Using students' perceptions of the learning environment to guide teacher action research to improve senior secondary classrooms

Year: 2009

Author: Aldridge, Jill, Bell, Lisa, Fraser, Barry

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports the development and validation of an instrument designed to provide science teachers with information, based on students' perceptions, about their classroom environments. The instrument provides teachers with feedback for reflecting on their teaching practices and, in turn, guiding the development and implementation of strategies to improve their learning environments. To determine the reliability and validity of the new instrument, data from 2043 student responses from 147 classes in 9 schools were analysed. In addition, three case studies were used to examine the usefulness of student responses to learning environment questionnaire as a tool for reflection and a guide in transforming their classroom environments. These case studies (one of which is described in this paper) helped to determine the extent to which action research based on students' perceptions of the learning environment was useful in guiding teachers' improvement of their classroom learning environments.

Key Phrase: Teacher Education and Professional Development of Teachers