A Rasch measure of teachers' views of teacher-student relationships in the primary school
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre
This study investigated teacher-student relationships from the teachers' point of view at Perth metropolitan schools in Western Australia. The study identified three key social and emotional aspects that affect teacher-student relationships, namely, Connectedness, Availability and Communication. Data were collected by questionnaire (N = 139) with stem-items answered in three perspectives: (1) Idealistic: this is what I would like to happen; (2) Capability: this is what I am capable of; and (3) Behaviour: this is what actually happens, using four ordered response categories: not at all (score 1), some of the time (score 2), most of the time (score 3), and almost always (score 4). Data were analysed with a Rasch measurement model and a uni-dimensional, linear scale with 24 items, ordered from easy to hard, was created. The data were shown to be highly reliable, so that valid inferences could be made from the scale. The Person Separation Index (akin to a reliability index) was 0.93; there was good global teacher and item fit to the measurement model; there was good item fit; the targeting of the item difficulties against the teacher measures was good, and the response categories were answered consistently and logically. Teachers said that the ideal items were all easier than their corresponding capability items which were in turn easier than the behaviour items (where the items fitted the model), as conceptualized. The easiest ideal items were: I like this child and This child and I get along well together. The hardest ideal item (but still easy) was: I am available for this child. The easiest behaviour item (but still hard) was: This child and I get along well together. The hardest behaviour item (and very hard) was: I am interested to learn about this child's personal thoughts, feelings and experiences. The difficulties of the items supported the conceptual structure of the variable.