Hess, Robyn S.

Committee Member

Fahey, Kathleen

Committee Member

Bardos, Achilles N.

Committee Member

Thompson, Susan


Applied Psychology & Counselor Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

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235 pages

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Born digital


A number of researchers have examined temperament as it relates to goodness of fit. Limited qualitative research however, has been conducted in this area. This study is a type of qualitative research called an ethnography with prolonged engagement occurring over a full cycle, one school year in a Kindergarten/1st grade combined classroom. The participants included the teacher and 15 of her students. The researcher's role in the classroom was that of a participant observer as she conducted observations in the natural setting and gathered information from a number of sources including researcher field notes, teacher field notes, three teacher interviews, artifacts, and a researcher's journal. Qualitative analysis focused on extracting relevant themes. These themes included creating a learning environment, addressing behavioral challenges, establishing a routine and maintaining organization, and temperament and goodness of fit. An analysis of the themes revealed that the teacher seemed to be able to establish goodness of fit with those students who had a similar temperament to her own by setting up her classroom a certain way and presenting academic information in an exciting format. At various times, the teacher changed the environmental demands to meet those students with temperaments different from her own however, she continued to struggle to achieve goodness of fit with a few students. School psychologists may consult with teachers in attempts to set up the classroom environment and demands to match a student's temperament. The results from this study may also be useful for educators when determining classroom placements.

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