Full Length Research Paper
This study aims to explore pupils’ views on how a teacher should be and the reasons for their decisions. Based on qualitative research design, focus group interviews were done with ten 5th graders from a public primary school in Turkey. These pupils were asked the following questions: ‘how do you think a teacher should be?’ and ‘why do you make these decisions?’ Six themes were derived from the data: teacher’s personality, teacher’s interaction with pupils, teacher’s teaching skills, teachers’ classroom management skills, teacher’s interaction with parents and teacher’s appearance. Pupils defined teachers’ personality characteristics as friendly, caring, helpful, kind, respectful, energetic, creative, humorous and sympathetic. The results showed that pupils expected a teacher to have positive relationships with them and with their parents. The former was related to the support at school and the latter was related to support at home. Additionally, a teacher using diverse activities and technology to promote interest and engagement was expected. The results imply that to help teachers in improving their skills, competencies and knowledge, pupils’ views should be evaluated. The findings of this study contribute to knowledge in defining ‘a teacher’.
Key words: Pupils’ voice, teacher, primary school, teaching skills, focus group
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