شیوه های معلم به عنوان شاخصهای ترجیحات اجتماعی کلاس درس کودکان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37563||2012||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11030 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of School Psychology, Volume 50, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 95–111
Abstract Students who do not get along with their peers are at elevated risk for academic disengagement and school failure. Research has predominantly focused on factors within such children that contribute to their peer problems. This study considers whether teacher practices also predict social preference for children in that classroom. Participants were 26 elementary school teachers and 490 students in their classrooms followed for one school year. Results suggested that teachers who favored the most academically talented students in the fall had classrooms where children had lower average social preference in the spring after statistical control of children's fall social preference and externalizing behavior problems. Teachers who demonstrated emotionally supportive relationships with students in the fall had classrooms where children had greater possibility of changing their social preference from fall to spring. Although children with high externalizing behaviors tended to experience declining social preference over the course of the school year, teachers’ learner-centered practices attenuated this progression. However, teachers’ favoring of the most academically talented accentuated the negative relation between externalizing behaviors and social preference. Implications for school psychology practitioners are discussed.
Introduction Elementary school students who cannot get along with their peers are relevant to educators because these social problems can interfere with the learning environment for the entire classroom (Stormont, 2001). Furthermore, children with peer problems are at elevated risk for subsequent academic disengagement, school failure, and dropout, even after statistical control of the original levels of achievement (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006). Collectively, findings underscore the educational importance of children's peer relationships. Existing research has predominantly focused on the individual characteristics of youth with peer problems that contribute to their ostracism, such as these children's poor behaviors (Newcomb, Bukowski, & Pattee, 1993). While acknowledging the veracity of this perspective, we propose that social contextual influences on peer problems have been understudied (Mikami, Lerner, & Lun, 2010). This article examines the possibility that elementary school teachers’ instructional practices and patterns of interaction with students may be associated with (a) the overall levels of social preference (a measure of the proportion of peers who like the child, minus the proportion of peers who dislike the child) in the classroom; (b) the change versus stability of children's social preference over the course of the school year; and (c) the extent to which children with externalizing behavior problems show declining social preference. We note that the traditional method used to assess social preference has limited the investigation of teacher influences on this construct. Sociometric nominations, in which children name the peers whom they like and dislike, are the gold standard to assess social preference and are considered superior to reports from parents or teachers (Coie et al., 1982 and Parker and Asher, 1987). Social preference is determined by subtracting the proportion of disliked nominations from the proportion of liked nominations a child receives. However, in the traditional model proposed by Coie et al. (1982), children nominate exactly three peers whom they like and three whom they dislike, and social preference scores are standardized within each group of peers providing nominations. This model has been influential, such that many researchers have subsequently either constrained the number of nominations children may provide, standardized nominations within classrooms, or both (e.g., Cillessen and Bellmore, 1999, DeRosier et al., 1994, Dodge et al., 1990, Dodge et al., 2003, Hoza et al., 2005 and Masten et al., 1985). Crucially, these practices restrict the possibility that some classrooms could have higher average social preference than others, potentially owing to differences in teacher behaviors. More recently, researchers interested in social contextual influences on peer relationships have begun to depart from this tradition (e.g., Chang, 2004 and Donohue et al., 2003), and the current study is aligned with these directions. In sum, the historical methodology of sociometric nominations has limited investigation into variability in social preference across classrooms as well as teachers’ influence on this variability. Research about contextual effects is scarce in comparison with the vast literature about child internal characteristics that influence social preference. 