Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Elementary Education


This study examined differences between primary and intermediate teachers concerning teacher behaviors, teacher communications, grouping, control, and materials. 6 primary classrooms (grades 1 and 2) and 5 intermediate classrooms ( grades 4 and 5) were each observed for 4 45-minute periods. In addition, observers, teachers, and 5 students from each classroom responded to 2 vignettes depicting classroom situations and 1 vignette asking respondents to describe a lesson on nutrition. Responses were coded for teacher behaviors, goals, and instructional methods. Analyses of observational data showed that in comparison with teachers in intermediate grades, primary teachers used significantly more sanctions, procedural communications and total teacher communications. Primary teachers also used a greater proportion of small-group instruction and manipulative materials than did intermediate teachers. Analysis of subjects' responses to vignettes clarified these findings and added further detail.


© 1994 by the University of Chicago

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