ERIC Number: ED127265
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
The Importance of Context Variables in Research on Teaching Skills.
Gall, Meredith D.
In two experimental studies, the effectiveness of teaching skills are examined in the context of: (1) a specific teaching method linked to (2) specific curriculum objectives and (3) specific curriculum materials; the method and materials used are by (4) specific teachers and (5) specific students in a (6) specific instructional setting; finally, (7) tests are created that are responsive to the idiosyncratic outcomes of the teaching skills and curriculum objectives. Problems and possible solutions involved in creating such a context for studying teaching skills are examined. By referring to these experiments on how the questioning skills of sixth-grade teachers affect student learning outcomes, an example is provided of how methodological requirements are met with respect to each of the seven context variables. Each context variable is considered separately, and the three following methodological requirements are satisfied: (1) ecological validity, the creation of each aspect of the experimental context so that it reflects real classroom teaching; (2) fidelity of treatment, a close correspondence between intended context and what actually occurs experimentally; and (3) achievement of experimental control, either by holding context variables constant or by allowing them to vary randomly. A major problem cited is the expense of conducting the experiment since resources were not already available to design and run teaching skills experiments on this scale. It was decided that in the future research costs can be reduced by designing experiments that use instructional context developed in previous studies. (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 1976)