George and Anand (1980) studied the effect of microteaching on teaching self- concept and teaching competence of student teachers. The main findings of the study were (i) There was significant difference between the pre- test and post- test mean teaching self concept scores of the control group of student teachers. (ii) There was significant difference between the pre- test and post- test mean teaching self concept scores of the experimental group of student teachers. (iii) There was significant difference between the mean gain scores in teaching competence of the control group and experimental group of student teachers. (iv) Micro- teaching facilitated the enhancement of the teaching self concept of student teachers. (v) Micro teaching proved effective in improving the teaching competence of student teachers. (vi) Micro- teaching treatment followed by summated strategy of integration of teaching skills was found superior to micro teaching treatment based on independent teaching skills in improving the teaching competence of student teachers.
Passi and Sharma (1982) studied teaching competencies of secondary school teachers in Indore. The findings of study showed that (i) the competencies identified were- giving assignments, loud reading, using blackboard, using reinforcement, pacing, avoiding repetition, consolidating the lesson, dealing with pupil responses, improving pupils’ behavior, audibility, using secondary reinforcement, recognizing pupils’ attending behavior, presenting verbal mode and shifting sensory channel. (ii) male and female teachers did not differ in competency. There was a significant negative correlation between the self perception of language teachers and teaching competency. (iii) there was a significant positive relationship between teachers’ teaching competency and liking of their pupils of their teaching behaviour.
Patel (1984) found that interactions with colleagues could improve teaching competency. His study involved eight science teachers spread over a period of six months and noted that the discussions and guidance from colleagues resulted in 11% increase in the capacity for presentation and capacity for co- ordination of different teaching skills, in ability and habit of using audio- visual aids for effective teaching and increase in interest in practical and written work of the pupil, and a 10% increase in knowledge of content.
Prakasham (1988) studied the teacher effectiveness as a function of school organizational climate and teaching competency and found that (i) The open school organizational climate positively affected both the teaching competency as well as teacher effectiveness. (ii) Teachers of urban schools significantly excelled over teachers employed either in semi- urban and rural schools or schools located in industrial areas on both teaching competency and teacher effectiveness. (iii) Females scored invariably higher with and insignificant difference in all types of schools; categorizes in terms of territory, management type and organizational climate. (iv) There existed a significant relationship between teaching competency and teacher effectiveness.
Rajguru (1988) conducted a study of the role of headmasters of central schools and primary corporation schools to suggest remedies to improves their competencies. He found that (i) 64.5% teachers were aware of their roles. (ii) 28 headmasters said that they observed 90.3% of lesson and arranged model lessons also. (iii) Central schools headmasters guided the primary school headmasters in their work and also visited them regularly. (iv) They also arranged seminars and workshops. However, they were not satisfied with the lesson observation work. This work was evaluated by the supervisor but there was no cooperation between them. (v) Each central school headmasters had to work for 45 hours in a week. Teaching was for 12 hours, lesson observation for 18 hours and 25 hours for other activities.
Choudhary (1990) investigated the relationship of the teaching competencies of 178 secondary school teachers with the pupil achievement. Teachers’ way of structuring questions was important in influencing pupils’ liking for teachers. Their teaching was observed on at least four separate occasions during 3 months of teaching in schools. No significant positive relationship was found between the positive attitude towards general pedagogical principals and any of the teaching competency. A week negative relationship was obtained between teachers’ attitude and relationship with children. It was suggested that the fostering of positive attitudes in pre- service education, student teachers towards general pedagogical principles, on the basis of practices aimed at enhancing pupils’ academic achievement might results in lower quality teaching because of its adverse effect on pupil- teachers relationship.
Bassi and Kaur (1991) conducted a study of the teaching competency of language teachers in relation to their job- satisfaction, locus of control and professional burnout. He found that (i) Language teachers had a moderate sense of personal accomplishment and success, and so they did not experience any professional burnout. (ii) There was no difference between the teaching competency and job satisfaction of the teachers on the basis of locus of control. (iii) Female teachers, urban school language teachers were found more externally controlled and satisfied with their jobs than the rural and high school language teachers. (iv) There existed a positive correlation between the measure of job satisfaction and the criterion measures of teaching competency, professional burnout variables and criterion measures of teaching competency.
