Sociology Mind
2012. Vol.2, No.1, 61-66
Published Online January 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 61
The Relation between Assertiveness Levels, Locus of Control and
Academic Success of Turkish Language Teacher Candidates
Sibel Dinçyürek1, Ahmet Güneyli2, Mehmet Çağlar2
1Eastern Meditteranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus
2Near East University, Nicosia, North Cyprus
Received July 9th, 2011; revised October 15th, 2011; accepted November 22nd, 2011
Before they start their career, candidate teachers must have deep knowledge about the characteristics that
a successful teachers should have. The purpose is to create awareness that personal traits of a teacher are
critical during education period and to improve and develop these traits. The research is a descriptive one
and the basic purpose of this study is to examine the relation between the assertiveness levels and locus of
control, on one hand, and academic success, on the other, of senior Turkish teaching students at Eastern
Mediterranean University (n = 276). Validity and reliability studies were conducted in order to collect
data and “Rathus Assertiveness Schedule” and “Rotter Locus of Control Scale” were used. Percentage-
frequency calculations were conducted so as to evaluate the data, cross-reference tables were produced
and correlation was examined. In this study, researchers didn’t find any correlation between the asser-
tiveness and academic successes of candidate teachers. Likewise, there isn’t any relation between locus of
control and academic success of candidate teachers.
Keywords: Turkish Candidate Teacher; Assertiveness; Locus of Control; Academic Success
The most important element of an education system is teach-
ers. Even if we have the best program, buildings and class-
rooms, the most appropriate laboratories and libraries, the best
course books, and the most modern tools, they are no good if
the teacher who will bring them into force is insufficient. For
this reason, it is safe to say “a school is as good as its teachers”
(Kavcar, 2005). In this paper, the focus is on the personal char-
acteristics of teachers as an element of education system. Char-
acteristics that teachers should possess are grouped under four
basic headings: knowledge of the field, teaching knowledge,
general culture and personality traits (Brophy, 1981; Demirel,
2006). Studies that focus on personality traits of the teacher as
one of these qualifications (Gordon, 1999; Çetin, 2001; Çelik-
ten et al., 2005) emphasized the importance of a variety of per-
sonality traits in the education process. According to the results
of these studies, teachers who have such personality traits as
being patient, objective, kind, sincere, confidant, leader, toler-
ant, smiling, open to new things and who present a good exam-
ple to their children with their thoughts and behaviors can be
much more successful in their job.
This research is based on the relations between personality
traits of teachers and academic success of students. The studies
that focused on the impact of personality traits of teachers on
student success (Brophy & Good, 1986; Sünbül, 1996) were
reached and it was observed that there was a relation between
many personality traits and student success. According to the
research results, a teacher, who is warm, timid, caring about
his/her work and organized, has positive impact on student
success, whereas a teacher who is critical, reproaching, humili-
ating, provoking competition, gender-discriminating has nega-
tive impact on student success.
In this paper the “assertiveness” and “locus of control” per-
sonality traits of teachers are taken as reference and the impact
of these personality traits on academic success have been ex-
amined. Assertiveness is used to mean confidence, self-dis-
playing in an efficient manner, acting effectively, safe behavior,
and confident assertiveness. Audacity is a pattern of interper-
sonal relations developed for ensuring that individuals can de-
fend their rights without disdaining and denying the rights of
others. If timidness and aggression are two ends of a spectrum,
audacious behavior is placed right in the middle of this spec-
trum as a compatible and healthy behavior. The basic philoso-
phy of audacity is not people doing everything as they like, but
trying to ensure equality. This approach allows for the forma-
tion of such bonds as confidence, warmness, intimacy and love
between people and individuals to express themselves (Voltan-
Acar, 2003).
Audacious people know how to say yes or no in an appropri-
ate manner when making their choice. They express what they
want in a clear and understable manner. If they suspect that
something is wrong, they ask questions and demand explana-
tions. They do not let others use them. They use body language
and are sensitive and tolerant in their relations. They are effec-
tive, healthy and compliant. They make the decisions and
choices of their own lives and realize their aims. They honestly
voice out their negative feelings (Beck et al., 1985; Uğurlu,
1994; Greenberg, 2002).
