Student perceptions of their teachers, their school, and themselves as learners
The problem for this study was to design an instrument that would secure student feedback concerning their perceptions regarding their school, teachers, and themselves as learners, and determine if these perceptions and their critical thinking ability were associated with their attendance, gender, academic achievement (Iowa Test of Educational Development), and academic status (grade point average). Sixty-five students in a ninth grade class at Mason City High School in Mason City, Iowa were voluntary participants;The procedure followed four major steps: (1) Selecting the critical thinking test and items for the student feedback questionnaire. (2) Gathering the student ratings from the questionnaire, the critical thinking scores, the attendance records, grade point averages, and composite scores from the Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED). (3) Analyzing data using the Pearson product-moment to determine significant relationships between the students' ratings of their teachers, school, themselves as learners, their critical thinking ability, and other variables: attendance, gender, grade point average, and the ITED. (4) Conducting t-tests and one-way analysis of variances to determine if attendance, gender, grade point average, and the Iowa Test of Educational Development made any significant difference in how students responded on the questionnaire;There was a positive and significant correlation between students' perceptions of their teachers, their school, and themselves as learners. There was a positive and significant correlation between students' performance on the Iowa Test of Educational Development, and their perceptions of themselves as learners, their grade point average, and their performance on the Cornell Critical Thinking Test. Gender was not correlated with any of the other variables;The findings suggest that teachers and school climate are important in producing a positive relationship for how students feel about themselves as learners and how they feel about their school and school personnel. In addition, how students feel about themselves, their teachers, and their school was associated with their academic achievement and academic status. School systems need to solicit student feedback to continuously improve instructional behaviors and the climate.