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Title: The effect of an interpersonal skill training program on affective interpersonal behaviors of student teachers 
Author: Fine, Virginia Owens
Date: 1975
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a systematically planned interpersonal skill training program for developing affective communication skills and democratic problem-solving methods of student teachers. Demonstration of ability (1) to communicate with pupils on an affective level, and (2) to define mutual problems democratically, was expected to increase for experimental group student teachers, as a result of Teacher Effectiveness Training (TET), the independent variable. The subjects in this study were 53 student teachers who volunteered to participate in a 3D-hour human relations training program given concurrently with their student teaching. Thirty subjects received the ten weeks of training at the beginning of the semester and 23 subjects served as a wait list control group who were offered the course later in the semester. Experimental and control group equivalence was established by (1) a personality test (POI), (2) a test of childrearing attitudes, and (3) pretest measures of affective communication and problem-solving skills. No significant differences were found on any of these measures, and it was assumed that both experimental and control groups represented samples of the same volunteer student-teacher population. Before training and following the ten week skill training, skill behavior samples were obtained by confronting the student teachers with affective pupil messages and stress-producing situations, and obtaining their written open-ended responses. Pre and post, experimental and control group responses were typed and randomly mixed. Trained raters categorized or rated the responses on instruments measuring: (1) listening skills: (a) understanding, (b) empathy, and (c) respect; (2) sending skills: (a) initiating affective messages, (b) congruence, and (c) self-disclosure, and (3) problem-solving skills. In addition, a measure of student teacher classroom emphasis was obtained by asking cooperating teachers to rank order phrases describing student teacher positive classroom behaviors which focused on either subject matter presentation or relationships with pupils. Student teachers who received the training were able to demonstrate skill functioning in all areas at a significantly (p < .01) higher level than those in the nontrained control group. They were able to (1) respond to affective messages of pupils with understanding, empathy, and respect, (2) express self-feelings in low-threat, congruent, and self-disclosing messages, (3) produce a significantly higher ratio of facilitative than non-facilitative responses to affective pupil messages and to teacher problem situations, and (4) use significantly more democratic than either authoritarian or laissez-faire classroom problem-solving methods. Control group subjects were found to remain at pretest levels or to deteriorate slightly in levels of affective communication skills, and to use slightly fewer democratic problem-solving methods after the ten week period. It was predicted that the experimental group student teachers would emphasize personal relating more than subject-matter while the emphasis for control group subjects would be reversed. The results indicated that all student teachers who were evaluated emphasized relationships with pupils more than subject matter. The results of training indicate that the systematically planned interpersonal skill training program (TET) was effective in developing affective communication skills and democratic problem-solving methods of student teachers. They increased their listening and sending skills from an average starting level where they essentially ignored their own and others' feelings to an average post-training level where they achieved a high degree of skill in responding appropriately to affective stimuli. They also demonstrated significantly increased skill in using democratic problem-solving procedures after training. Special training can enable student teachers to relate to pupils on an affective level, and use democratic procedures in the classroom.
Description: Typescript. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1975. Bibliography: leaves 133-142. ix, 142 leaves ill
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/11566
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: Interpersonal relations, Student teachers -- Hawaii

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