Do teaching practices matter? Analyses of senior secondary mathematics, English and social science lessons

Year: 1997

Author: Smith, Max, Bourke, Sid

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper continues the reporting of data from a study of 70 Year 11 classrooms. Reporting thus far has been mainly concerned with teacher stress, workload and satisfaction, and student achievement and affective outcomes. Multilevel analyses have been undertaken with students at level 1, teacher/class information at level 2, and schools at level 3. This paper focuses on the observations made rather than on teacher and student data. Outcomes of interest are teacher engagement, student time-on-task and student enthusiasm. Mathematics, English and social science lessons are analysed separately. Lesson observations were as follows. First minute-by-minute records were made of the delivery system being used by the teacher, the level of teacher engagement and the proportion of students on task. Secondly, lesson segments were identified and recorded as parts of lessons having distinct purposes with their associated instructional and managerial teaching behaviours. Thirdly, whole-lesson summaries of teacher and student behaviours were recorded. Finally, individual teacher and student information was obtained. This unusual four-level classification of teaching and learning in the senior school is intended to tease out any interesting relationships which may have been obscured by previous analyses using data classified into the more common student, teacher/class and school multilevel hierarchy.