Assistant teacher program/School surveys

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School surveys[edit | edit source]

School surveys
Activity: lecture, group work
Group size: unlimited
Preparation: none
Instructors: 1
Duration: ?

Pupils can conduct school surveys in cooperation with their teachers and/or student councils and youth councils. A school survey should have the goal to gather information on a specific topic, usually something the pupils would like to see addressed by their teachers.

Conducting a survey:

  • A survey can provide information about an issue that may otherwise not receive sufficient attention.
  • Providing proper information on a topic can have the effect to influence the public opinion.
  • The gathered information in a survey should be as objective as possible, otherwise a survey may be disregarded.

What can you do to conduct an objective survey?

Example survey: Learning motivation[edit | edit source]

An example for a school survey can be a survey on learning motivation.

  • What do you want to measure?
  • What differences or developments do you want to measure?
  • How can you measure objectively?

Possible choices for measurements are, for instance:

  • How does the learning motivation of pupils
    • develop on a single day?
    • vary between grades?
    • vary between subjects?
    • vary between personal perspective and perception of others (e.g. the class)?
    • vary between good and less good pupils?

An objective measurement of something as subjective as learning motivation is hardly possible but one can try to reduce subjectivity.

To reduce the subjectivity of answers you can ask the same question several times, first allowing personal bias and subsequently asking the interviewees to avoid or reveal different biases.

  1. What is your personal learning motivation in subject X as you perceive it?
  2. What is the general learning motivation of the class in subject X as you imagine it?
  3. What is your personal learning motivation for subject X irrespective of your subject teacher?
  4. What is your personal learning motivation for subject X at home?
  5. What is your personal learning motivation for subject X beyond the curriculum?
  6. Are you satisfied with your learning motivation in subject X?
  7. How can you imagine your personal learning motivation for subject X to be under better learning conditions?
  8. Do you think subject X has any value for you?
  9. Do you think subject X has any value for anybody?

The survey should be collected with anonymization. Collecting several answers with different biases also allows to select subsets of data for more detailed analysis. An anonymization software can allow to attach actual grades from a database while removing the names of the interviewees. Alternatively the survey can be collected by the mentors of the interviewees, allowing the mentors to analyze the information with respect to their protégés and to perform the anonymization.

The survey should not assign school grades to the questions but use an evaluation scale that has no preconception assigned to it and a very understandable interpretation.
An example could be:

+4 - exactly, excellent, absolutely
+2 - rather applies, above average
0 - intermediate
-2 - rather does not apply, below average
-4 - does not apply, insufficient, absolutely not

Why can learning motivation be interesting enough for a survey?

  • Learning motivation is not something that is commonly measured in schools.
  • Below average learning motivation can reveal critical problems for a group of pupils, possibly much earlier than their grades.
  • Pupils can take the position that learning motivation is not alone their problem but that educators have a responsibility to motivate.

A mathematics or computer science teacher can use the opportunity to introduce the R programming language,[1] which is likely to solve at least any motivational problems of the pupils to learn about the programming language.

Literature[edit | edit source]

  1. GNU R (German Wikibook)

See also[edit | edit source]

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