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The Role of Situation Perception in Teaching


by Michelle P. Martin-Raugh, Harrison J. Kell & Richard J. Tannenbaum - 2020

Background/Context: Rich classroom discussions are thought to provide several benefits to students, including improved connections to course content and general literacy development, and they provide a rich evidence stream from which teachers can make inferences about student learning to contribute to decisions about next teaching and learning steps. However, the way in which teachers perceive complex social situations characterized by student behaviors and aspects of the learning environment varies. Research has shown that expert teachers are better than novice teachers at identifying information that is important in complex social situations and that this expertise translates into improved teaching decisions.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This study examined whether situation perception is related to teachers’ performance when they lead classroom discussions.

Research Design: A total of 126 elementary school teacher candidates completed video-based situation perception and personality measures; scores were used to predict performance in simulations of facilitated classroom discussions.

Findings/Results: Situation perception was associated with candidates’ performance in discussions (r = .20, p < .05), and agreeableness was associated with situation perception (r = .21, p < .05) and performance in leading discussions (r = .19, p < .05).

Conclusions/Recommendations: Findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest that situation perception may be an important skill for teachers in leading discussions.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 12, 2020, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23518, Date Accessed: 3/7/2021 1:28:26 AM

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About the Author
  • Michelle P. Martin-Raugh
    Educational Testing Service
    E-mail Author
    MICHELLE P. MARTIN-RAUGH, Ph.D., is a research scientist in the Personalized Learning Lab at Educational Testing Service. She is primarily interested in the training and assessment of “soft skills” using methods such as situational judgment tests (SJTs), video-based assessments, and interactive chat-based assessments. A recent publication is: Martin-Raugh, M. P., Tannenbaum, R. J., Tocci, C., & Reese, C. (2016). Behaviorally anchored rating scales: An application for evaluating teaching practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 59, 414–419.
  • Harrison J. Kell
    Educational Testing Service
    E-mail Author
    HARRISON J. KELL, Ph.D., is a research scientist in the Center for Education and Career Development at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. He is interested in the relationship between psychological individual differences (e.g., cognitive skills, personality traits) and important practical outcomes, such as educational and occupational success. A recent publication is: Kell, H. J. (2019). Do teachers’ personality traits predict their performance? A comprehensive review of the empirical literature from 1990 to 2018. ETS Research Report Series. https://doi.org/10.1002/ets2.12241
  • Richard J. Tannenbaum
    Educational Testing Service
    E-mail Author
    RICHARD J. TANNENBAUM, Ph.D., is a general manager in the Assessment and Learning Technology, Research and Development Division at Educational Testing Service (ETS). His primary interests include licensure and certification, standard setting, score reporting, and validation. A recent publication is: Martin-Raugh, M. P., Tannenbaum, R. J., Tocci, C., & Reese, C. (2016). Behaviorally anchored rating scales: An application for evaluating teaching practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 59, 414–419.
 
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