Interaction: Students through teacher eyes

Project Information

Name Interaction II:
Students through teacher eyes
Project Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration 9/2017 bis 9/2020

Prof. Dr. Tina Seidel
Prof. Dr. Doris Holzberger
Prof. Dr. Kathleen Stürmer


Christian Kosel
Katharina Schnitzler

What is the research topic?

The project »Interaction II – Students through teacher eyes« investigates interactions between teachers and their students. In doing so, focus lies on teachers judgment accuracy: Along the lines of the adaptive teaching framework, teachers who are capable of judging their students’ learning relevant characteristics – as motivation, interest, or cognitive abilities, are assumed to adjust their teaching better toward the individual student characteristics. Through differentiated teaching higher learning outcomes are expected. Therefore, it is important to recognize students holding inconsistent patterns of their cognitive and motivational characteristics – students who over- or underestimate themselves. To date it was shown that during whole-class dialogues, teachers interact predominantly with students judged as strong to ensure smooth lesson progression. Educational scientist pointed out that so far teachers posess little judgment competencies – especially regarding the identification of these inconsistent patterns of cognitive and motivational-affective characteristics.

What is the specific issue in this project?

The research project aims for answers of following questions: How well can pre-service teachers and experienced in-service teachers recognize strong, struggling, uninterested, underestimating, and overestimating students? How do they distribute their attention to do so? How confident are they with their judgments? Which behavioral indicators are utilized to judge the characterisitics and how difficult is their observation? Therefore, the project investigates teacher judgement accuracy for the first time regarding the interplay of different student characteristics: stong, struggling, uninterested, underestimating, overestimating. To gain detailed insights in attention processes, judgement competence, and interaction behavior, teacher eye movements are recorded in a laboratory and a field study via eye tracking. Eye tracking sheds light on how often and how long teachers look at individual students.

What is the main goal of the project?

It is the goal to investigate micro learning environments of different groups of students in more detail to identify for example subgroups which receive little attention from their teachers and are inaccurately judged in their characterisitics. Moreover, typical patterns of teacher attention distribution preceding the interactions shall be identified. Here it is important to test whether systematic differences in the interactions with students are already visible during the dispersion of attention. In teacher education such findings may be used to sensitize prospective teachers for such patterns and to reflect their own judgment behavior.