Thiagarajan et. al. (1995) studied the relationship between teacher competency as perceived by students and achievement in Economics as a function of sex. Findings revealed a significant correlation between teaching competency and achievement. The magnitude of correlation was different in boys and girls.
Kaushal (2001) while studying the effectiveness of classroom questioning behavior training on a sample of 40 student teachers which as measured in terms of change in the classroom questioning behavior of student teachers and enhancement in teaching competence reported that CQBT helps in enhancing the teaching competency of student teachers of experimental group as compared to control group of student teachers.
Farah (2002) studied in his comparative study of teaching competencies of the teachers trained through the formal system of education and those through the distance education system. The findings indicate that there is no significant difference between the knowledge and attitudes of teachers trained through distance mode and those trained through the formal system end there is a significant relationship between the attitudes and skills of teachers.
Pushpam and Sourdarajan (2004) conducted a study of teaching competency of secondary school teachers and found that (i) teachers working in aided and matriculation schools have better teaching competency than teachers working in govt. and corporation schools. (ii) The teaching competency of more experienced teachers is better than the teaching competency of less experienced. (iii) Aged and high income govt. teachers have better teaching competency. (iv) Private unaided school teachers have better teaching competency and post graduate have better teaching competency than the graduate teachers. (v) Permanent teachers show better teaching competency than temporary teachers. (vi) Teachers with high income have better teaching competency than teachers with low income. (vii) No difference was found between rural and urban school teachers regarding their teaching competency. (viii) Positive attitude of teachers towards teaching profession, job satisfaction of teachers and intelligence of students increase the teaching competencies of secondary school teachers.
Shokeen (2006) studied the effect of classroom questioning behavior training on teaching competency of student teachers and their self concept and found that the experimental group student teachers asked more questions in their classroom as compared to the control group. The CQBT was found to be a better strategy than the conventional programme, of student teaching as teaching competency of student teachers was enhanced after CQBT. It was also found that CQBT was not only effective in improving the classroom questioning behavior of student teachers, but it also helps in improving their self concept. The overall assessment points towards the ultimate effectiveness of CQBT and it provides a model for validation of teacher.
Smriti (2008) conducted a study of creativity in relation to teaching competency of B.Ed. students and found that (i) There is no significant difference between the creativity of B.Ed. students belonging to rural and urban background. Therefore it is concluded that creativity is not being affected by area or region. (ii) There is no significant difference between the creativity of male and female B.Ed. students. Hence creativity is not being affected by gender. (iii) There is no significant difference between the creativity of B.Ed. students belonging to science and arts stream. Therefore it is concluded that creativity is not being affected by subjects studied by students. (iv) There is positive correlation between creativity and teaching competency of B.Ed. students.
Augustine, J. (2010) studied the ‘Teaching Aptitude, Competency, Academic background and Achievement in Educational Psychology of Student- teachers in the college of education.’ A sample of 200 student teachers selected from 5 colleges of education in Kottayam Revenue district of Kerala was used. The findings of the study showed that (i) There is significant positive relationship between teaching competency and teaching aptitude of student teachers. (ii) There is no consistent positive relationship between academic background and teaching aptitude of student teachers. (iii) There is no significant positive relationship between teaching aptitude and achievement in educational psychology.
Khatoon, Azeem and Akhtar (2011) studied the impact of different factors on teaching competencies at secondary level in Pakistan. The study investigated in to a descriptive research to critically review of the impact of different factors on teaching competencies at secondary level. The study has defined female school teacher’s socio cultural problems and environmental problems .The main objectives of the study were to find out the female school teachers, socio cultural problems, and Environment problems and to measure the teaching competency of teachers by relationship between teachers and students. The following results were drawn by the researcher in the light of the analysis of the data. The mostly families are in favors of female teacher’s job. The result proves that the female spare the time for domestic work due to have half day job. The result proves that professional jealousy is everywhere and mostly it effects on their teaching competency.
