A study of the relationship between instructor self-concept and instructor written comments on student essays as a function of grading
The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between instructor self-concept and instructor written comments on student essays as a function of grading. Two parameters of this relationship were investigated. The first was to determine if instructors found to be low in self-concept made more negative than positive comments on student essays as a function of grading. The second was to determine if instructors found to be high in self-concept made more positive than negative comments on student essays as a function of grading.Three philosophical assumptions were implicit in the research. First, it was assumed that the self-concept could be operationally defined. Secondly, the assumption was made that the self-concept could be adequately assessed. Thirdly, it was assumed that the self-concept possessed construct validity. All three assumptions were supported with research in the review of the literature.Self-concept was defined as the way an individual perceived and evaluated himself. The difference between high self-concept and low self-concept was determined by the magnitude of discrepancy between perceived self and ideal self as measured by the Index of Adjustment and Values.In order to categorize written comments as either positive or negative, a categorizing system was developed by the researcher. This system was based on the findings for teacher verbal behavior reported by Amidon, Flanders and Paul (1963), Gordon (1974) and Ryans (1960). The system was tested for reliability on independent raters, who subsequently categorized the actual written comments.The sample population of volunteer subjects consisted of twenty graduate students who were instructors of freshman English classes at a Midwest university. The names of instructors were supplied to the researcher by the English Department. Thirty names were selected from the list and a letter was sent to each of the possible subjects asking for their cooperation. Seven males and thirteen females participated in the study. At a prearranged time, the researcher met with each of the subjects and administered the Index of Adjustment and Values.Student essays were collected by the English Department at the end of the spring quarter. Essays assigned to instructor participants on the basis of predesignated student to specific instructor assignments, were randomly sampled for each class. Ten essays per instructor were sampled.Two null hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis stated that no significant relationship would exist between instructors found to be low in self-concept and the type of comments made on student essays as a function of grading. The second hypothesis stated that no significant relationship would exist between instructors found to be high in self-concept and the type of comments made. Both null hypotheses were rejected when analyzed by the Pearson Product Moment Coefficient of Correlation. Additional statistical analyses were performed on the data to investigate interaction effects.