Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

What power? A mixed methods study of nonformal education teacher perceptions of social power
by Sanute, Pierce J., Ph.D., Capella University, 2012, 125; 3548120
Abstract (Summary)

Nonformal education opportunities abound and constitute a substantial educational presence. The teacher-student relationship affects the quality of teacher work and the student experience, including student achievement and satisfaction, in both formal and nonformal settings. One way to describe the teacher-student relationship is through the use of social power, defined as the ability of one party to change or control the behavior, attitudes, opinions, objectives, needs, and values of another party. The use of social power in the formal classroom is well researched and documented. The use of social power from the perspective of the nonformal education teacher is not as well documented. This mixed methods study examined the perceptions and use of social power from the perspective of the nonformal education teacher by identifying what types of social power nonformal education teachers use and how they use that social power to positively influence student achievement and satisfaction. In this study, nonformal education teachers completed a survey instrument, demographic survey, and answered a series of open-ended questions. Participants identified expert power as the type of social power used most in the classroom and coercive power as used least. Participants perceived using social power to maintain classroom environment, promote attendance and retention, build trust and relationships with students, and encourage feedback from students to influence student achievement and satisfaction. Recommendations include replicating this study in other nonformal education settings and providing professional development opportunities for using social power in the nonformal education classroom. Also, it is recommended to examine social power in the nonformal education classroom from the perspective of the teacher and the student, at the same time using similar instruments to create a coordinated effort of gathering and comparing data.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jacobs, Howard
Commitee: Marin, Patricia M., Myers, Carmen
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Adult education
Keywords: Nonformal education, Social power, Student achievement, Student satisfaction, Teacher perceptions, Teacher-student relationship
Publication Number: 3548120
ISBN: 978-1-267-83344-0
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