Locus of control is the tendency to perceive the negative or
positive events that affect a person as the result of their own
behaviors or as an impact of external forces such as luck etc.
Internal control is the belief in a person that he/she has the
power to affect the events that he/she encounters and their re-
sults. External control is, on the other hand, attributing the
events and their consequences to powers other than one’s self
(God, luck, fate etc.) (Rotter et al., 1972; Yeşilyaprak, 1990). It
is observed that internal-control individuals act more sincerely
and deeply in their interpersonal relations compared to exter-
nal-control individuals. It is a known fact that internal-control
individuals spend more time on educative activities, perceive
themselves as more effective, confident and independent indi-
viduals and lead healthy emotional lives. External-control indi-
viduals tend to comply with the society’s rules and can believe
in anything easily. They are happy with living in line with the
will of the majority of the society. In case of a failure, they
mostly accuse anyone but themselves (Phares, 1976; Dönmez,
1985; Uzun, 2002).
According to Deluty (2004), audacity and internal-control
can be learned and developed. The audacity and internal-con-
trol of the teacher can be reflected on the behaviors of the stu-
dents in the classroom, which is valuable in terms of the teach-
ing-learning process. The studies in the literature usually evalu-
ated the relations between audacity levels and locus of control
of students at elementary and secondary education and their
academic success. In addition to academic success, especially
the relation between gender, age, socio-economic status vari-
ables and audacity and locus of control have been examined
(Fukuyama & Greenfield, 1983; Tegin, 1990; Buluş, 1996;
Alisinanoğlu, 2003; Serin & Derin, 2008). However, depending
on the deficiency in the literature, the focus of this study is on
candidate teachers and the objective is to improve and develop
the profession by creating an awareness of the importance of
personality traits of teachers in education process. Before they
start doing their job, teacher candidates should very well know
the personality traits that a successful teacher should possess.
From this point on, an evaluation has been made on how the
personality traits of teachers (in the context of audacity and
locus of control) affect their own academic success.
In this paper, audacity and locus of control personality traits
of teachers have been chosen due to the different conclusions
reached by studies in the literature which examined the relation
between audacity and locus of control and academic success.
Some researchers have found out that audacity and locus of
control positively affected success (Findley & Cooper, 1983;
Nunn & Nunn, 1993; Gemi, 1997; Uğurluoğlu, 1996; Cassidy
& Eachus, 2000; Derin, 2006) whereas some others displayed
that it had no impact on success (Eisenman & Platt, 1968;
Hjelle, 1970; Yeşilyaprak, 1990; Başol & Türkoğlu, 2009). The
aim of this study is to obtain a new result about this subject,
compare it with the conclusions of previous studies, and to
obtain data about this data which was not studied before in the
example of North Cyprus.
In this study the “audacity” and “locus of control” situations
of candidate Turkish language teachers have been examined.
Turkish language teaching is based on the teaching of four lan-
guage skills. Personality traits of teachers are especially deter-
minant in the teaching of verbal language skills (listening and
speaking). According to Özbay (2009), Turkish language teach-
ers have to be good listeners, listen by making empathy, and set
examples for their students so that they can develop their criti-
cal listening skills. Demirel (2002) stated that students could
display such negative behaviors as timidness in speaking-
learning. Students who are silenced when they want to speak,
who cannot find the opportunity to speak and who are punished
for speaking can be timid or silent. In this context, it is believed
that Turkish language teachers being audacious and with inter-
nal locus of control is essential in teaching-learning process in
the context that students can identify themselves with the
teachers and the subject was found worth studying. To sum up,
the basic purpose of this study is to examine the audacity levels
and locus of control of Turkish language teaching students at
Eastern Mediterranean University and their academic success.
The answer to the following sub-problems have been sought in
order to reach the general purpose given above:
1) Is the relation between audacity levels and locus of control
of Turkish language teacher candidates and their academic
success significant?
2) Is the relation between locus of control and academic suc-
cess of Turkish language teacher candidates and their academic
success significant?
In this study descriptive model was used in order to answer
sub-objectives and describe the situation as it is; as a result,
quantitative data were obtained. The variables used in this study
are assertiveness level, locus of control and academic success.
