ERIC Number: ED464836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
The Role of Learning Environment, Achievement, and Student and Teacher Attitudes in a Science Mentoring Program for Beginning Elementary School Teachers.
Pickett, Linda H.; Fraser, Barry J.
This study examined the classroom learning environment, achievement, and student and teacher attitudes associated with a 2-year mentoring program in science for 7 first-year, second-year, and third-year grade 3-5 teachers. The "What is Happening in This Class?" (WIHIC) questionnaire, assessing student perceptions of seven dimensions of the classroom learning environment, was modified and administered to 573 students in grades 3-5. Data analyses provided support for a six-scale version of the WIHIC in terms of its factor structure, internal consistency reliability, and ability to differentiate between classrooms. In terms of student outcomes, some changes in students' perceptions of their learning environment occurred between the pre-test and the post-test given in the second year of the mentoring program. Larger differences in student achievement in science and student attitudes about science were observed between pre-test and post-test. Also, student achievement in science was higher in classes with more Investigation and Equity, and student feelings about science were more positive attitudes about teaching science after completing the mentoring program. These data provided a starting point from which qualitative data-gathering methods (such as observations, interviews, and focus groups) were used to gain a more in-depth understanding of the changes in the attitudes of the mentored teachers and their students. (Contains 94 references.) (Author/MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).