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Preservice Teachers' Educational Beliefs and Their Perceptions of Characteristics of Effective Teachers

Lynn C. Minor, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Ann E. Witcher and Terry L. James
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 96, No. 2 (Nov. - Dec., 2002), pp. 116-127
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27542420
Page Count: 12
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Preservice Teachers' Educational Beliefs and Their Perceptions of Characteristics of Effective Teachers
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine preservice teachers perceptions of characteristics of effective teachers, as well as to investigate whether these perceptions are related to educational beliefs (i.e., progressive vs. transmissive). Data for this study were collected from 134 preservice teachers enrolled in several sections of an introductory-level education class for education majors at a large university in southern Georgia. During the 1st week of classes, the authors gave students (a) a questionnaire asking them to identify, rank, and define characteristics that they believed excellent teachers possess or demonstrate and (b) a published survey that identified participants' educational beliefs as either progressive or transmissive. A phenomenological analysis of responses revealed several characteristics that many of the preservice teachers considered to reflect effective teaching. In order of endorsement level, the following 7 themes emerged from these characteristics: (a) student centered (55.2%), (b) effective classroom and behavior manager (33.6%), (c) competent instructor (33.6%), (d) ethical (29.9%), (e) enthusiastic about teaching (23.9%), (f) knowledgeable about subject (19.4%), and (g) professional (15.7%). With the Bonferroni adjustment, a series of chi-square analyses revelaed no relationship between the 7 perception categories of effective teachers and preservice teachers' year of study, preferred grade level for teaching, and educational belief. However, significantly more men than women endorsed teacher characteristics that were associated with being an effective classroom and behavior manager.

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