Factors influencing elementary school student teachers' self concerns



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Purpose The purpose of this investigation was to determine which of a group of demographic and classroom variables were significantly related to elementary school student teachers' self concerns. Further, the study was designed to allow for documentation of elementary school student teacher's expressed needs for resolution of their concerns. The demographic variables considered were: 1) student teachers' ages and 2) the subject the student teacher thinks she teaches best. The classroom variables considered were: 1) teaching area, 2) class size, and 3) grade level taught. Procedures The sample consisted of 96 non-Black female undergraduate elementary education majors enrolled in student teaching through the University of Houston during the spring of 1974. Members of the sample were asked to respond to an altered form of the Teacher Concern Checklist-Form B (TCCL-B). The altered TCCL-B was designed to measure self concerns in three teaching areas: 1) concern for self as teacher, 2) concern for self as reading teacher, and 3) concern for self as science teacher. An open-ended needs statement was used to gather student teachers' expressions of need for resolution of their concerns. The hypothesized relationship of the demographic and classroom variables to self concerns were tested using treatments by subjects analysis of variance, two-factor, mixed design analysis of variance, and one-way analysis of variance. Expressions of student teacher needs were categorized and need priorities established. Findings Teaching area and student teacher age were found to be significantly related to student teachers' self concerns. Class size was not found to be significantly related to self concerns. Grade level taught was not found to be related to self concern in any teaching area. The subject the student teacher thinks she teaches best was significantly related to concern for self as science teacher only. Student teacher expressions of need were found to be predominately self-related needs. Categorization of these needs revealed two specific priorities for teacher educators. The first was the need for increased preparation in classroom management, especially as related to classroom discipline. The second was the need for establishment of procedures to insure an orderly orientation for student teachers to their student teaching assignments prior to the actual beginning of their student teaching experience. Conclusions Student teachers' self concerns were found to be significantly related to student teacher age and to teaching area. It was concluded that older student teachers' more varied experience background allowed them to be more successful and thus less self involved in classroom situations. It was further concluded that differences in self concerns related to teaching areas were reflective of curricular priorities at work in the student teachers' school rather than to student teachers' feelings of adequacy or inadequacy. Student teachers' expressed needs were self-oriented as predicted by the Teacher Concern Model. The types of needs expressed led to the conclusion that the members of the sample found student teaching to be a disquieting situation of which they had a faulty image. Recommendations 1. Since the true nature of self concerns and the relationships of variables other than training level to self concerns is somewhat nebulous, it is recommended that further studies utilizing the Teacher Concern Model be carried out 2. In order to determine the total impact of teaching area on self concerns, it is recommended that attempts be made, through systematic investigation, to determine the relationships of teaching area concerns to curricular attitudes, and values. 3. The results of this study would seem to indicate that there is a real need for some sort of personal preparation for student teachers prior to and during their student teaching experience. It is recommended that a personal support system be established in the Office of Field Experiences. Such a support system could utilize counselors assigned as adjunct members of the student teaching triad and peer support relationships.