Date of Award

Summer 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Mona Danner

Committee Member

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Otto C. Sampson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 O73


Research on teaching techniques used in higher education report that instructors who use a mixed repertoire of styles promote optimal student learning. However, previous research also indicates that many college professors continue to use the less effective traditional lecture instead of implementing more student-centered methods of instruction. This thesis investigates two general research questions. (1) To what extent do community college instructors utilize teaching techniques that have been shown to promote optimal student learning? (2) What factors, if any, increase the probability of an instructor using the teaching techniques that promote optimal student learning? In order to address these questions and test six hypotheses, a self-administered mail-back survey was designed to assess the teaching techniques of California community college Introduction to Sociology instructors (N=240). The 3 wave mailing resulted in a 61% response rate (N=143). Data revealed that a majority of instructors in this sample use the traditional lecture method of instruction regardless of factors such as year of training, gender, attending a college teaching workshop, class size, or academic freedom.


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