Instructional communication and student learning in secondary education: an exploratory sequential mixed methods inquiry




Myers, Joenie Jo Guerra


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It is important to understand the influence of instructional communication in today’s educational environments. Identifying how instructional communication strategies and effective teaching in secondary education impact student learning and motivation is essential for developing the schools in our nation. However, there is a lack of research on instructional communication in secondary education. The exploratory sequential mixed methods study was conducted to examine secondary education teachers’ use of instructional communication strategies and their potential impact on student learning and motivation. The Instructional Communication Strategies Questionnaire (ICSQ) was developed by the researcher to measure students’ attitudes and the potential influence of specific instructional communication constructs, specifically, nonverbal immediacy, self-disclosure, teacher evaluation, teacher clarity, teacher rapport, teacher relevance, affective learning, school motivation, and classroom motivation. The study took place at a school district in South Texas. The participants included five exemplary English Language Arts teachers and 252 11th and 12th graders for the qualitative and quantitative components of the study, respectively. External validity was limited to study participants due to the non-probability nature of the sampling. Because of the non-experimental nature of the study, no causal inferences were drawn
Analysis of the quantitative data showed students’ perceptions of teacher evaluation, teacher clarity, teacher relevance, and teacher rapport were associated with affective learning, school motivation, and classroom motivation. Nonverbal immediacy was correlated with affective learning and classroom motivation, but self-disclosure did not correlate with affective learning, school motivation, and classroom motivation. The qualitative data resulted in three themes: student learning experience and teacher influence, teacher content presentation and style variety, and teacher communication roles, and suggested that instructional communication strategies can be instrumental in impacting student affective learning and motivation.



communication, exploratory sequential, instructional, mixed methods, secondary education, student learning



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