The connection between perceived teacher enthusiasm and near transfer in secondary English and Physics
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The literature on teacher enthusiasm has developed broadly and rapidly over the last two decades, and it has reported correlations with several student outcomes including performance and interest. This paper applies the Keller, Goetz, Becker, Morger, and Hensley (2014) conceptualization of dispositional teacher enthusiasm, which incorporates both affect and expressivity, to hypothesize significant positive relationships between teacher enthusiasm and near transfer of knowledge. In this study, immediately after a lesson was concluded, high school students (n=67) and teachers (n=8) were surveyed on classroom emotions, experiences, and perceived enthusiasm using Kunter et al.’s (2008, 2011) adapted teacher enthusiasm scale. Participants came from four English II classes, and four physics classes. Two weeks after the lesson with associated learning objectives (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), the students were tested on their mastery of the content with questions measuring their application level understanding. Based on correlational analysis, students who perceived teachers as enthusiastic did not perform significantly better on cumulative tests of knowledge, but all affective variables measured were significantly correlated with each other. Lastly, possible mediating factors and future directions are discussed.