How Teachers Explain Students’ Academic Performance: A Categorization of Free Response Academic Attributions
A 12-category scheme is presented, which synthesizes systems developed by Frieze, Bar-Tal and Darom, and the present authors. The attribution categories vary along three dimensions relevant to teacher behavior: internality, stability, and teacher efficacy (or the degrees of teacher influence over the performance outcome). A study is then reported which found (1) students training to be teachers were aware of the teacher efficacy implications of attributions and (2) teacher efficacy was related to behavior intentions. Finally, examination of the convergent validity of academic attribution findings indicates that conclusions regarding (1) teacher expectations and performance attributions, and (2) unexpected events are methodologically robust.
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