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Teaching strategies and students satisfaction with the teaching process


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Ivić, Sonja. (2017). Teaching strategies and students satisfaction with the teaching process. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Pedagogy.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij pedagogije) [mentor Jurić, Vladimir].

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The point of teaching is not just the implementation of the programbut the overall development of human potential of each student (Vican, Bognar and Previšić, 2007). Students are the focal point of the teaching process. Relations and processes within the teaching process are closely connected to students’ emotions and their contentment with the teaching. Relations within the classroom are governed by the interrelationship of students and teachers and have a significant impact on the set goals of the curriculum. In accordance with the teaching content, individual characteristics of each student and their personal competences and affinities, teachers plan, create and apply different teaching strategies. Teaching strategies become the instrument of achieving the set goals. Today’s perception of teaching is based on the humanistic approach to education and, among other things, the principles of critical communication didactics. In order to achieve the main goal of teaching, which is to assist the children during the learning process, teachers should rely on their knowledge about their students, the subject they teach and the situation they are in, in order to find the most appropriate teaching strategy (Stoll and Fink, 2000). Learning and teaching are two related concepts. By carefully selecting, combining and adapting teaching strategies, teachers influence the development of cognitive, affective and psychosocial abilities of students, that is, the learning process. The student’s experience and the perception of the entire teaching process can be a guideline to teachers in creating a curriculum based on contemporary didactic postulates. This paper deals with clarification of these theoretical starting points by empirical verification of the possible relation between teaching strategies and the satisfaction of students with the teaching process. The theoretical part of the paper elaborates in detail on the basic determinants of teaching process factors, analyzes and theoretically establishes the concept of teaching strategy. The development of education through history is mentioned and important philosophers and thinkers, as well as experts in didactics whose work has made an impact on the development of didactics as a scientific discipline and on the contemporary didactic thought are singled out. Didactic theories and deliberations of their authors (Klafki, Schulz, von Cube, Mölle and Winkle, 1992) are described and mentioned according to their relation to the doctoral thesis. In accordance with the deliberations of Kolić-Vehovec (1998) on the scientific knowledge of educational psychology as an aid to teachers in encouraging the students’ learning process, behavioral, social cognitive, constructivist learning theory and humanistic approach to learning are brought into the teaching context. The question of contemporary teaching is manifested in the level of approach to the teaching process, level of plans and programs, teaching content, educational goals, subjects of the teaching process, communication, methods and teaching strategies. It is the duty of the teacher to set an example for the students how to actively listen and thus improve and develop quality communication processes in the classroom on daily basis. The modern teacher is expected to be able to motivate students to work with their communication skills and to prevent many unwanted student behaviors (Itković, 1999). Given the conceptual definition of the teaching strategy, the paper analyzes in detail the concepts of teaching skills and teaching strategies through which the transfer of learning and teaching methodsare explained. It is emphasized that strategies, methods and procedures are important aspects of the educational process that complement each other and intertwine. For the purpose of this paper, teaching strategies are defined as ”networking (appropriate correlation) of teaching methods and social forms of work and didactic teaching systems with regard to the goals and content of teaching and learning” (Jurĉić, 2012). This definition is further complemented by defining teaching strategies as planned and thoroughly elaborated teaching staff activities in line with teaching goals and contents aimed at encouraging and assisting students during the learning process while respecting their nature. The teaching strategies are closely related to the students’ knowledge acquirement. It is the teachers who are expected to elaborate on their teaching process and to create and establish quality relationships with all students, keeping in mind their differences and the ways in which they acquire teaching contents. Teaching strategies are also related to learning styles. Understanding their students’ learning styles will help teachers to additionally motivate any particular student during the teaching process to work harder by providing them the opportunity to solve certain tasks or problems in the way they are inclined to (Desforges, 2001). Social forms of work should be aligned with teaching strategies with the aim of encouraging students to be active, develop knowledge and acquire skills. Particular attention should be paid to the influence of information technology on teaching strategies. Children are surrounded by information technology (computers, mobile phones, tablets, video games, DVD movies, etc.) from the earliest age and come to school with the basic skills of their application and knowledge of their function. According to the teaching curriculum, one of the underlying competences of the students is the development of computer literacy competences, related to the knowledge and use of information technology (Jurĉić, 2012). Therefore, it is emphasized how important it is for the teachers to have computer skills and knowledge of information communication technology, as well as the ability to redesign learning and teaching process in the sense of combining the traditional teaching strategies with the possibilities offered by new technologies. Moreover, organization of working time, organization of working place, or creation of a stimulating environment for learning, determination of the parameters of functional learning outcomes and self-assessment as well as assessment of learning outcomes are also given importance. The selection of teaching strategies in a particular teaching situation depends on planned educational goals, ie learning outcomes, the content of teaching, the individual abilities of students and their previous experience and the competences and attitudes of the teacher. The teachers can get feedback about their work and the effectiveness of teaching strategies from their students, by self-assessment and observation by other teachers (collegiate observation) or by the school’s professional service. Furthermore, the paper mentions and describes teaching strategiesthatare most often mentioned in the didactic literature and teacher books for fourth and seventh grade teachers of elementary schools of the Republic of Croatia. Satisfaction is one of the fundamental emotions of reflection on school events. ”Emotional impressions of the teaching process regulate the relation of students to teaching and their degree of activity” (Poljak, 1990). A student who learns and creates in a pleasant atmosphere, with no feeling of fear, thinks faster and solves problems more creatively (Vizek-Vidović, Vlahović-Štetić, Rijavec and Miljković, 2014). In the empirical part of the paper, the research goal and problem, hypotheses and methods of research, the sample of examinees, instruments, the process of conducting research and the method of data processing are determined. The subject of research are the teaching strategies of the teaching process. The research problem is to establish students’ satisfaction with teaching strategies. The goal of the research is to study, analyze, describe and determine the significance of teaching strategies and their role in assessing the satisfaction with the teaching process in students attending the fourth and the seventh grade in elementary schools in the Republic of Croatia. Regarding the set goal, the following differences were analyzed: students’ affinity for particular teaching methods, students’ opinion regarding interruption of the teaching process, students’ opinion about the teaching contents, students’ opinion about homework, students’ opinionabout their satisfaction with the teaching process, students’ opinion about communication with the teachers, among students in assessments of communicative aspects of fear and security. In relation to the goal, the relationship between the communication aspect of the teaching process and student satisfaction with the teaching process and the tendency towards the particular teaching strategies were examined. A total of 963 students (403 fourth grade students and 557 seventh grade students) participated in the study, and data collected from 960 pupils in 13 primary schools in Croatia were processed. A questionnaire was created for the purpose of this research. The questionnaire contains 40 items through which students evaluate seven aspects of teaching: homework, teaching forms, teaching content, interruption of the teaching process, communication with the teacher, teaching strategies, and satisfaction with the teaching process. The obtained data were processed with descriptive and inferential statistics. The research results point to the differences between the pupils considering their affinity to particular teaching strategies. Fourth and seventh grade studentsequally prefer learning in nature and implementing contents by using PPT presentations. Fourth grade studentspreferthe teaching strategiesthat include project work. Seventh grade studentsprefer debate to critical analysis of their work by teachers and other students. The age or developmental characteristics of studentswere emphasized as important for the interpretation of the obtained results, as well as the importance of knowing the student on an individual level. Given the gender of students it can be concluded that the girls prefer the project teaching and the boys the oral presentation strategy. The preference of students to individual forms of education is not statistically significant in terms of class or gender. Students prefer work in pairs and in groups or collaborative forms of activity. Regarding the interruption of teaching, regardless of the grade, almost 76% of students report that some students interfere with the teaching process, 56% of them report that there is often a background noise during the teaching process. 