Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Michael Bertoch


This study describes the development and evaluation of a communications skills course for elementary teacher inservice training. The development and evaluation strategy centered on a research and development (R & D) process. The major steps of the R & D process were: (1) product selection, (2) literature review, (3) prototype planning, (4) development of preliminary prototype, (5) expert appraisal and product revision, (6) main fieldtest, (7) product revision, and (8) operational fieldtest.

The course was composed of 13 communication skills with 20 behavioral objectives and evaluations. Experiences in self-awareness and practical application of the skills presented were stressed.

The purpose of the Operational Fieldtest was to determine if there was any change in verbal behavior of the teachers on a paper-pencil evaluation given pre and post. The test used was a criterion-referenced test in three parts. Part 1 consisted of three problem-solving episodes relating a problem with a boy being out-of-seat or talking-out, a girl crowding in the lunchline or running in the hall, and a boy fighting or destroying property. Part 2 was an objective test, and part 3 was a teacher estimate of student responsibility.

The subjects for the Operational Fieldtest were 39 elementary teachers, including a principal, four special educators, two counselors, and a school nurse. The data were collected over a 10-week period from January 14 to March 18, 1975.

The first five hypotheses stated that scores would increase after treatment for the three student episodes and the objective test. Hypothesis 6 stated that the teachers' estimate of student responsibility would increase. Of the six hypotheses, four showed a significant increase in communication skills used at the .001 level using a One-Way Analysis of Variance on the three groups. The second episode and the estimate of student responsibility were not significantly different. It was decided that the course had met its primary goal of teaching communication skills to elementary teachers. Evaluation of the product for exportability is the next step to be taken.