UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Raslinda Ahmad Rasidir
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Tan, Ai Girl
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

This dissertation intends to find out children's perception of qualities of a good teacher and creative teacher. The scope of the study is limited to primary school children's perceptions. We argue that children are partners of teaching and learning. Their views of teacher dispositions are indispensable information for constructing conducive environments for teaching and learning. Furthermore , there is inadequate local study examining children's views. A questionnaire was developed based on responses from two open-ended questions: (1) What are characteristics of a good teacher? (2) What are characteristics of a creative teacher? In addition to the responses, the questionnaire included some common qualities of good teachers and creative persons found in the literature. A total 320 primary school (age:8-11 years old) filled out the questionnaire. Of the total 157 were female and 163 were male students. The Cronbach's alpha reliability for the children's ratings for the section on good teacher (fifty-nine items) and for a creative teacher (fifty-nine-items) was high. .93 and .94 respectively. From the rank orders of the first thirty items, children seemed to give a relatively similar degree of importance for qualities of a good teacher and qualities of a creative teacher. However, in general the female children rated the qualities higher than their male counterparts. Cluster analysis was performed on the responses for characteristics of a good teacher. The majority of the participants (n=236, 73.8%) were grouped under a cluster featured by 15 items; socially desirable dispositions (#3,11,14,27,28,33,37,55) physical appearance (#1,24) pedagogical dispositions (#20,22), and pedagogical competence (#31,38,35). Cluster analysis was also performed on the responses for characteristics of a creative teacher. Nearly half (n=157,49.1%) of the participants were grouped under a cluster featured by four item (#1 neat and tidy, #2 reward pupils when they do well, #28 hardworking, #33 kind). From the cluster analysis, we learned that children seemed to be more distinct in rating qualities of a good teacher than qualities of a creative teacher. This was reflected in a wide range of mean for responses on qualities of good teacher (1.88-4.49) than ratings for qualities of a creative teacher (2.22-4.31). There were few significant differences between the male students' and the female students' ratings on qualities of a good teacher and qualities of a creative teacher. The female children of the study rated eighteen items for a good teacher significantly different from their male counterparts. For a creative teacher, twelve items were rated significantly different between male and female children. Differing perceptions were likely due to variations in gender socialisation and schooling experience received by the two gender groups. Finally, we suggest that several issues need further attention in the future studies as the influence of culture and ethnicity on children's perceptions, and similar and/or different perceptions of older children on characteristics of a good and a creative teacher.

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