A study of the self concept of the secondary biology teachers and the relationship to student achievement and other teacher characteristics

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Norris, Billy E.
Nisbet, Jerry J.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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In this study testing was accomplished to measure the self concepts of a study population of biology teachers, measure their biological knowledge, determine their biology teaching proficiency and examine certain characteristics to find out if there was a correlation between any of these variables. To carry out this task 30 teachers who attended National Science Foundation supported institutes at Ball State University during 1969 and 1970 were tested. Over 1,400 of their students were also tested. In May, 1969, the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, Differential Aptitude Test, and Processes of Science Test were mailed to each teacher. Teachers took the Tennessee Self Concept Scale and administered the Differential Aptitude Test and the Processes of Science Test to their students. Tests were returned to Ball State University for scoring. Upon arriving at Ball State University, the teachers took a test covering nine aspects of biological knowledge. The knowledge test, Commission on Undergraduate Education in Biological Sciences Test, was constructed from items contained in the booklet of test items published by the.Commission on Undergraduate Education in Biological Sciences, November, 1967. The Differential Aptitude Test (Verbal Reasoning + Numerical Ability Portions) was used as a measure of the ability of students and the Processes of Science Test was used as a measure of their achievement. To bring all students' scores to a comparable level of equality and to measure the proficiency of teachers, a Biology Teachers Proficiency Index was developed. To produce this Biology Teachers Proficiency Index all students' scores were grouped by grade and converted to standard T scores. The mean for each teacher's students' scores were then determined for both the Differential Aptitude Test and the Processes of Science Test. The Processes of Science Test mean was then divided by the Differential Aptitude Test mean to produce each teacher's Biology Teachers Proficiency Index.Biology Teachers Proficiency Index = Mean POST Standard T Score Mean DAT Standard T ScoreThe variables of the study were then subjected to (1) pairwise correlation and (2) the stepwise multiple regression to determine relationships between simple pairs and groups of variables.Multiple correlations accomplished in the present study substantiate that a significant relationship exists between the teaching proficiency of a biology teacher and his self concept, his biological knowledge and between certain aspects of his background and characteristics. Additional multiple correlation reveal that the biology teacher's self concept is related positively to the number of semester hours of psychology, education and student teaching course work and to the number of years of teaching experience and to the number of dependents. Negative correlations were found to exist between the biology teacher's self concept and the number of semester hours he had completed in biology and to increased size of the college where he earned his bachelor's degree.Simple correlations performed in the study reveal a significance between aspects of the biology teacher's characteristic background and his self concept. Course work in organismal biology apparently has a negative impact upon the self concept of the biology teacher as does increasing number of preparations. The teacher's self variability is also affected negatively by the number of preparations and by the number of dependents he has.