ERIC Number: ED234065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-22
Seventh-Graders' Conceptions of Teachers: A Cultural Analysis.
Mergendoller, John R.; And Others
This study elaborates the cultural categories of meanings used by seventh-graders at a junior high school to describe their teachers. It examines the common expressions students used in open-ended interviews to describe their teachers and their experience within these teachers' classes. A semantic structure that underlies the terms that students used to describe their teachers was conceptualized in the following form: the highest level of abstraction and generalizability were four foci (academic work, instructional facility, classroom experience, and personal characteristics), each of which subsumed between two and four themes. Each theme referred to a spectrum of individual variation of a teacher's possible behavior and style of personality, with two evaluatively opposed contrast poles at which students' descriptions clustered. Together, these foci and themes provide students with a semiotic space which is rich enough to convey their experiences of school life, and at the same time has the definition and specificity necessary for effective and precise communication with peers. The structure provides insight into the communication system, and the perceptions and values, of the sub-culture which students form for themselves within a school. (PN)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (66th, New York, NY, March 22, 1982).