Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Robert J. Hanny


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the amount of verbal interaction between a student and a teacher and that student's achievement in the class taught by that teacher at the secondary school level. The student was used as the unit of study.;The sample was selected from a secondary school (9-12) in southeast Virginia with an enrollment of approximately 1800 students. One hundred and twenty-eight students from three intact Algebra II classes and three intact English 11 classes were included in the study.;All data were collected by three trained observers who coded the frequency of student-initiated and teacher-initiated interactions. Only instructional interactions between the teacher and the student were coded.;It was hypothesized that a positive correlation existed between the amount of teacher-student interactions and student achievement. It was assumed that a positive correlation between ability and achievement existed.;It was concluded that a positive correlation did exist between the amount of teacher-student interaction and student achievement in the English classes but not in the mathematics classes. The correlation between ability and achievement was not significant.;It was also discovered that a few students in each classroom were involved in the majority of the teacher-student interactions while the rest of the class sat quietly.;Further study is needed to determine the effect of balancing the amount of teacher-student interaction on achievement in classes where there is an obvious disparity in the involvement of the students. In addition, the relationship between the quality of interaction and achievement should be studied in classrooms where the quantity of interactions has been balanced. and lastly, the relationship between ability and achievement should be examined in secondary classrooms.



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