Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Education: Differences in Perspectives

Karen Könings, Tina Seidel, Saskia Brand-Gruwel, Jeroen Van Merriënboer

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    Teachers and students have their own perspectives on education. Congruent perspectives contribute to facilitating teaching-learning processes and help to achieve optimal learning outcomes. This study investigates both teachers’ and students’ perceptions on a learning environment in Dutch secondary education. It is aimed to define which students are at risk experiencing adverse discrepancies to their teachers’ perceptions. Additionally, teacher profiles are defined on their discrepancies to students’ perceptions. All tenth graders (N = 994) of four schools and their teachers (N = 136) filled out the Inventory of Perceived Study Environment Extended. In addition, students filled out the Inventory Learning Styles (ILS-SE) and teachers completed the Approaches to Teaching Inventory (ATI). By using Latent Class Analyses profiles in difference scores were defined. Profiles were characterized by analyzing differences on the ILS-SE and ATI. Teachers’ perceptions were mostly more positive than students’ perceptions. LCA profiles showed a ‘distal’ student profile which was at highest risk and experienced most motivational problems. Also, for the ‘intermediate’ student profile the discrepancy between perceptions was related to negative learning-related characteristics. Analyzing teacher profiles, ‘idealistic’ teachers were at risk to cause destructive friction. This study stresses the importance of improving congruence between perceptions. Future research has to focus on effective interventions. Improving teachers’ immersion in the students’ perspective or including students in the instructional design process to better account for their perceptions might be beneficial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2011


    • perceptions


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