In the study the relations between assertiveness level and locus
of control; locus of control and academic success of Turkish
language teacher candidates have been displayed and inter-
Research Group
One of the six universities in the country, Eastern Mediter-
ranean University, located in Famagusta district, was included
in this study. In the research a total of 276 students who are
enrolled at Turkish language teaching department of Eastern
Mediterranean University in 2007 were reached. Taking into
consideration that senior students at Turkish language teaching
department have taken development-learning psychology and
guidance course, it was believed that they would be more
knowledgeable about the subject and the research group was
determined. As age, residence, gender, and education status of
parents were not examined, these variables were not needed in
this study.
Data Collection Tools
In this study, “Rathus Assertiveness Schedule” and “Rotter
Locus of Control Scale” were used for data collection. Grade
averages of teacher candidates were recorded by researchers
and the success intervals determined by the status of Eastern
Mediterranean University (4.0 - 3.50 high honor, 3.49 - 3.00
honor, 2.99 - 2.50 very successful, 2.49 - 2.00 successful, 1.99
and below unsuccessful) were used.
Rathus Assertiveness Schedule: It was developed by Rathus
in 1977. It measures timidness and audacity behaviors. The
scale has 30 items and is aimed for teenagers and adults. The
respondents are asked to mark one of the following options for
each item: “very much like me” (3), “rather like me” (2),
“slightly like me” (1), “slightly unlike me” (–1), “rather unlike
me” (–2), “very much unlike me” (–3). The total score which
can be received from the scale changes between –90 and 90.
Those who receive 10 and below score are accepted as timid
and those who receive above 10 are accepted as “audacious”.
The scale was translated to Turkish by Voltan-Acar (1980) and
its validation was performed by applying the scale to students at
Hacettepe University, Child Development and Education De-
2 Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
partment. Test-retest reliability coefficient obtained by using
Pearson Moments Multiplication correlation formula was found
as .92. Split-half reliability was evaluated using Spearman
Brown technique and internal consistency was found as .77.
Criterion-related validity was, on the other hand, determined by
calculating the correlation coefficient (.70) between the self-
evaluations of students and their evaluation by their academic
advisors (Öner, 2006: pp. 833-834).
Rotter Internal-External Locus of Control Scale: This scale
was developed by Rotter in 1966. The behavior or characteristic
that it measures is the situation of generalized control expecta-
tions of individual on the endogeneity-exogeneity dimension.
The measure consists of 29 items and can be applied to people
who completed secondary education. In the scale each item has
two options, namely a and b, and the respondent marks the
option which best suits him/her. Six of the 29 items cannot be
scored as they are extenders. Total score can be between 0 and
23. 0 - 3 means internally controlled, 4 - 11 means standard
controlled and 12 - 23 means externally controlled. The scale
was translated into Turkish and adapted by Dağ (1990). While
internal consistency was being evaluated during reliability cal-
culations, item total correlations varied between .08 and .41;
however, the scale total scores and correlations of 3rd and 20th
items were not found significant. Cronbach alpha coefficient
obtained from the sample formed by 532 respondents was
found as .71, whereas KR-20 reliability was found as .68 from
the sample of 99 respondents. Pearson Moments multiplication
coefficient obtained for test-retest reliability was .83. For valid-
ity, construct validity and criterion-related validity were made.
As a result of the factor analysis, 7 factors which explain 47.7%
of the total variance in scores (lack of chance control, external
control in political events, chance control, lack of school suc-
cess control, lack of control in interpersonal relations, belief in
fate, lack of control in political control) were determined. These
factors were determined as sufficiently homogeneous and sig-
nificant resemblance was found with the factors obtained with
the original in terms of number and pattern. A relation has been
determined between Rosenbaum’s Learned Strength Measure
which measures self-control and internal control (–.29, p < .001)
and external locus of control and general symptom indicator
(GSI) of “symptom crosshatching list” (SCL-90) (.21, p < .001)
(Öner, 2006: pp. 844-846).
Analysis of Dat a
The data obtained in the research were analyzed by using
appropriate statistical techniques, then explained and inter-
preted by forming charts. Percentage-frequency calculations
were made, cross tables were formed and “Pearson r Coeffi-
cient” was calculated. When the statistical data of the study
were evaluated, the significance coefficient was taken as p
< .05.
