Development of the Teacher Control and Nurturance Scale: Assessing Student Perception of the Underlying Dimensions of Teaching Style

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Abstract

The results of 3 studies (n1 = 498, n2 = 774, n3 = 299) are reported focusing on the development and validation of a brief, psychometrically sound measure of students’ perceptions of 2 dimensions that may underlie differences in teaching. This approach resulted from applying parenting style and interpersonal theories to a teaching context, specifically these theories’ emphasis on control and nurturance as dimensions that capture a wide range of behavior. Across exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the Teacher Control and Nurturance Scale (TCANS) items demonstrated a 2-factor structure corresponding to teacher control and nurturance. In addition to good internal consistency, the control and nurturance scales demonstrated initial concurrent and convergent validity. TCANS scores differed as predicted across the stylistic categories students selected as descriptive of their teachers, and TCANS scores from students within the same course corresponded to that teacher’s self-reported levels of control and nurturance. Control and nurturance were related to students’ perceptions of other teacher qualities and self-reported learning but not to objective measures of learning. The TCANS potential utility as an instrument in future research attempting to extend the parenting style construct to the classroom is discussed.

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