A multi-level model of classroom interactions using teacher and student perceptions

Year: 2001

Author: Fisher, Darrell, Rickards, Tony, Newby, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The purpose of the study was to compare students' perceptions of teacher-student interactions with those of their teachers by administering the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction (QTI) to teachers and students in 80 lower secondary classes in schools in Tasmania and Western Australia. There are three possible versions of the QTI. Students completed the student version which assesses the students’ perceptions of the teacher-student interactions in a specific class. Their teachers completed the teacher actual version of how they perceived their interactions with their students in those same classes. The teachers also indicated how they thought ideal teachers would interact with students by responding to the teacher ideal version. Previous statistical analysis had confirmed the reliability and validity of the QTI for secondary school students. Two multilevel models were proposed: the teacher ideal interaction influences the teacher actual interaction; and the teacher actual affects the student actual and vice versa. Using structural equation modelling techniques, both models were found to be reasonable fits to the data. The results would seem to confirm the underlying basis of the QTI in that the teachers' actual perceptions of their interactions with students affects the students’ perceptions, which in turn affect the teachers' perceptions.