the inferential logic used by first-grade teachers in forming expectations about student achievement. Data for this study was obtained from an earlier study in which 74 first-grade teachers were divided into two groups to investigate factors that are related to the formation of first-grade teachers' expectations of their students' academic performance. Forty-six teachers responded to questionnaires, and the remaining 28 were interviewed using the free response format. The free response interviews were coded for types of inferences. The two types of causality in events as distinguished by Heider are personal and impersonal causality. It was concluded from this study that in terms of personal and environmental forces, teachers tend to make inferences reflecting personal causality for students perceived to be doing well or average. Causal inferences for for students perceived to ge doing poorly in school also reflect personal causality; however, as the year progressed, causality was increasingly attributed to environmental forces. The first-grade teachers in this study preferred attributing failure to environmental forces. The pattern of causal inferences indicated that first-grade teachers' expectations differentially reflect personal and environmental forces. If a teacher expects a student to do well or average in first-grade, these expectations will be based on characteristics that the teacher believes the student can control. (SK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Research and Development Center for Teacher Education.