16. European Congress of Psychology, Moscow, Rusya, 2 - 05 Temmuz 2019, ss.3-4
Power Distance in the Mathematics Classes:
How does it affect communication and academic performance?
Abstract:
Turkish culture is known to be a high power distance
culture and this situation shapes the communication styles and interactions
among the parties with different social statuses (Kabasakal, and Bodur, 2002).
High power distance culture of Turkey also affects the interactions inside the
classrooms and this situation has the potential to influence teachers’
communication styles, students’ motivation and academic performance. One of the key problems in Turkish education
system is the low motivation and performance of the students in mathematic
courses. From this point of view we designed a study to understand the effects
of power distance on teachers’ communication skills and students’ performances
for math classes. Besides we wanted to control the interaction of teachers’
power distance and communication skills with mathematics self-efficacy of
students as it was previously found that mathematics self-efficacy could be one
of the indicators for performance of mathematics (Bandura, 1997; Pajares and
Miller, 1995). The data were gathered
from the 8-grade students of nine state schools situated in Çankaya, Ankara.
795 students filled our surveys consisting 13-item power distance scale,
Karagöz ve Kösterioğlu’s (2008) 25-item teachers’ communication skills scale,
and Usher and Pajares’ (2009) 24 –item
Sources of Self Efficacy in Mathematics Scale. Students were also asked to
write their first and second term math grades. We used the data of 449 students
as there were no missing items in their surveys. The data were analyzed by
Multiple and Hierarchical Regression analyses. The moderated regression
analysis (Aiken and West, 1991) and Sobel tests were also used to analyze the
data. The results showed that power distance predicted teachers’ communication
skills. Moreover power distance and teachers’ communication skills were found
to be explaining the variance in maths grades.
Although no interaction effect of self-efficacy in mathematics was found
among these relations, self-efficacy was found to be a predictor for
mathematics performance. The results showed that high power distance of the
teachers is one of the factors hindering the effective communication in
classrooms and this situation indirectly predisposes lower performances in
maths exams. Moreover our results once
again showed the importance of students’ self-efficacy in mathematics.
Key Words: Power Distance, Teachers’ Communication Skills,
Self-Efficacy in Mathematics, Academic Performance in Mathematics, Classroom
interactions