ERIC Number: ED200624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Differences in Teachers' Perceptions of the Causes of Positive Versus Negative Student Achievement Outcomes.
Guskey, Thomas R.
Past research on teachers' causal attributions has shown little relation between perceptions of responsibility for positive versus negative student learning outcomes. In this study, Weiner's model for causal attributions was employed to explore these perceived attributional differences. Data were gathered from 184 teachers from two metropolitan school districts. Of the 184 teachers, 60 taught grades 1-8, 124 taught grades 9-12; 69 were male, all of whom taught at the secondary level. Teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire which asked them to divide 100 percent among four probable causes for a classroom situation in which they were either particularly successful or unsuccessful with a group of students. Causes related to their teaching abilities, effort put into teaching, difficulty of the task and luck. Statistically significant differences between attributions for positive versus negative outcomes were identified along the dimensions of both internality/externality and stability of cause. Relations to overall efficacy, teaching experience, grade level taught, and teacher gender were also explored. However, only grade level differences were found to be statistically significant. Elementary teachers tended to attribute their lack of success to lack of effort more than did secondary teachers. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (65th, Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).