- The study is designed to determine what differences exist between
the nonverbal as well as verbal behaviors and teacher-student
interaction patterns in selected CHEM Study and traditional chemistry
classes in Oregon. Analysis of behavior in these classes is in terms
of a new observation system developed by H. D. Schalock of Teaching
Research, Monmouth, Oregon. Since the system had never been
used in high school classes and in live, as opposed to video recorded,
classroom situations for times up to one hour, the degree of the utility
of the system for its use in the study was also investigated.
Seven CHEM Study and nine traditional chemistry teachers
participated in the study. Each teacher (a) taught either a CHEM
Study or a traditional chemistry course in an accredited high school,
(b) had at least three years of teaching experience, (c) had earned
a master's degree or an equivalent of a bachelor's degree plus 45
quarter hours of credit, (d) taught a class with heterogeneous or
average ability-grouped students, and (e) was willing to cooperate
in the study. Each participating teacher was observed for five class
periods. The first class observation served for acclimatization
Teacher behavior is described by seven major categories, each
of which is nested within one of three larger categories. "Structures,"
"Guides," and "Provides Solutions" are nested within "Exposure to
Information; " "Questions" and "Directs" are nested within "Precipitation
of Performance;" and "Positive Reinforcement" and "Negative
Reinforcement" are nested within "Evaluation of Performance."
Three categories describing non-cognitive, non-teaching, and teacher
initiating behavior as a result of some student activity are also included.
Student behavior is described in terms of "Initiating" and
"Asked" as well as "Unasked" response behavior. These are further
described to indicate "Stating," "Questioning," "Silence," "Nonverbal,"
and "Affective" behavior. Teacher and student behavior is
also described to indicate if the interaction involved one student or
more than one student. Full use of the Schalock system was not made
in the study.
The development of a special audio-recording technique was
necessitated by the considerable amount of verbal and nonverbal behavior to be coded in the classrooms. The observer, in the back
of the classroom, superimposed in code all nonverbal teacher and
student behavior onto the same sound track that recorded all verbal
behavior. This the observer accomplished by speaking into a microphone
that was connected to the audio-recording equipment. This
technique not only allowed the observer to concentrate efficiently on
classroom behavior for periods up to one hour, but also allowed the
coding of classroom behavior at a place and time convenient to the
All coded interactions were timed to differentiate between the
varying times of each teacher and student interaction. Timing was
accomplished by means of a kymograph which pulled adding-machine
tape at a steady rate over a specially designed coding area.
The following conclusions were drawn from the data obtained
and analyzed in the study.
1. No significant differences exist between CHEM Study and
traditional chemistry teacher and student behaviors, interaction
patterns, and the manner in which interaction is initiated and maintained.
2. The behavior observed in the classes of participating
chemistry teachers differs little from the behavior of secondary
teachers elsewhere. The teacher-to-student verbal and nonverbal
interaction ratio in the chemistry classes is approximately 3.7 to 1.
Teacher behavior is in the form of "Exposure to Information" (56%),
"Precipitation of Performance" (17%), and "Evaluation of Performance"
(4%). Student behavior averages 22% in all classes. Student
initiating behavior, usually in the form of short questions or comments,
accounts for approximately 4%. Response behavior is in the
form of "Asked" student response (4%), "Unasked" student response
(7%), and response from more than one student, i. e. , groups of
3. An Indirect to Direct (I/D) teacher ratio, patterned after
Flanders, was determined by dividing the sum of percentages of
"Guides," "Questions," "Positive Reinforcement," and "Socializing"
behavior by the sum of percentages of "Structures," "Provides Solutions,"
"Directs," and "Negative Reinforcement" behavior. This
ratio not only has use in describing teacher behavior, but also serves
to differentiate between teachers with high or low I/D ratios. Teachers
with the higher I/D ratios also showed significantly increased
student behavior in the form of response behavior.