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Title: Secondary school teachers' perception of pupils' undesirable behaviours
Authors: Borg, Mark G.
Keywords: Education, Secondary -- Malta
High school teachers -- Attitudes
Teacher-student relationships -- Malta
High school teachers -- Malta
Students -- Psychology
Sex differences in education -- Malta
Students -- Attitudes
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: British Psychological Society
Citation: Borg, M. G. (1998). Secondary school teachers' perception of pupils' undesirable behaviours. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 68, 67-79.
Abstract: Background: Previous studies provide inconclusive evidence with regard to the influence that teacher, pupil and school characteristics have on teachers' attitudes towards problem behaviours. Aims: To investigate the seriousness of several behaviours as perceived by secondary school teachers, and the extent to which these perceptions are influenced by a number of characteristics. Sample: A sample of 605 randomly selected teachers from 16 state secondary schools participated in the study. Methods: A questionnaire survey method was employed. Results: Drug abuse, cruelty/bullying and destroying were perceived as the most serious behaviours whereas inquisitiveness and whispering were rated as the least serious. Significant grade level differences were observed in all but two of the 49 behaviours, these being masturbation and obscene notes. While smoking and heterosexual activity were perceived significantly more serious in Form 1-2 than in Form 4-5 pupils, the converse was true for all the remaining forms of behaviour. Irrespective of grade level, a number of significant pupil sex and teacher sex differences were observed. Whereas cheating, lying, masturbation and heterosexual activity were perceived to be significantly more serious in girls than in boys, the converse is true for dreaminess, disorderliness, silliness, quarrelsomeness, and restlessness. While female teachers perceived masturbation and obscene notes significantly more serious than male teachers the opposite is true for disorderliness. School selectivity and teaching experience were important moderators of the perceived seriousness of problem behaviours. Conclusions: The study provides additional evidence of the importance of certain teacher, pupil and school characteristics as moderators of teachers' perception of the seriousness of behaviour.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCEduSAE

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