New published study by Paul & me: Measuring teacher authenticity

I don’t think this study will make it to Nature, still very proud of this follow-up study to this earlier work on perceived authenticity Paul Kirschner and I published last year.

The PIS summarizes our study (and btw it’s open access!):

In earlier, qualitative research, we asked high school students what – in their eyes – an authentic teacher is. Teachers were perceived as being authentic when they know what they are talking about and translate the subject matter to the students’ knowledge level (Expertise). Second, they are passionate about what they teach (Passion). Third, they give students the feeling that each of them and each class is different (Uniqueness). Finally, authentic teachers are not friends with their students, but have an interest in them (Distance).

We now checked these findings via quantitative research to validate these criteria. Our analyses showed that the criteria of Expertise and Passion are so intertwined, that students need to see them both to perceive a teacher as authentic. Unicity remained, but the Distance criterion split into Proximity (being there for students but within certain boundaries) and Strictness (being more rigid and focused on the teaching process). This study helps us to understand and build better relations between students and their teachers.

Abstract of our study:

Authenticity is an often-heard term with respect to education. Tasks should be authentic, the learning environment should be authentic and, above all, the teacher should be authentic. Previous qualitative research has shown that there are four primary criteria that students in formal educational settings use when forming their perceptions of teacher authenticity, namely: Expertise, Passion, Unicity and Distance. This quantitative study validates these qualitative results and finds a possible variation of the original theoretical model in which there is no distinction made by students between Expertise and Passion, and the criterion of Distance is split into two new criteria: Strictness and Proximity.

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