Findings and Discussion
1) Is there a significant relation between audacity levels and
academic success of Turkish language teaching candidates?
Findings related to the audacity levels and academic success
of teacher candidates is provided in Table 1.
When Table 1 is examined, according to the results obtained
from Rathus Assertiveness Schedule, 49 of the 58 high honor
students (84.5%) are timid and 9 (15.5%) are audacious. 68 of the
Table 1.
Cross-table for audacity levels and academic success of Turkish lan-
guage teacher candidates.
Average Grade % Timid between
–90 and +10
% Audacious
between +10 and +90Total
4.00 - 3.50 High Honor 49 (84.5) 9 (15.5) 58
3.50 - 3.00 Honor 68 (74) 24 (26) 92
3.00 - 2.50 Very Successful46 (62.2) 28 (37.8) 74
2.50 - 2.00 Successful 32 (72.7) 12 (27.3) 44
2.00 and below Unsuccessful5 (71.4) 2 (28.6) 7
Total 200 75 275
Note: 1 datum is lost.
92 honor students (74%) are timid whereas 24 (26%) are auda-
cious. 46 of the 74 very successful students (62.2%) are timid
whereas 28 (37.8%) are audacious. 5 of the 7 students (71.4%)
are timid and 2 (28.6%) are audacious. Most of the 275 candi-
date teachers (200, representing 71.4%) are timid. The success
level with the highest rate of audacious students is 3.00 - 2.50
level (very successful). The correlation results for evaluating
the relation between audacity levels and academic success of
teacher candidates is given in Table 2.
According to the values given in Table 2, the relation be-
tween assertiveness levels of senior university students at Turk-
ish language department (r = 0.092) and their academic success
(r = 1.00) was found to be insignificant.
This result coincides with some research findings in the lit-
erature (Şahin, 2001; Kapanci, 2006) and indicates that there is
no relation between assertiveness and academic success. On the
other hand, Uğurluoğlu (1996), Gemi (1997) and Gökalan
(2000) determined relation between personality traits and aca-
demic success of students. According to research findings, the
academic success of those students who have high assertiveness
levels was found to be high. Tataker (2003) and Güven (2010)
concluded that those students who have high academic success
perception were highly audacious.
According to the results of several studies conducted abroad,
assertiveness has to be taken and evaluated as a skill training
for children, teenagers and adults. Researchers conducted on
children displayed that audacity education provided some gain-
ing in the affective field compared to academic success. It has
become clear that earning audacious behaviors is essential in
Table 2.
Correlation results for audacity level and academic success of Turkish
language teacher candidates.
Control Variables Average GradeAudacity
Correlation 1.000 .092
Significance (2-Tailed) .068
Average Grade
Df 0 392
Correlation .092 1.000
Significance (2-Tailed) .068 . Assertiveness
Df 392 0
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 63
64 Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
eliminating such bad habits as nicknaming, compeer bullying,
swearing etc. (Horstman, 1986; Perry et al., 1988; Droge &
Stipek, 1993; Embyr & Luzzo, 1996; Clarke & Kiselce, 1997;
Nichols, 2002). Alberti and Emmons (2002), on the other hand,
have put emphasis on those individuals who are audacious in
reaching their life-related goals are more successful in general
2) Is there a significant relation between locus of control and
academic success of Turkish language teaching candidates?
Findings related to the locus of control and academic success
of teacher candidates is provided in Table 3.
When Table 3 is examined, according to the results obtained
from locus of control scale, 5 of the 58 high honor students (8.6)
have internal locus of control, 32 (55.2%) have standard locus
of control and 21 (36.2%) have external locus of control. 4 of
the 93 high honor students (4.3%) have internal locus of control,
60 (64.5%) have standard locus of control and 29 (31.2%) have
external locus of control. 4 of the 74 very successful students
(5.4%) are internal locus of control, 36 (48.6%) have standard
locus of control and 34 (46%) have external locus of control. 31
of the 44 successful students (70.4%) have standard locus of
control and 13 (29.6%) have external locus of control. 3 of the
7 unsuccessful students (42.8%) have standard locus of control
and 4 (57.2%) have external locus of control. Only 13 of the
teacher candidates are internally controlled (4.7). High-honor
(4.00 - 3.50) is the success level with the highest number of
internally controlled students. The correlation results for evalu-
ating the relation between locus of control and academic suc-
cess of teacher candidates is given in Table 4.
