PERUVIAN TEACHERS´ BELIEFS AND STRATEGIES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
In 2012, an important study carried out by the programme for the international student assessment (PISA) showed that Peru ranked last among the 65 countries. With this in mind, it is reasonable to study every component of the education process, in particular teachers. In addition to this, existing research on teaching education strategies and beliefs in Peruvian elementary teachers is scarce. Teachers are main components in the socioemotional development of children. Hence, it is crucial to better understand their beliefs, strategies and attitudes toward different children behaviors. Results from previous studies suggest that teacher beliefs and strategies influence children’s academic, social and behavior outcomes. Furthermore, teacher beliefs have been found to influence the decisions they make in the classroom, their general classroom behavioral style and their responses to child behavior and misbehavior. The mainly objective of the present study was to examine elementary Peruvian teacher strategies, attitudes, and beliefs regarding hypothetical shy (i.e. quite), exuberant (i.e. overly talkative), and average (i.e. typical) children. We explored whether these strategies and beliefs varied as a function of the child’s and teacher’s gender. Participants in the study were 400 elementary Peruvians teachers who attended a training program for one week at a private University in the North of Lima. Teachers were asked to complete vignettes depicting hypothetical children showing shy/quiet, exuberant/talkative, or average/typical behavior in the classroom and responded to follow-up questions assessing their strategies and beliefs. The results show that teachers are more likely to respond to exuberant/talkative children with high-powered and social learning strategies, while employing social learning strategies for shy/quite children. In addition, teachers tend to believe that shy/quiet children have more academic potential compared to exuberant/talkative children. Nonetheless, some of these findings will be moderated by children’s gender. Results are discussed in terms of their educational and contextual implications for the social and academic functioning of shy and exuberant children. Also, the implications of the teacher in this issue will be highlighted with recommendations for Peruvian teachers.