High School Students’ Perceptions of and Attitudes towards Teacher Power in the Classroom

  •  Konstanina Koutrouba    
  •  Eleni Baxevanou    
  •  Athanasios Koutroumpas    


The present study examines Greek High School students’ perceptions of and attitudes towards their teachers’ power, from findings produced during a questionnaire-based study conducted in the period 2010-2011, with the participation of 1076 students attending 68 schools across Greece. Greek students provided information on how their teachers exert didactic and legitimate power in the classroom and on how students themselves react whenever their teachers abuse power. Data elaboration, statistical and factor analysis showed that, according to students, teachers exert didactic power mainly by exhibiting profound knowledge and applying effective teaching and assessment methods, while they exert legitimate power through implementing rules, inflicting punishment and controlling students’ behaviour. The study also showed that students react passively to power abuse due to fear of possible consequences, aggressively when a teacher’s power is regarded as excessively unfair, or positively when relations of trust and acceptance have been established between the teacher and the student.

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