Kavita (2011) studied the effect of classroom questioning behavior training on teaching competency of student teachers, attitude towards teaching and their self concept. A close analysis of the results indicates that the CQBT was found to be better strategy, than the conventional programme, of student teaching as teaching competence of student teachers was enhanced after CQBT. It was also found that CQBT was not only effective in improving the classroom questioning of student teachers, but it also helps in improving their self concept. The overall assessment points towards the ultimate effectiveness of CQBT and it provides a model for validation of teacher.
Pawar, I.A. (2011) studied the ‘Impact of Teacher Training on Teacher Competencies’. The findings of the study showed that (i) There is no significant difference between the mean scores on teacher competencies scale of teachers who have trained through conventional and that of those teachers who have done teacher training through distance education mode in terms of their knowledge and attitude. (ii) There is no significant difference between the mean scores on teacher competencies scale of male and female teachers who have trained through conventional as well as distance mode.
Studies related to Psychological Capital: Luthans and Youssef (2004) found that Authentic leaders’ confidence, hope and optimism stems from their strong beliefs in themselves, in their positive psychological capital and in making clear to associates exactly what they need from them in order to achieve sustainable growth and performance at individual, team, and/or organizational levels. Such leaders also recognize that they have weaknesses, which they work to accommodate by surrounding themselves with extremely capable followers and building an inclusive and engaged positive organizational context. Such contexts support followers for being actively involved in performing their job roles and responsibilities, as well as in contributing to the leader’s own development.
Lifeng, Z. (2007) studied the ‘Effects of Psychological Capital on Emplyoees’ job performance, organisational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior.’ The result of the study showed that after controlling for the demographic variables (gender and age), emplyoees’ hope, optimism and resiliency separately had positive impacts on their job performance, organizational commitment and organizational behavior. Employees’ psychological capital (a combined construct of hope, optimism and resiliency) had positive impacts on their job performance, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. To sum up, this study empirically tested the positive relationship between psychological capital employees’ outcomes. The research results indicated psychological capital had positive impacts on employees’ performance.
Luthans, Norman, Avolio, et.al., (2008) conducted a study on ‘ The mediating role of psychoogical capital in the supportive organizational climate- employee performance relationship.’ The study investigates whether the recently emerging core construct of positive psychological capital (consisting os hope, resilience, optimism and efficacy) plays s role in mediating the effects of a supportive organizational climate with employee outcomes. Utilising 3 diverse samples, results shows that employees’ psychological capital is positively related to their performance, satisfaction, commitment and a supportive climate is related to employees’ satisfaction and commitment.
Avey, Luthans and Youssef (2008) studied ‘The Additive Value of Positive Psychological Capital in Predicting Work Attitudes and Behaviors’. This study of a sample of employees (N=336) from a broad cross section of organizations and jobs found that their state-like psychological capital is positively related to desired extra-role organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) and negatively with undesired organizational cynicism, intentions to quit and counterproductive workplace behaviors. Except for individual OCBs, their psychological capital also predicted unique variance in the same attitudinal and behavioral outcomes beyond their demographics, core self-evaluation, and personality traits, and person-organization fit and person-job fit.
Avey, Luthans and Jensen (2009) studied the Psychological Capital: A Positive Resource for Combating Employees Stress and Turnover. The findings of the study were (i) There was negative relationship between positive psychological capital and stress symptoms. (ii) There was negative relationship between psychological capital and intentions to quit and job search behaviours respectively. (iii) Symptoms of stress would partially mediate the relationship between the psychological capital and both intentions to quit and job search behaviors.
Mathur and Tiwari (2011) studied the Positive Psychology Capital, E.Q., and S.Q. as determinant of subjective wellbeing in executive women and found that subjective well being is equally and strongly influenced by several factors but the major ones include positive psychological capital, E.Q. and S.Q. It is understandable that persons who have attributes of positive psychological capital, E.Q. and S.Q. can successfully cope with stresses of life and such stresses are perceived as opportunities rather than challenges. Based on these observations, it can be concluded that Psychological Capital, Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence play a significant role in the maintenance of Subjective Well Being in executive women. It can be indirectly assumed that these women must also be very high on self- efficacy, resilience, optimism and hope.
Ravindranath (2011) explained the Life skills as an approach in psychological capital in living and work settings. He discussed that an intervention like life skill s training are comprehensive including various areas like thinking, behavior and emotions. The final targets being self- awareness, self- esteem and accepting of others. In an individual, life skills develop over the years continuously in an active manner. There are many skills, which are needed to successfully negotiate each and every interaction. Expected learning outcomes include a combination of knowledge, values, attitudes and skills with a particular emphasis on those skills that are related to critical thinking, and problem solving, self management and communication and inter- personal skills. Further more life skills evolved as a result of mental well being and health, so life skills can be considered as an intervention strategy in positive psychology and health.
Kaur (2012) studied the job satisfaction of secondary school teachers in relation to psychological capital. She found that (i) there was negative negligible relationship between job satisfaction and psychological capital of secondary school teachers. (ii) There was negative negligible relationship between job satisfaction and psychological capital of govt. secondary school teachers. (iii) There was negative negligible relationship between job satisfaction and psychological capital of private secondary school teachers. (iv) There was negative negligible relationship between job satisfaction and psychological capital of male secondary school teachers. (v) There was negative negligible relationship between job satisfaction and psychological capital of female secondary school teachers.
Studies Related to Spiritual Intelligence: Vaughan (2002) discussed that Spiritual intelligence is concerned with the inner life of mind and spirit and its relationship with being in the world. Spiritual intelligence implies a capacity for a deep understanding of existential questions and an insight into multiple levels of consciousness. Spiritual intelligence also implies awareness of spirit as the ground of being or as the creative life force of evolution. If the evolution of life from stardust to mineral, vegetable, animal, and human existence implies some form of intelligence rather than being a purely random process, it might be called spiritual. Spiritual intelligence emerges as consciousness evolves into an ever-deepening awareness of matter, life, body, mind, soul, and spirit. Spiritual intelligence, then, is more than individual mental ability. It appears to connect the personal to the transpersonal and the self to spirit. It goes beyond conventional psychological development. In addition to self-awareness, it implies awareness of our relationship to the transcendent, to each other, to the earth and all beings. As a psychotherapist, he further explains that ”spiritual intelligence opens the heart, illuminates the mind, and inspires the soul, connecting the individual human psyche to the underlying ground of being. Spiritual intelligence can be developed with practice and can help a person distinguish reality from illusion. It may be expressed in any culture as love, wisdom, and service.”
Mahajan (2011) studied the Academic Achievement in relation to Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence. A sample of 140 students studying in class XI from four schools of Hoshiarpur was taken for the collection of data. The technique employed was multistage randomization of clusters at school and section level. B- Variate coefficients and t- ratios were used to analyse the data. The findings were- (i) There exists no significant difference between the emotional intelligence of boys and girls. (ii) There exists no significant difference between the spiritual intelligence of boys and girls. (iii) There exists positive and significant relationship between academic achievement and emotional intelligence of boys and girls. Also the relationship was found positive and significant for boys and girls separately. (iv) There exists positive and significant relationship between academic achievement and Spiritual Intelligence of boys and girls. Also the relationship was found positive and significant for boys and girls separately. (v) There exists positive and significant relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence of boys and girls.
Jeloudar and Goodarzi (2012) examined the relationship between teachers spiritual intelligent and their job satisfaction index at senior secondary schools level. Participants were 177 educators who completed the spiritual Intelligence Scale (ECI), and a version of the Job Descriptive Index is a scale used to measure six major factors associated with job satisfaction based on a selected demographic variable. The findings of the study showed that there were significant relationship between teachers’ spiritual intelligence and their job satisfaction. The study also revealed that there was significant difference found between teachers’ spiritual intelligence and their academic levels. Further there were significant relationship was found between teachers’ spiritual intelligence and five factors of job satisfaction: (nature of the work itself, attitudes towards supervisors, relations with co-workers, opportunities for promotion, work condition in the present environment), but no significant relationship with one factor (salary and benefit) of job satisfaction.
Rastgar, Davoudi and Oraji (2012) conducted a study in Mazandaran, a province in north of Iran, and aimed to analyze the role of emplyoees’ spiritual intelligence in perception of organizational justice. There were 1100 personnel in Mellat bank. A total of 366 questionnaire were distributed among the bank personnel and 288 filled questionnaires were returned. The factor analysis and findings show that emplyoees’ spiritual intelligence has a significant positive influence on perception of organizational justice. This finding implied that the higher the level of emplyoees’ spiritual intelligence, tended to increase the level of employees; perception of organizational justice.
Personal Communication as Assessment
“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after”, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. When I read this quote I was so much fascinated by the great effect personal communication in classrooms. Although, the question is: How can I best use my direct personal communication with my students during teaching to afford a feed back about their achievement? How can I use assessments based on personal communication to tap information and understanding, as well as evaluating critical thinking and application skills? In fact, personal communication as assessment can be fulfilled through many forms such as instructional questions and answers, class discussions, oral exams, student journals, diaries, conferences and interviews, and learning logs.
Instructional questions and answers: Throughout my explanations of different scientific topics in my classes, I watch the expressions on my student’s faces. Besides, the various questions that the students ask tell me whether they are learning the material or not. But on the other hand, I always pose questions that help me figure out how well are they really learning and, perhaps more significantly, what can I do to improve their learning? Afterwards, data on student learning are analyzed and consequently the results inform me how instruction should most effectively proceed. Therefore, throughout my lesson plan the suggested questions must be designed to serve the diverse objectives of the lesson carefully such as analysis, comparisons, classification, etc. “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question”, Peter Drucker. Whereas, I as a teacher need to broaden my listening so that I don’t listen only to correct answers that I want to hear but also push further to listen to reasoning behind the answer. Moreover, sometimes correct answers mask confusions therefore I have to probe student’s answers to pick up misconceptions.
Instructional questions and answers have much strength such as providing me with an ongoing feedback about my students’ achievement, probe reasoning and deepen their understanding and serves to give me insights into how my students think. On the other hand, instructional questions and answers have some weakness as it is time consuming and also it needs an experienced teacher as unclear and prolonged questions can hinder students focus on a relatively narrow range of acceptable responses.
Conferences and interviews: Despite of the fact that our subject area “science” is not a healthy media that enrich the use of this form of personal communication, sometimes I do ask my students to perform interviews. For example, I asked them to make an interview with the school doctor or any other doctors as an application on the digestive system. I together with my students plan the questions in advance where, I guide them to ask questions that help connect what we have studied to real life applications. For example, I didn’t include in the list of questions “what are the parts of the digestive system or what are the functions of each” on the other hand, I direct them to questions such as “what is the suggested menu for a diabetic, hepatic or pregnant woman? If we have an athletic person, what do you advice him to do regarding his meals and nutritional habits?”
Of course from the strengthens of conferences and interviews in classrooms is that it helps teachers to show friendship, trusts, and interest in students and also helps students to perform additional work and enjoy the class as it motivate both the teacher and the students. The main weakness of conferences and interviews is that it consumes great amount of time that is why I always perform these types of communication assessment during the activity classes. Another drawback in such way of assessment is that the teacher can’t help being biased to the interview points that appeals more to her interest.
