«By Kirati Khuvasanond A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Curriculum and Teaching and the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University ...»
Almost one-third of the students (29.16%) felt that the classroom environment in this treatment was too quiet. One-fourth of the students said the classroom was “eerie” (25%) which made them afraid when they had to participate in the class. Similarly, feedback from students (25%) reported that they felt “okay” with the classroom instruction. As one student said, “I am not that enjoy with the class but not that negative as well. I guess I feel okay with the class.” Only 16.66% of students in the teacher-centered classroom felt that they had fun while learning in the class. Other feedback revealed that students felt they learned best under a teacher-centered instructional technique. However, students admitted that they felt sleepy in the classroom due to the fact that the teacher was talking most of the time in the classroom and they only were required to be passive and listen to the lecture. Students said they copied notes or exercises from the blackboard or friends in order to submit their work to the teacher. Students stated that learning with this technique required that they behave in a “good” manner, which they said is too strict for them. Figure 10 shows students‟ feedback toward the TeacherCentered classroom.
Figure 10 Students‟ Feedback toward Teacher-Centered Classroom Instruction Technique In comparing students‟ feedback toward classroom instruction, cooperative learning methods (jigsaw and CIRC) received more positive feedback than the TeacherCentered instruction technique. Students seemed to prefer Jigsaw more than they did the CIRC instruction technique. On the other hand, students‟ negative feedback toward Teacher-Centered classroom instruction was clearly evident. Figure 10 shows students‟ feedback toward the three instructional models.
Figure 11. Comparing Students‟ Feedback toward Jigsaw, CIRC, and TeacherCentered General Classroom and the Way Teachers Ask Questions in the Class The method teachers used when asking students questions during class is one of the factors which might affect students‟ feelings of being pressured, losing face, and power distance between them and their teachers.
More than half of the students (54%) reported that their teacher usually called on individual students by asking them to stand up and answer specific questions. Forty-six percent of students (46%) said that their teacher asked for volunteers to participate answering the teacher‟s questions.
Overall, students reported more positive feelings when their teacher asked for volunteers to respond to a question. More than half of the students (56.63%) indicated that they were willing to volunteer in responding to teachers‟ question or express their own opinion. One student said, “I felt less pressure when teacher ask for volunteer. I felt more confident to participate because when I decided to volunteer, I am sure that my answer is correct.” On the other hand, 43.37% of students reported negative feelings when the teacher asked for a volunteer. Students who reported negative feeling in volunteering were asked to explain why they do not want to volunteer in class. Thirtyseven percent (37.80%) among those students reported negative feelings when volunteering and indicated that they were not confident with their answer. They often thought that their answer was incorrect. Some students (28.05%) were afraid of losing face if their answer was wrong. Many students mentioned that they do not want their friends to laugh at them when they stand up and try to answer the teacher‟s question.
Other reasons given for not wanting to volunteer in the class were, “shy to stand up and talk (23.17%),” and “afraid of being the teacher (10.98%).” Several students stated that they were afraid that their teacher would deduct points or blame them if they said something incorrectly, so they decided to keep quiet and listen to other classmates talk.
Students were asked how they felt when teachers called on an individual student to answer or participate in the class. Only 35.37 % of students had positive feedback toward the teacher calling on individuals for participation. Another 64.63% reported negative feedback toward this method of soliciting participation. Among these students who reported negative feelings toward being called on, more than half of the students (57.24%) claimed that they were nervous and lacked confidence. Some students explained that they were nervous because they were afraid of giving an incorrect answer when they were called on. A few students agreed that they felt uncomfortable when they were called on, since they become a center of focus for their class. They felt bashful when they had to stand up and give an unsure answer since it is an uncontrolled situation for them. Students also reported that they were at risk of losing face (21.74%) when they were called on, due to the fact that they did not know the correct answer. Quite a number of students admitted that answering incorrectly in front of the class made them lose face to their friends and teacher. As one student said, “It showed that I do not understand what teacher taught in front of everyone in the class. I felt embarrassing when other students laughing at my answers.” Twelve percent (12.32%) reported that, when they were called on, they were shy about standing up and talking in the class since they became the center of the class. This idea was also supported by another student who said, “I am lack of confident and do not enjoy talking or doing anything in front of many people.” Students said they were afraid of the teacher (8.70%), another reason that was reported under the negative feeling when students were called on. Several students said that they were afraid that their teacher was going to blame them if they did not give a correct answer. As stated by a student in the interview “Teacher always thinks that I am not listening to her when I gave incorrect answer. Sometime she blamed or punished me because she mistaken that I am not listen to her lecture.” Figure 12 shows the comparison of negative feelings between volunteer and called-on question initiation by the teacher.
