Teacher Perceptions and School Level Misconduct: Is There a Link?
With the passage of No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act), much of the rhetoric surrounding education policy has centered on standards-based reforms. Perhaps as a result of this emphasis, improvements in both math and science knowledge were evident among United States students according to the most recent results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS). These gains not withstanding, a disproportionate emphasis on standards-based reforms overlooks a potentially key piece to the learning process the contribution of teachers to students' social development. Although it is conventional wisdom that individual teachers can greatly influence a young person's behavior and attitudes toward schooling by serving as a mentor or offering encouragement that the youth does not receive at home, there is surprisingly little emphasis in the research or policy arenas on the role of teachers in shaping the social development of their students. The aim of this study is to address this challenge using a national longitudinal data set that is unusually rich in measures of perceptions, views and expectations held by parents, teachers and students. Specifically, the goal is to examine whether teachers' views influence the school conduct of high school seniors. This study will address the following questions: Do teacher perceptions affect misconduct and if so, do these effects reinforce or mitigate the effects of parents' and the respondents' own perceptions? The information gained from this study will give more insight to policy makers and educators about how teachers contribute to the social development of their students and in doing so, contributed positively to society at large.
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