Class discussions: As cited in chapter 8 in Stiggins (2008): “class discussions have the simultaneous effect of promoting both student learning and their ability to use what they know”. Throughout my experience, I discovered that for classroom discussions to be effective, the teacher must act like a maestro that guide and lead an orchestra. In other words, the teacher has first to illuminate the purpose of the discussion, lead the student’s speech, identify the roles and prepare them for the discussion with questions, which they have to share in their preparation, and assignments. Second, the teacher has to clarify for the students the criteria or the rubric with which she is going to evaluate the discussion as this will minimize as much as possible the weakness of classroom discussions as a form of personal communication which are the difficulty in grading, avoiding being biased to one way of the conversation and students competing with one another rather than cooperate on learning tasks, as emphasized by Stiggins (2008) “Be sure the students are aware of your focus in evaluating their contribution. Are you judging the content of students’ contribution or the form of their contribution? ” On the other hand from the main strengths of class discussions are: opening a way of testing and exploring new ideas, students acquire information and insight from diverse points of view, they recognize and investigate their assumptions and consequently these conversations provide practice with problems and concepts. “A teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold iron”, Horace Mann (1796)
Oral examinations: Despite of the precious and valuable academic and social skills that are gained by the students in practicing oral examination, not all find oral exams as easy, as to write. Some find it harder to express themselves. I believe that it is the teacher’s role to train the students on this type of personal communication assessment because both the pressures and time factor can cloud the mind with stress, and it is only with practice that the mind will relax and be able to think clearly. I think this can be achieved by starting with easy questions that act as ice breaking and afterwards I as a teacher can smoothly go deeper into the subject. As cited in Stiggins (2008) “Clearly, the major argument against this assessment format is the amount of time it takes to administer oral exams”. However, within my classes I overcome this problem by informing my students since the beginning of the school year that I am going to start each lesson by choosing four to five students to be asked oral questions on the previous lesson and the graded mark represent one of the three quizzes that I have to do every month. As the time passes and through the relaxing learning atmosphere the students acquire the hidden strengths behind oral examinations such as, the practice in structuring answers and organizing the material and the understanding of it.
Journals and logs: As cited in Stiggins (2008) “written records accumulate over time, you can use them to help students reflect on their improvement as achievers- the heart of assessment FOR learning”. In spite of the great importance of reflective journals and logs in education, I as a science teacher cannot make use of it as a helping tool in assessment as ca do the English teachers. Whereas, I do ask my students to reflect in a very different and unique way that are related to our subject area for example, I always ask them to write down their observations, conclusions and their suggestion in various scientific topics that we go through in the lab. Putting hands on activities and reflecting on these experiences, highlights the strengths of this type of communication assessment such as: summarizing ideas, experience and opinions besides, viewing the academic and personal growth by reading past entries. On the other hand I can’t see any weak points in writing journals except that I feel jealous of the English teachers because they can make perfect usage of this assessment tool. Throughout my own experience one of the merits of the AUC course is that it gives me the opportunity to go into the habit of writing reflective journals.
Ways in which a teacher can maintain quality control when using personal communication as assessment in the classroom Using personal communication in combination with other methods can deepen our perceptive of student learning. By exposing our students to assessments that depend on personal communication, we can set them up for dynamic and successful education. Together with other methods, assessment based on personal communication is a victim to avoidable sources of bias that can misrepresent results if we are not careful.
To circumvent the challenges of personal communication and ensure validity and reliability of the assessment, the questions must be on the spot to cover the decided achievement targets, and choose appropriate measures of evaluating answers which are clear for both the teacher and the students. There are three problems that represent limiting factors against the usage of personal communication as assessment which are: first the problem of forgetting, second the problem of “filters” and third the challenge of sampling. As emphasized by Stiggins (2008) in chapter 8 (Personal Communication as Assessment), to defeat the first problem “the first reason for caution is that we must remain mindful of the fallibility of the human mind as a recording device”. I trust that the only way to overcome this problem is to keep a written record for each student that reflects his achievement in a register form. Regarding the second problem, I was really impressed by Stiggins (2008) as he said “if we established norms of student performance according to gender, ethnic heritage, cultural backgrounds, physical appearance, linguistic experience, our knowledge of the students prior achievement, or any of a variety of other forms of prejudice – all potentially unrelated to actual achievement – we allow bias to creep into assessment, resulting in unreliable scores”. I think that the best way to avoid these bias problems is to set a rubric for every single detail that we are going to assess. As for the last point which is the challenge of sampling, to overcome it and ensure the reliability of personal assessments, we have to set the targets clear and create the warmth atmosphere of the classroom in which we ask clear sufficient number of questions that enhance the students the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas in a fair way.