ERIC Number: ED160537
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Status Composition and Educational Goals: An Attempt at Clarification.
Alexander, Karl L.; And Others
In investigating educational goals, academic performance, academic self-esteem, and educational attainment, researchers should realize the importance of the school environment as well as individual student characteristics. To evaluate the significance of school effects, a project was undertaken to ascertain why students in high status schools were more likely to aspire to go to college than were similar students in schools drawing from lower status populations. Specifically, three perspectives were tested: school climate, characteristics of peer associates, and proportions enrolled in various curricula. Data were drawn from standardized test scores, student records, and a survey of students, teachers, and principals of 20 public, coeducational high schools in 1964 and 1965. A statistical analysis was performed on 39 variables including student body ability composition, sex composition, status composition, and academic value climate; and individual student social background, academic variables, subjective orientation to school, and peer characteristics. Findings indicated that school variability in status composition was significantly relative to most other school differences. The conclusion is that because survey methodology current in school effects literature is not sufficiently refined to produce verifiable results, researchers should not jump to prematurely drawn firm conclusions regarding educational goals. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Academic Aspiration, College Attendance, Data Analysis, Educational Environment, Educational Practices, Educational Research, Educational Theories, Elementary Secondary Education, Group Norms, Higher Education, Models, Norms, Peer Influence, Research Methodology, Research Needs, School Organization, School Role, Social Psychology, Socioeconomic Status, Statistical Analysis, Student Characteristics, Surveys, Tables (Data)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.