University Of Tasmania
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Sense of humour and teacher-student relationships in school-age children.

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posted on 2023-05-27, 16:43 authored by Price, Ken(Ken John)
This study investigated the relationship between dimensions of Sense of Humour in school-age children and their preferred teachers, with a focus on providing teachers with a basis for selecting appropriate humour for specific students. An instrument and process for measuring dimensions of Sense of Humour in school-age children, based on the Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale of Thorson and Powell (1993a), was developed, piloted and validated. Norms were derived from several groups of students across the upper primary to senior secondary age range (N=722), using a factor analysis approach. Using this instrument, multidimensional SOH (Sense of Humour) profiles of school-age children (N=420) and their preferred teachers were measured. The relationship between these dimensions for students and their preferred teachers were subjected to correlational analysis, to determine how SOH may contribute to the selection of preferred teacher by individual students and hence the aspects of sense of humour that individual students see as desirable in teachers. Research on friendship formation suggested that the humour profiles of students would be similar to that of their preferred teachers, dimension by dimension. This was shown not to be the case: the relationships were not, in general, simple similarity relationships between dimensions, but a set of associations, in several cases between different dimensions. While there are many other factors that contribute to the choice of a preferred teacher, Sense of Humour was found to be of higher importance for female students than for males: the dimension Personal Use of Humour in female students was associated with II III Personal Use of Humour in preferred teachers, and a similar relationship held for Social Use of Humour. The dimension Production of Humour in male teachers was negatively associated with three of the five dimensions of humour in female students. This confirms that, from a student's perspective, teachers dealing with female students who exhibit a strong sense of humour are best advised not to focus on being producers of humour, but rather should encourage and manage other sources of humour. The developed instrument is presented as a valuable tool for teachers, and has proven efficient and workable in deriving the SOH profiles of large numbers of students. The findings are highly relevant to teachers in general, but have particularly strong implications for teachers of female students, where humour has the potential to create significant negative as well as positive outcomes. The study also provides further explanation for the mixed results on the impact of humour on learning obtained by previous researchers, and provides additional tools for the analysis of this impact. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are given.


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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 236-260)

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