Student Perceptions in the Classroom

Student Perceptions in the Classroom

Student Perceptions in the Classroom

Student Perceptions in the Classroom

Synopsis

This book's two primary objectives are to present theory and research on the role of learners' achievement-related perceptions in educational contexts and to discuss the implications of this research for educational practices. Although contributors share the view that students' perceptions exert important effects in achievement settings, they differ in diverse ways including their theoretical orientation, their choice of research methodology, the perceptions they believe are of primary importance, and the antecedents and consequences of these perceptions. They discuss the current status of their ideas and provide a forward look at research and practice.

Excerpt

Student perceptions are thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about persons, situations, and events. A book devoted to student perceptions underscores the importance of the topic in current educational theory and research. Such a book would have been less likely in the past when research was based largely on behavioral theories emphasizing environmental stimuli and reinforcement history as influences on behavior.

In contrast, contemporary cognitive theories of learning, motivation, and instruction assume that students are active processors of information rather than passive recipients of knowledge and that there is no automatic relation between information presented and how it is perceived by students. These theories view perceptions as factors that are influenced by personal attributes and situational cues and that affect one's own behaviors and the perceptions and actions of others in the environment. Research conducted in the past few years supports the idea that student perceptions help to explain achievement-related outcomes beyond the effects of student abilities and environmental factors (e.g., rewards, instructional materials).

As the chapters in this book make clear, there are many types of student perceptions that operate in classrooms. Self-perceptions involve perceptions of students' own abilities, self-concepts, goals, competence, effort, interests, attitudes, values, and emotions. Social perceptions refer to students' perceptions of their peers' abilities, self-

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