1.1. Teacher practices and children's social preference Teachers may affect the overall level of social preference in their classroom because elementary school children's evaluations of their peers may be based, in part, on their observations of the teacher's reactions to these students. When teachers demonstrate that they value a child, their behaviors may set an example for peers to follow. Using a design where children in kindergarten through second grade viewed a videotaped classroom scene, White and Kistner, 1992 and White et al., 1998 experimentally manipulated teacher responses to a target student in the video whose behavior was consistent across conditions. Results revealed that children were influenced by the teacher's responses in the video, liking the target child more when the teacher expressed positivity relative to when the teacher made derogatory statements toward that child. A cross-sectional study of third and fourth graders found that peers’ perceptions of a teacher's relationship quality with a student was correlated with that student's social preference after statistical control of problem behavior (Hughes, Cavell, & Wilson, 2001). In short-term longitudinal designs, teacher reports of the positive quality of the teacher–student relationship (Hughes & Kwok, 2006) and of personal liking for the student (Taylor, 1989) predicted elementary school children's subsequent gains in social preference over the course of a year. However, although these studies support the hypothesis that teachers affect students’ evaluations of peers, they still focus on individual differences between children to understand social preference. Teachers are assumed to have more positive interactions with some students than with others, and those children who receive the teacher's favor may grow in social preference relative to classmates who do not. Not considered is the idea that some teachers may be better than others in establishing consistently good relationships with all students. Presumably, in those teachers’ classrooms, the average social preference should be higher overall. The current study tests the hypothesis that teachers who use instructional practices that value all students will create a socially accepting peer environment in that classroom that encourages higher social preference. One possible practice is the teacher's emotional support of students: the extent to which, during regular instructional time, the teacher is sensitive to student needs, has respect for student perspectives, and creates warm relationships with students. Such emotionally supportive interactions may demonstrate that the teacher respects all students, thereby setting an example for peers to follow and raising the average level of social preference in that classroom. High teacher emotional support, as measured by the well-validated Classroom Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2007), has predicted children's greater teacher-rated social competence one year later (Hamre and Pianta, 2005 and Mashburn et al., 2008), and has been concurrently associated with children's social conversation with peers (Rimm-Kaufman, La Paro, Downer, & Pianta, 2005). A second possible practice involves the teacher's differential interaction with students at varied levels of academic achievement. Teachers may preferentially treat students who have the highest achievement; these teachers are described as promoting an academic status hierarchy whereby some students are superior to others based on academic ability (Weinstein, 2002). In addition, teachers vary in their use of learner-centered (LC) practices, representing teachers’ focus on the process of learning rather than correctness, communication that all students are capable of learning, and direction of instruction toward students’ interests. By contrast, non-learner-centered (NLC) practices emphasize a single correct answer and child conformity to a uniform standard predetermined by the teacher (APA Learner-Centered Principles Workgroup, 1997). LC practices, because of their sensitivity to students of diverse academic abilities, may be negatively associated with academic status hierarchy (McCombs, Daniels, & Perry, 2008). We hypothesize that LC practices also convey to peers that the teacher values all students. By contrast, teachers who preferentially treat students based on an academic status hierarchy, as well as NLC practices, may communicate to peers that it is similarly appropriate to have a social status hierarchy where children are socially unequal. Although there are other ways in which a teacher could favor some students above others (e.g., based on students’ race or socioeconomic background), we focus on teachers’ differential treatment of students based on academic ability because of the high frequency with which this occurs (Weinstein, 2002). LC practices (McCombs et al., 2008) as well as instruction that equalizes academic status (Cohen & Lotan, 1995) have been suggested to improve children's motivation for learning, but less studied are their effects on peer relationships. However, Donohue et al. (2003) found that first grade teachers’ LC practices predicted children's improved social preference over a school year. Cooperative learning interventions (thought to disrupt academic status hierarchies) have led to gains in observations and self-report of children's positive interactions with peers (Mikami et al., 2005 and Roseth et al., 2008). 1.2. Change versus stability of social preference Past research suggests moderate stability over time in elementary school children's social preference. For example, peer liking has been found to be correlated .51 and peer disliking correlated .85 over a 5-week period (Mikami & Hinshaw, 2003), and about half of peer-rejected children are still in that same category one year later (Cillessen, Bukowski, & Haselager, 2000). These findings suggest that classrooms often have a set social hierarchy where children's reputations are not malleable. Whether teachers may affect the likelihood that children's social preference will remain stable versus change is an untested question. The stability of social preference is typically conceptualized as resulting from children's consistent behaviors over time, particularly from consistency in problem behaviors of disliked