ELEMENTARY TEACHERS' ATTRIBUTIONAL STYLES AND THEIR SCIENCE TEACHING PERFORMANCE

MILDRED R GREEN, Fordham University

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of the present study was to investigate elementary school teachers' attributional styles in relation to two indicators of their science teaching performance: teaching method and allocation of time. The following research questions were addressed: (1) How do teachers attribute the causes of success or failure in their science teaching? (2) Does the attributional model help explain science teaching performance in elementary school teachers? (3) Are the attributional variables predictors of science teaching performance?^ Results and Conclusions.^ Teachers' attributional styles. Teachers attributed successful teaching to effort and ability (internal attributions) more than to the task or luck (external attributions); however, unsuccessful teaching was attributed more externally than internally. Although the teachers' preference for internal attributions was significantly stronger in success than in failure, their attributions to external causes were not changed by success or failure outcomes. The teachers also preferred unstable attributions when they were successful, but they had no significant preference for the stability of their attributions when they were unsuccessful. Therefore, the results indicate that teachers have distinct attributional styles when explaining the outcomes of their science teaching performance.^ The attributional model. Significant relationships obtained between attributional variables were generally of a low order of magnitude. However, the teachers' perceptions of their past success in science teaching were moderately related to their attributions to ability in success situations and to their enjoyment of science teaching. Other predictions of the attributional model were generally not supported.^ The predictors of science teaching performance. There were two positive predictors of time allocation: (1) the number of science teaching methods courses completed, and (2) the attribution of successful science teaching to ability. However, greater time allocation was negatively predicted by attribution of failure to lack of effort. In addition, the student-emphasis teaching method was predicted by the teachers' expectancy to improve in future science teaching. These predictors, however, accounted for only a small fraction of the variance in science teaching performance. Thus, it appears that the teachers' causal cognitions and their preparation to teach science are not important predictors of their own performance. ^

Subject Area

Science education

Recommended Citation

GREEN, MILDRED R, "ELEMENTARY TEACHERS' ATTRIBUTIONAL STYLES AND THEIR SCIENCE TEACHING PERFORMANCE" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213605.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213605

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