Perception involves the discovery, detection, impression, interpretation and comprehension of a particular event and is a kind of human mental activities. Lots of research investigate this psychological phenomenon by exploring the teachers' thinking processes and ways of construing their perception (Eibaz, 1981; Morine- Dershimer, 1009; Schon, 1983. As reflective practitioners, teachers develop schemata on how to teach or make decision effectively in their classroom teaching. They form judgments about their students' academic performance and classroom behaviors, and evaluate them to see if they are acceptable or unacceptable, typical or atypical, normal or deviant. These judgments become the basis of their decisions which lead to the subsequent responses or behavioral patterns. The ability of perceiving the nature and severity of classroom problems and making judgments is unique and crucial in the process of early identification. The schemata they use help them to identify the learning, emotional or conduct cause of a particular behavioral problem. However, teachers from different backgrounds (primary, secondary, special education, remedial teaching, pre-service or inservice teachers) will have a perceptual difference on behavioral problems. A survey investigating the teachers' perception of children with behavioral problems was conducted on 568 school teachers in Hong Kong. Teachers of different backgrounds were presented with the descriptions of some typical behavioral problems and they had to judge the learning, emotion or conduct cause of the cases. This study attempted to explore how well the teachers with distinct school backgrounds perceived the presented cases. The result revealed that most teachers perceived more learning problems but fewer conduct problems in the cases. The teachers found to be sensible to the learning and emotion causes of their children . Different groups of teachers held divergent views on perceiving the cases. More secondary and student teachers regarded the cases as the learning problems while the primary teachers focused more on the conduct of emotional nature of the cases. Besides the male teachers, teachers with more teaching experience and teachers teaching students of a high academic standard also perceived the cases as conduct or emotion problems more often.
|Published - 1996