children (Newcomb et al., 1993). Yet, the high stability of social preference may also be perpetuated by cognitive biases held by the peer group—biases that the teacher may be able to influence. For example, peers selectively recall negative actions of disliked children while forgetting positive actions; yet these cognitive biases are reversed to favor popular children (Hymel, Wagner, & Butler, 1990). Further, peers attribute hostile intent when a child with low social preference displays ambiguous behavior, but attribute benign intent when similar behavior is performed by a child with high social preference (Peets, Hodges, & Salmivalli, 2008). In sum, peers are disposed to give the benefit of the doubt to their children whom they already like, while the same actions enacted by a disliked child are negatively viewed, which makes it unlikely that peers will ever change their opinions of their classmates (Mikami et al., 2010). Although we are not aware of any published, empirical studies examining teacher influences on the stability of social preference, we hypothesize that the same teacher practices associated with improved social preference overall may also be associated with lower stability in social preference over time. Teachers’ modeling that all students have value may draw peers’ attention to children's positive attributes; when this process occurs for disliked children, it may disrupt the negative reputations that perpetuate their low social preference. In addition, a teacher's use of LC practices that emphasize the process of learning rather than conformity to a single correct standard and a teacher's dismantling of an academic status hierarchy may communicate to children that flexibility is similarly possible in social status. Clearly, disliked children potentially benefit most from being in a classroom where social preference is mutable, and they are the group for whom social preference tends to be the most stable. However, a classroom with weak correlations between fall and spring social preference may be desirable for all children, not only those with low social preference. Although speculative, this type of classroom may have students who are more flexible in developing their own impressions about peers, as opposed to students who follow a tightly-enforced norm about the reputations of each child and who enact a rigid social status hierarchy. 1.3. Externalizing behavior problems and social preference Evidence suggests that children with high externalizing behaviors (e.g., hyperactivity, aggression and off-task disruptive behavior) are at great risk for peer problems. Children with clinical levels of externalizing behaviors develop low social preference among previously unacquainted peers in mere hours (Erhardt & Hinshaw, 1994). Nonetheless, factors in the environment determined by the classroom teacher may affect this process. A consistent finding is that aggressive, off-task, and hyperactive children have higher social preference in classrooms where such behavior is common among peers than in classrooms where such behavior is unusual (Chang, 2004 and Stormshak et al., 1999). This pattern of results may occur because a high base rate of externalizing behavior in a classroom makes peers view such actions as normative and socially acceptable. However, these studies do not address whether the teacher can increase peers’ tolerance of diverse behavior in the absence of disruptive peer norms. Peers may watch the way the teacher responds to students with externalizing problems, and use the teacher as an exemplar when judging those students themselves. Using cross-sectional designs, a teacher's criticism toward second graders in front of peers (McAuliffe, Hubbard, & Romano, 2009) and a teacher's personal disliking of elementary school students (Chang et al., 2007) and middle school students (Chang et al., 2004) mediated the negative relation between student externalizing behaviors and social preference. Although not specific to externalizing behavior, students attending LC elementary schools had higher self-reported tolerance for peers who behave differently relative to students in NLC schools (Salinas & Garr, 2009). Collectively, these studies suggest that teachers who communicate that a disruptive student has value may break the typical link between externalizing problems and low social preference. In support of this hypothesis, a teacher professional development intervention to increase emotional support and sensitivity to students with diverse learning needs yielded improvements in students’ observed and self-reported peer interactions, with results particularly strong for students with externalizing problems (Mikami, Gregory, Allen, Pianta, & Lun, in press). 1.4. Study hypotheses Our first hypothesis was that elementary school teachers’ high emotional support and LC practices would predict increases in children's social preference over the school year while controlling for fall social preference and externalizing behavior problems. Conversely, NLC practices and promotion of academic status hierarchies should predict decreases in social preference. Our second hypothesis was that emotional support and LC practices would predict reduced stability in social preference (and the opposite for NLC practices and academic status hierarchy). That is, we hypothesized that there would be more opportunities for children to change in social preference when teachers demonstrated more emotional support and LC practices, and fewer NLC practices with less academic status hierarchy. Our third hypothesis was that whereas youth with externalizing behaviors would show decreases in social preference over the school year, teachers’ high emotional support and LC practices would predict a weaker relation between externalizing behaviors and low social preference (and the opposite for NLC practices and academic status hierarchy).