Page: 261-279 Author: Hrabal, V., Lukš, J. Key words:
In this paper the authors give the results of an experiment about the use of pupils’ attitudes to the subjects they learn at school as criteria for the evaluation and self-evaluation of the effectiveness of the teacher’s educational work. Pupils’ statements about the popularity and difficulty of individual subjects provide significant information from a relatively independent source; the more mature the pupils, the more significant is the respective information. In the first part of the paper the authors describe the method used in their research into the pupils attitudes to subjects. The second part is focussed on pointing out the main problems. The first of these is the search for an answer to the following question: To what extent is the pupils’ attitude to the subject influenced by the character of the subject, by the composition of the class and group factors depending on the class, and to what extent by the teachers themselves. The second important question is: Which combination of popularity and difficulty is optimal from the pedagogical point of view. The third and final problem is the relationship of the teacher’s personality and his pedagogical attitudes to popularity and difficulty, solving the well-known contradiction of being pedagogically demanding and respecting the pupil’s personality. The paper continues by eliminating individual factors, which is substantiated by tables and statistic procedures. The most important conclusions are then summed up in the chapter called ≫Results and Discussion ≪. The pedagogical characterization of the teacher by the head of the school, evaluating primarily the professional skill and methodological level of the teacher concerned, proved to be in closest relation to the popularity of the subject concerned. Similarly, there is a close relation to the social characterization, in which the head tried to make a separate evaluation of how sensitive and understanding the teacher is in relation to his pupils. The relationship between the strictness in rating and the popularity of the subject is statistically unimportant. The relation of the teacher’s strictness in rating pupils and the level of the teacher’s professional knowledge to the difficulty of the subject were found to be statistically significant. It was also unequivocally found that higher levels of popularity and difficulty were pedagogically desirable. The paper goes on to make an attempt at a typology of teachers on the basis of the different level and the relation to the popularity and difficulty of subjects, which is supplemented by individual and group casuistries. The individual types are: popular and difficult, popular and easy, unpopular and difficult, unpopular and easy, of average difficulty and popular. In conclusion the authors give a summary, which clearly shows that the teacher’s personality is a very important factor in influencing the pupils* attitude to the subject in question. At the same time, however, the research has proved that the popularity and the difficulty of each subject, as appraised by pupils, are to a great extent dependent on the subject itself. Existing differences between classes are less marked. The research has proved the usefulness of the mutual relationship of characterizing popularity and difficulty, which is somewhat contradictory. The pupil dislikes useless spending of energy as well as inactivity. The criterion of the usefulness of the efforts made is success or failure. Combined information about the popularity and the difficulty of the subject is a substantial criterion of the teacher’s personality, because it shows to what extent the teachers is successful in harmonizing the demand for high exigencies and respects with the possibilities and requirements of the pupils.