Figure 12 Comparing Negative Feeling between Volunteer and Called on Students’ Preferences between Friends and Teachers When They Do Not Understand Students reported that when they were in doubt or had questions regarding a lesson in the classroom, they preferred to ask their friends (60.98%) than their teacher (39.02%) for clarification. Students stated the most common reason they preferred to ask their friends was because they were afraid of the teacher (66.67%). Many students mentioned that they do not want the teacher to blame them when they asked questions of the teacher. One student stated, “Teacher normally blamed us that we were not listening to the lecture when we asked about the information taught in the class.” Almost seventeen percent (16.67%) reported that they felt Kreng Jai to their teacher if they had to ask questions or asked their teacher to explain the lesson to them again. Some of the students also mentioned that asking questions of the teacher in front of the class might be interpreted as challenging or not respecting the teacher, which students should not act like toward their teacher. As reflected by one student, “We are student and we learn from teacher, we should show our respect to teacher and not challenging them.” About eleven percent of students (11.11%) preferred asking a friend to explain a question to them privately, due to the fact that they were shy when they asked the teacher in front of the class. Some students (5.56%) stated that they preferred asking their friend because they felt like they lose face when asking the teacher in front of their friends in the class. As reflected in a student response, I think it is ashamed to show to public that I don‟t know or don‟t understand lesson. Asking teacher in front of everyone make me felt that way but asking friend privately made me felt better because I only ask to my close friend or asking to only a few friends. Figure 13 shows the reasons students decided to ask friends when they have questions in class.
Figure 13. Reasons Students Decided to Ask Their Friends Rather Than Their Teacher Among 39.
02% of students who preferred to ask the teacher rather than friends, 79.31% stated they chose to ask the teacher because they were confident that the teacher would be the best person to ask. Students ask teachers based on the belief that teachers know best and so they do not risk learning incorrect information from their friends‟ explanation. One student said, If I ask friends to explain to me, sometime I still doubted that the information is correct or not. Also sometimes I disagree with my friends, which creates arguments and I still need to go to teacher. So, I think going to teacher directly is a better choice. Other students reported they were shy about asking friends (10.34%). A student explained, “I felt ashamed to ask friends to explain lesson to me again, since we all listened to the same lecture.” Students (10.34%) also reported that they are afraid of losing face if they asked their friends. Apparently, they do not want to let their friends know that they do not understand the lesson. See Figure 14 for reasons students gave why they decided to ask their teacher.
Ask Teacher in Class or Personal Students who participated in this interview were asked, if they need the teacher‟s help about a lesson learned in class, what their preferences were about when to ask their teacher for help. Students‟ responses were almost equally split between asking the teacher in class (54.32%) and asking teacher privately outside of class (45.68%). Onethird of the students (33.33%) reported that they felt uncomfortable asking the teacher privately, since that could be interpreted as being a bad student. One student said, “I felt that I am not a good student when I need to talk to teacher outside class. It seemed like I have serious problem or I was not behave well that teacher need to talk to me privately.” Another third of the students (33.33%) felt nervous talking to the teacher privately.
Students stated that they needed to behave more politely than what they did in the class due to the fact that the teacher is older. As one student shared, “I am not sure how to behave that would show my respect to teacher and not to challenge teacher when I visit teacher in the teacher‟s room.” Other reasons were Kreng Jai to disturb teacher‟s time outside the class (16.66%), and that students were afraid of the teacher (16.66%). A student said, “Asking teacher privately mean I have to directly deal with teacher. I am afraid that I am going to do something not proper.” See Figure 15 for the most common reasons students asked teachers for help during the lesson in the class.
Figure 15. Reasons Students Preferred to Ask Teachers in the Class On the other hand, 42.
22% of the students who preferred asking the teacher privately stated that they chose this way because they were afraid of losing face if they had to ask the teacher to repeat or clarify the lesson in front of their classmates. As one student mentioned, “I felt like other friends were looking at me with the question mark on their face on why I am not understand these easy things.” About 26.67% among these students preferred asking the teacher privately, noting that they Kreng Jai their teacher and friends if the teacher had to spend time explaining the lesson again in class. One student said, “Some of my friends might already understand the lesson and would like to go on to other point. So, I do not want to disturb them and make them listen to the information teacher already explained again.” Almost eighteen percent (17.78%) of students reported that they were shy asking questions in the class so they chose to talk to the teacher privately to avoid their shyness in front of many people. Other reasons students mentioned were, being afraid of teacher (8.89%), and concerned about seniority between students and teacher (4.44%). Again, students mentioned that sometimes questions about a lesson might be interpreted as rude and intended as challenging teachers. Figure 16 shows the reasons students preferred asking questions of their teacher privately.
Figure 16. Reasons Students Preferred Asking Questions of Teachers Privately Sharing Opinions in Class Students were asked if they were comfortable sharing their opinion in class.
Most of the students (66.73%) reported that they were comfortable sharing their opinion in class because they were expressing their own opinions. The rest of the students (33.27%) preferred to keep quiet even though they had opinions. Those who preferred not to express their opinion explained that they were afraid of losing face if their opinion did not agree with their friends‟ views (32.69%). Shyness was another reason that almost one-third of the students (28.85%) reported for not sharing their opinions with their classmates. Twenty five percent of students (25%) reported that they were nervous about their answers and afraid of causing arguments among friends. Another reason that leads students to keep quiet was that they were afraid of their teacher (13.46%). As one student said, “I am afraid that my opinion will not be agreed by teacher or even against what teacher‟s idea is. Also this could bring to the argument where teacher could blame me of being against her” See Figure 17 for the most common reasons students gave for not expressing their opinion in class.
Figure 17. Reasons Students Do Not Express Their Opinion in Class.