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Teacher Clarity

Joseph L. Chesebro

Subject Communication and Development » Instructional Communication

Key-Topics speech, teaching

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Teacher clarity is the extent to which the meaning stimulated in students’ minds by an instructor accurately matches the meaning an instructor intends to convey. In their article on teacher behaviors, Rosenshine and Furst (1971) identified teacher clarity as the most important aspect of teaching that researchers should investigate. Since that article, research programs originating from both education and instructional communication have examined teacher clarity in a variety of ways and have demonstrated that it is one of the most significant teacher behaviors affecting student learning (→  Classroom Student–Teacher Interaction ; Learning and Communication ). A number of research programs have investigated teacher clarity (for a more complete review, see Chesebro & Wanzer 2006 ). The first major tradition emanated out of Ohio State between 1975 and 1985 (for a more complete review of these studies, see Cruickshank & Kennedy 1986 ). The researchers began by having junior high-school students recall their most clear teacher and identify five things the teacher did when teaching. Using items identified in this first study, the researchers then created items to discriminate between clear and unclear teachers, and, in the process, they discovered two dimensions of clarity: (1) explaining and (2) providing for student understanding. In a subsequent study they found a moderately ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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