According to the values given in Table 4, the relation be-
tween locus of control levels of senior university students at
Turkish language department (r = 0.057) and their academic
success (r = 1.00) was found to be insignificant.
This finding is consistent with the conclusion of some re-
searches (Eisenman & Platt, 1968; Hjelle, 1970; Yeşilyaprak,
990; Başol & Türkoğlu, 2009) and shows that there is no rela-
tion between locus of control and academic success. However,
when the findings of many studies are examined (Findley &
Cooper, 1983; Nunn & Nunn, 1993; Cassidy & Eachus, 2000;
Derin, 2006), it can be determined that students tend to associ-
ate themselves with their successes whereas they tend to asso-
ciate external forces with their failures, and that internal-control
and success rate act in the same direction.
Conclusion and Suggestions
In this paper it has been found out that there is no significant
relation between assertiveness levels and academic success of
Turkish language teacher candidates. Likewise, it has also been
found out that there is no significant relation between locus of
control and academic success of Turkish language teacher can-
didates. Different results have been obtained in studies con-
ducted about the relation between academic success and locus
of control and assertiveness. In order to make this point more
explicit, similar studies have to be adapted to different student,
teacher and candidate teacher groups and the results have to be
compared. Contribution can be made to the process by con-
ducting experimental studies and the sub-dimensions of asser-
tiveness and locus of control can be obtained and a detailed
evaluation can be performed.
Gaining success in education process is highly valuable and
methods for increasing success should be emphasized. If an
individual believes that his/her personality traits are determi-
nant in his/her success, he/she can critically evaluate most of
his/her behaviors and develop himself/herself. Students and
teachers alike have to know their personality traits well and
reflect that their personality traits can affect their academic
success. In addition to assertiveness and locus of control, other
personality traits (empathy, self-respect etc.) have to be handled
and their relation with academic success should be evaluated. In
this context, attention should be paid to create student-centered
education environments for ensuring that students know their
personality traits better. It is essential that scientific studies on
the extent to which and how certain personality traits of teach-
ers affect students and the extent to which and how certain
personality traits of students affect their academic success be
Teachers of Turkish language are the most important ele-
ments of mother tongue education. Language skills with cogni-
tive, emotional and kinesthetic content are earned by the teach-
ers in this field. Teachers of Turkish language can provide op-
portunities for developing creativity during their teaching ac-
tivities and play a critical role in training their students as
thinking and productive individuals (Leach, 2000; Sever, 2002).
However, in order to be able to perform such a mother tongue
education, teacher candidates must know that their personality
traits can affect first their individual success and teaching skills
and, when they begin their career, the academic success of their
students. In this study the relation between general success
situations and personality traits of Turkish language teaching
candidates has been examined; future studies can affect the
extent and pattern of the impact of personality traits of students
and teachers in teaching-learning environment in development
Table 3.
Cross-table for locus of control and academic success of Turkish language teacher candidates.
Average Grade Internal Supervision (0 - 3)% Standard (4 - 11)% External Supervision (12 - 23)% Total
4.00 - 3.50 High Honor 5 (8.6) 32 (55.2) 21 (36.2) 58
3.50 - 3.00 Honor 4 (4.3) 60 (64.5) 29 (31.2) 93
3.00 - 2.50 Very Successful 4 (5.4) 36 (48.6) 34 (46) 74
2.50 - 2.00 Successful - 31 (70.4) 13 (29.6) 44
2.00 and below Unsuccessful - 3 (42.8) 4 (57.2) 7
Total 13 162 101 276
Table 4.
Correlation results for locus of control and academic success of Turkish
language teacher candidates.
Control Variables Average GradeControl
Average Grade Correlation 1.000 .057
Significance (2-Tailed) - .261
Df 0 390
Control Correlation .057 1.000
Significance (2-Tailed) .261 -
Df 390 0
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