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results 3.1. Descriptive statistics All measures of teacher practices were available for the full sample of 26 teachers. Regarding student measures, out of 490 students total, 487 had sociometric data and 473 had observations of their externalizing behaviors. Missing data were due to children being frequently absent such that they yielded fewer than 15 observations of their behavior over at least two different days. Full information maximum likelihood methods were utilized to address missing data. These procedures have been found to yield less biased parameter estimates (versus listwise deletion) when all available data are used for longitudinal analyses (Enders, 2001). Table 2 shows the mean, range, and standard deviations of each study variable and the correlations between them. Although teacher LC and NLC practices were significantly correlated, observed emotional support and the self-report scales were not significantly correlated. However, these measures assess different constructs; emotional support captures the affective quality of teacher–student relationships, and the self-report scales capture academic instructional practices. Table 2. Descriptive statistics of child and classroom variables. Child variable Mean (SD) Min Max 2 3 1. Fall social preference .11 (.23) − .70 .90 .56** − .02 2. Spring social preference .11 (.23) − .80 .75 – − .07 3. Externalizing behavior observations .09 (.06) .00 .40 – – Classroom variable Mean (SD) Min Max 2 3 4 5 6 1. CLASS emotional support 5.12 (0.60) 3.95 6.15 .73** .66** .12 − .15 − .13 2. CLASS instructional support 3.18 (0.81) 1.73 5.27 – .51** − .16 − .25 − .13 3. CLASS classroom organization 4.68 (0.63) 3.40 5.73 – .14 .00 − .02 4. Learner-centered practices 40.05 (4.24) 30 48 – − .44* − .23 5. Non-learner-centered practices 44.20 (4.52) 35 52 – .30 6. Promotion of status hierarchy 7.42 (1.60) 4 11 – Note. CLASS = Classroom Assessment and Scoring System. Columns represent the means with standard deviation values in parentheses, the minimum and maximum values, and correlations. For child variables, n = 473, and for classroom variables, n = 26. *p < .05; **p < .01. Table options Child social preference was normally distributed in both fall and spring. Child externalizing behavior was slightly skewed, so that there were more children at the lower end of the distribution and fewer children showing high rates of externalizing behaviors. However, because we thought that these distributional properties represented meaningful variability on children's externalizing symptoms, and because assessment of children's externalizing behavior was an observational measure less likely to be affected by rater biases, we chose to maintain this variable untransformed. We note that when we transformed the variable by taking the square root, this transformation resulted in a negatively-skewed distribution. Substituting this transformed variable resulted in the same overall pattern of results, although two previously significant predictors remained in the same direction while dropping slightly to nonsignificance. All measures of teacher practices could be assumed normally distributed, and there was adequate range on these measures. 3.2. Teacher practices predict social preference levels Table 3 displays results showing that when teachers reported more practices that promote an academic status hierarchy in fall, there tended to be lower social preference in their classrooms in the spring after statistical control of fall social preference and observed externalizing behavior. The magnitude of this relation indicated that, after accounting for the other predictors, students in a class that was one standard deviation below the mean in teacher academic status hierarchy would, on average, have a social preference raw score of .14, whereas students in a class one standard deviation above the mean in academic status hierarchy would, on average, have a social preference raw score of .08. Given the mean class size of n = 19, this finding amounts to a difference in 1.14 more liked nominations per child on average, or conversely, 1.14 fewer disliked nominations per child on average. However, teachers’ LC practices, NLC practices, and emotional support did not predict social preference in spring. The addition of all three teacher practices (as a block) accounted for a 31% reduction in the variance of spring social preference. Table 3. Teacher practices as predictors of children's social preference. Fixed effects Parameter Spring peer social preference Coefficient (SE) t(21) p Intercept, β0j γ00 − .016 (.061) − 0.26 .801 Learner-centered practices γ01 − .041 (.051) − 0.81 .425 Non-learner-centered practices γ02 .068 (.070) 0.97 .344 Academic status hierarchy γ03 − .118 (.055) − 2.16 .042* CLASS emotional support γ04 .005 (.052) 0.09 .927 Slope of fall social preference, β1j γ10 .583 (.036) 16.42 < .001** Learner-centered practices γ11 .041 (.045) 0.93 .363 Non-learner-centered practices γ12 − .060 (.043) − 1.40 .176 Academic status hierarchy γ13 .045 (.024) 1.84 .079 CLASS emotional support γ14 − .102 (.035) − 2.96 .008** Slope of externalizing behavior, β2j γ20 − .071 (.031) − 2.27 .034* Learner-centered practices γ21 .047 (.017) 2.76 .012* Non-learner-centered practices γ22 .038 (.035) 1.08 .292 Academic status hierarchy γ23 − .076 (.036) − 2.13 .045* CLASS emotional support γ24 .018 (.036) 0.51 .613 Random effects Unconditional model