This research examines urban middle school students' perceptions of their math and science teachers' behaviors. Specific caring behaviors (challenging questions, encouragement and praise, non-verbal support, understanding and friendly, and controlling -- which refer to teacher's expectations for classroom behavior) were evaluated by 101 students (72 girls and 29 boys) in grades 7, 8, and 9 by means of a survey instrument. Research findings support earlier investigations confirming that boys and girls interpret teacher friendliness differently. However, both male and female students reported similar perceptions of their teachers' behaviors with respect to praise, non-verbal support, and controlling. In addition, a strong correlation existed between students' perceptions of teachers' behaviors and student self reports of academic competence.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Academic achievement--Social aspects; Middle school students--Attitudes--Case studies; Urban youth--Attitudes--Case studies; Teacher-student relationships; Mathematics teachers--Attitudes--Evaluation; Science teachers--Attitudes--Evaluation
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Rhyne, Brenda, "Urban middle school students’ perceptions of math and science teachers’ caring behaviors and student’s self reports of academic competence" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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