73% of students report that teachers demand complete silence. Fourth grade students, more than seventh grade students, find clarity of teacher’s speech important and necessary. Given the teaching content, seventh grade students, when compared to fourth grade students, do not pay the same attention to all subjects, do not notice the correlation of teaching contents with everyday life or between the subjects, it is not clear to them why they have to learn something and consider the majority of the teaching contents boring. The results point to the need for reflection and adequate curriculum planning which would actively include students and create a correlation between interesting teaching contents and the real life. Fourth grade students more than seventh grade students report that the Croatian language is the most important school subject. Fourth grade students more than seventh grade students find homework interesting, useful because they learn a lot while learning, but they also express the need to abolish homework because it takes away time for free activities and playing. Girls mostly feel that homework is interesting, that they should be abolished and that they learn a lot while writing homework. Fourth grade studentsare more satisfied with the teaching process than seventh grade students. The results are consistent with the results of other researches reporting that the student satisfaction with the teaching process decreases with each higher grade (Jurić, 1992). Regarding communication with students, seventh grade students speak more about anger the teachers show when the students do not know something, about their feelings of fear and resentment when considering asking the teachers for help. Fourth grade students feel more secure and safer in teacher’s company. They feel that the teachers encourage them and help them in their work, that they can talk to them about their problems and that they can freely tell what they think and feel in class. Teachers often praise fourth grade students, they respect their opinion and often joke with the students. Fourth grade students feel safer in class, while seventh grade students are more likely to feel fear and discomfort. The need to promote mutual respect, open and free communication is emphasized, which is in favor of the development of the democratic style of conducting the teaching process. The obtained results show that the student satisfaction with the teaching process is related to the communication with the teachers. Students are more satisfied with teaching when they feel accepted and secure in communication with teachers. The feeling of fear is accompanied by greater dissatisfaction with the teaching process. The student’s satisfaction with teaching is related to the student’s preferences regarding specific teaching strategies. Students are most satisfied during research teaching and project work. Pupils who like to learn through games are also more satisfied with the teaching process. Satisfaction is also expressed by those students who prefer the traditional teaching methods, who feel that they learn the most when a teacher orally teaches the teaching contents while they listen. A competent teacher can achieve greater student satisfaction with the teaching process by combining traditional and contemporary teaching methods. The Conclusion points again to the initial approaches that are related to the conducted research and emphasizes the need for a better deliberation about the student’s participation in creating the curriculum and a reexamination of the effectiveness of curriculum planning by teachers teaching specific subjects. Considering student testimonies, possible solutions regarding the excessive homework load and the students’ need to engage in other activities are proposed. They include deliberation about introducing integrated homework whose contents would include related subjects as well as accepting student suggestions about the content and methods of homework. The research results clearly point to a greater satisfaction with the teaching process among the fourth grade students compared to seventh grade students, who also feel more secure and accepted than the seventh grade students regarding the communicative aspect with the teachers. The need to develop positive communicative relations between students and teachers is pointed outas an essential motivational factor in the teaching process. Implications for future research are focused on communication processes in teaching process and their correlation with the student satisfaction with the teaching process, especially on the communicative aspect of fear. This follows the testimonies of seventh grade students that they feel fear and discomfort more than fourth grade students and at the same time prefer less teaching strategies thatrequire the active role of students during the teaching process. The conclusions that this paper offers can inspire teachers to create curricula in which two-way communication between all participants in the teaching process will be ensured, in which students will be able to express their opinions freely and have an active, participatory role. It is expected that this paper will contribute to the improvement of teaching practice in the application of modern teaching strategies that encourage the development of communication skills of learners and a better understanding of student needs and contribute to the development and construction of contemporary didactic scenarios based on student testimonies.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: development of didactic thought, didactic theories of teaching, learning theories and approaches to teaching, teaching process, teaching strategies, learning styles, social forms of teaching, observation and self-assessment, information and communication technology, students’ satisfaction with the teaching process
Subjects: Pedagogy
Departments: Department of Pedagogy
Supervisor: Jurić, Vladimir
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij pedagogije
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 13:03
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 13:03

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