Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The goal of this study was to investigate relationships among teacher flexibility, classroom teaching behaviour, and perceived teacher effectiveness in a sample of 95 secondary school teachers. Teacher flexibility was defined as a global, multifaceted characteristic consisting of both a cognitive and personality component. Three paper-and-pencil measures of each component of flexibility were employed. Frequency of occurrence of specific teaching behaviours and overall teaching effectiveness were rated by students in classes taught by participating teachers, using a 40-item teaching evaluation form.;The results provided very little support for an underlying unidimensional teacher flexibility construct in either the cognitive or personality domain. Furthermore, generally weak and inconsistent relationships were found between teacher flexibility and perceived teacher effectiveness. This was evident across all classes and when classes were grouped by grade level, academic level (basic vs. general vs. advanced), and subject area.;Relationships between teacher flexibility and specific classroom behaviours were also generally weak, but some suggestive patterns did emerge when classes were grouped by subject area. For example, Seeing Deficiencies, a measure of cognitive flexibility, correlated positively with teacher questioning and organization behaviours in Mathematics classes, but correlated negatively with these same behaviours in French. Teacher androgyny, a measure of personal flexibility, correlated positively with teacher questioning and organization in French, but correlated negatively with these behaviours in Mathematics.;An attempt to relate teacher flexibility to within-teacher, cross-situational variability in specific teaching behaviours also met with limited success. No significant correlations were found between measures of teacher flexibility and within-teacher variation in global teaching behaviour factors or in three selected individual behaviours (use of praise, asking factual questions, and asking thought questions).;Finally, significant correlations were found between classroom teaching behaviours and overall teacher effectiveness. Furthermore, relationships between classroom behaviours and overall effectiveness varied substantially in magnitude and direction depending on grade level, academic level, and subject area. It was hypothesized that these variations were due in part to subject matter requirements and in part to developmental trends in student perceptions of what constitutes effective teaching.



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