variance component (SE) Final model variance component (SE) σ2 .62768 (.79226) .61194 (.78227) τ for intercept β0j .07741 (.27823), χ2(25) = 58.58 .05327 (.23081), χ2(21) = 63.99 τ for slope β1j .00689 (.08300), χ2(25) = 35.11 .00336 (.05795), χ2(21) = 20.27 τ for slope β2j .00085 (.02918), χ2(25) = 25.28 .00007 (.00820), χ2(21) = 23.63 Note. CLASS = Classroom Assessment and Scoring System. *p < .05; **p < .01. Table options 3.3. Teacher practices predict stability of social preference As shown in Table 3 and as expected, we also found a significant positive relation between children's fall and spring social preference scores, suggesting that social preference was moderately stable over the school year. However, high observed teacher emotional support in the fall predicted a lower correlation (i.e., reduced stability) between children's fall social preference and spring social preference, after statistical control of externalizing behavior problems. The magnitude of this relation indicated that, after accounting for other measured variables, a classroom one standard deviation below the mean in emotional support would have an average coefficient of .69 (p < .001) between students’ fall and spring social preference scores; whereas a classroom one standard deviation above the mean in emotional support would have an average coefficient of .48 (p < .001) between fall and spring social preference. None of the teacher self-reported practices was significant. The addition of the teacher practices (as a block) accounted for a 51% reduction in the variance associated with the slope of fall social preference predicting spring social preference. 3.4. Teacher practices affect trajectory between externalizing behavior and social preference As expected, we found a significant negative relationship between children's observed externalizing behaviors and spring social preference scores, after statistical control of fall social preference scores. That is, high externalizing behavior problems appear associated with children's declines in social preference over the course of the school year. Crucially, high teacher LC practices in the fall mitigated this finding, suggesting that for children with externalizing behavior problems in a classroom with high LC practices, the typical strong trajectory between such behavior problems and reductions in social preference was attenuated. Teachers’ promotion of academic status hierarchies operated in the opposite direction and was associated with an accentuated relation between externalizing behavior problems and lowered social preference. Emotional support and NLC practices were not significant predictors of the relation between externalizing behaviors and social preference. See Table 3. After accounting for the other predictors, a classroom one standard deviation below the mean in LC practices had an average coefficient of −.12 (p = .009) between students’ externalizing behavior and spring social preference scores; whereas a classroom one standard deviation above the mean in LC practices had an average coefficient of −.02 (p = .659) between externalizing behavior and spring social preference. In addition, a classroom one standard deviation below the mean in teachers’ promotion of an academic status hierarchy demonstrated an average coefficient of .01 (p = .825) between students’ externalizing behavior and spring social preference scores, whereas a classroom one standard deviation above the mean in academic status hierarchy demonstrated an average coefficient of −.15 (p = .001) between externalizing behavior and spring social preference. The addition of the teacher practices (as a block) explained nearly all (92%) of the variance associated with the slope of externalizing behavior predicting spring social preference. 3.5. Additional analyses We did not have hypotheses that the impact of teacher practices on children's social preference would differ by grade level or child gender, given previous findings of such social contextual effects on peer relationships from kindergarten through middle school in both sexes (Chang et al., 2004, Donohue et al., 2003, McAuliffe et al., 2009 and Stormshak et al., 1999). However, we included exploratory interactions between each teacher practice and grade level (coded as a continuous variable) as predicting β0j,β1j, and β2j and between each teacher practice and child gender (dummy coded) as predicting β0j. Only 1 of 12 possible interactions (8% of analyses) with grade level was significant, a rate that is close to chance, and none of the interactions with gender was significant, so these findings were not included in this article. Second, although we conceptualized the CLASS Emotional Support domain to best relate to social preference, we re-conducted analyses adding the other CLASS domains Instructional Support and Classroom Organization to models including emotional support (and none of the teacher self-report scales) as predictors. We completed these analyses because there is precedent to consider these factors together in predicting student outcomes to isolate the independent contribution of one factor over the others (Curby et al., 2009, Hamre and Pianta, 2001 and Hamre and Pianta, 2005). The relation between emotional support and lower stability of social preference remained significant. In addition, emotional support also became significantly associated with a weaker relation between externalizing behavior and low social preference. In no case was either classroom organization or instructional support statistically significant. Thus, analyses including all CLASS domains confirmed the particular importance of emotional support for social preference.