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Title:A Study of Teacher Education Students' Personal Constructs About Children (Repertory Grid)
Author(s):Hucklesby, Sylvia Christine
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:The research problem in this study concerned the impact of an early participant/observation field experience on the thinking of freshmen students enrolled in teacher education. The first year of the teacher education program required students to work in an elementary school classroom over a six-month period, beginning with a full two weeks of experience as an observer and teacher's aide, continuing with whole day visits every one or two weeks between November and April, and ending with a three-week full-time participant observation and teaching experience in April/May.
The content area of "children" was chosen for the study of students' thinking. Students' thinking about children was investigated by means of personal construct repertory grid techniques. The interrelation of the following three variables were studied in detail: construct content, the integration of constructs within a system, and the proportion of positive and negative evaluative ratings of the children by the students. Repertory grids were completed by the students at the beginning and end of the six-month period of attachment to a school class for the early field experience.
The repertory grids provided measures of each of the variables at Time 1 and Time 2. Changes in the application of constructs over time were analyzed in relation to teaching performance and progress made throughout the year on teaching performance as rated by college supervisors. Discussion interviews at the end of the year provided illustration of the findings.
Two main types of constructs were identified: school related and non-school related. Ratings on the non-school related constructs changed more than ratings on the school related constructs, which were more stable. The students whose ratings of children changed more were more positively rated by supervisors on teaching performance. The inference was made that change in ratings indicated learning and that students who applied familiar constructs (i.e., non-school related constructs) to children were better able to learn about them in their own terms. Students who applied more school related constructs were likely to be able to use them less independently, and with less discriminatory effectiveness.
Issue Date:1985
Description:99 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8511620
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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