AbstractI am sure you like your teacher, and are quite the teacher's pet! But how do other students in your school feel about their teacher? Will younger students like their teacher more than older students? What other trends can you investigate?
Sara Agee, Ph.D., Science Buddies
In this experiment you will find out if more students like their teacher in younger grades than in older grades.
Most students like their teachers. However, they may not always say so. Peer pressure may keep a student from expressing how they really feel. How do the attitudes of students towards teachers vary in your school? There are some stereotypical attitudes you can test in this experiment. Will younger students tend to like their teachers more than older students? Will girls tend to like their teachers more than boys? Is there a particular grade level where students like their teachers the most?
In this experiment, you will be asking other students from your school if they like their teacher. But in order to get meaningful results and to look for trends that can test the questions above, you will need to collect more information than that. To collect the information you will make a survey. Your survey should include your main question, "Do you like your teacher?" and any other information you would like to gather for your study. Some examples of other questions to ask are:
- gender (male or female)
- age (date of birth)
- grade level (K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th...12th)
- school (if you can take your survey to another school)
Your survey should be clear and easy to read. Remember that if you want to include young students who are in Kindergarten, they may be just learning to read! For very young students who cannot read, you may need to give the survey by reading it to each student and writing down the answers for them. You will also need to get permission from other teachers at your school if you intend on giving the survey during class time.
Terms and Concepts
To do this type of experiment you should know what the following terms mean. Have an adult help you search the internet, or take you to your local library to find out more!
- Will younger students like their teacher more than older students?
- Will girls like their teacher more than boys?
- How can surveys be used to collect information for a scientific study?
- On this Scholastic website, you can browse through sample surveys to see what kinds of questions they ask and how kids answer them:
Scholastic. (n.d.). Kids USA Survey. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- This site describes four steps in writing a good survey:
Math Is Fun Staff. (n.d.). How to Do a Survey. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
Materials and Equipment
- copy machine
- The first step is to design your survey form. It should be easy to read and understand. Here is an example of a survey for this type of study:
Please answer each question by circling your answer: Grade LevelK 1 2 3 4 5 Are you a boy or a girl?boy girl Do you like your teacher? Answer:yes sometimes no How old are you? (write in answer)I am ______ years old.
- Make several copies of your survey to pass out to subjects. For your study to yield data that is reliable, you will need to survey many people from each study group. You should survey at least 50 students from each age group (if you are testing the effect of age) or gender (if you are testing the effect of gender) for your study.
- Schedule a time with a teacher to bring your survey to the class for students to take. Or give the survey before school, during lunch time, or after school. Provide participants with a pencil and clipboard to make the survey easy to fill out.
- Collect the surveys and keep them in a folder until you have enough participants for each study group.
- Make a data table for your results to tabulate the data one variable at a time. Here is a sample table for the grade level variable:
Do you like your teacher? Answer: Yes Sometimes No Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
- Now make a bar graph of your results to analyze your data. Which groups like their teacher the most?
Ask an Expert
- As children grow, their attitudes towards their parents also change. You can conduct a study on the attitudes of students towards their parents. Will you see similar trends?
- You can conduct this type of study with any kind of preference you can think of. Will young students or older students prefer the same kind of music? Will boys or girls like the food in the school cafeteria the most? You can ask about TV shows, books, sports, food, almost anything!
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers: