What do students think when teachers make adaptations?


Eight hundred and seventy-six high school and middle school students provided information on their perceptions of adaptations teachers may make to accommodate the individual needs of their students. Additionally, achievement and social alienation were examined to determine the extent to which these variables relate to students' perceptions of teacher adaptations. Overall, students preferred teachers who made adaptations; however, item analyses revealed that students find some adaptations more desirable than others. Students felt positively about many adaptations that promote learning, but preferred that no adaptations be made to textbooks and materials, tests, and homework. While students' perceptions followed the same overall pattern for low and high achieving students, those students who preferred adaptations demonstrated significantly higher reading and mathematics achievement scores. Students who felt more alienated (less socially accepted) from their teachers were more likely to view favorably teachers who made adaptations. Students' comments about teachers who make adaptations indicate that they perceive these teachers as better able to meet the individual needs of students, caring and understanding of students, and willing to provide extra help. © 1993.

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Teaching and Teacher Education