ERIC Number: ED187476
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jun-30
Reference Count: 0
A Developmental Study of Children's Prerogatives and Constraints in Several Domains of School Experience.
Individual, semi-structured interviews were administered to 154 elementary school children and 47 elementary teachers drawn from middle class suburban schools. Children and teachers were questioned about their perceptions of the social and territorial constraints and prerogatives children have in school (their felt status) and those they ought to have (normative status). They were also questioned about their evaluations of several dimensions of the school environment. The interview topics were organized into ten variables: territoriality, privacy, three domains of decision making, and school as a just, responsive, safe, liked, and important environment. The study yielded the following findings: (1) Children's and teachers' perceptions of school were positive. (2) With the exception of privacy and justice, children's and teachers' perceptions of the same recurring events were markedly different. Children saw much less congruence between their felt and normative status than teachers did and saw themselves as much more constrained than teachers thought they were. (3) Children's perceptions of their status changed significantly over grade level in the direction of less congruence, less felt constraint and more normative prerogative. However, teacher perceptions showed little variation with grade, suggesting a poor fit between the world views (both felt and normative) of teachers and children at the several grade levels. (4) There was a marked action-value split in which children's and teachers' perceptions of values were much more alike than their respective perceptions of which actions were allowed to children in school. Discussion and recommendations focused on the implications of these findings for tension between children and their schools, for the school's non-collaboration with children in the expression of their emerging social competence, and for the exploratory interview as a feasible and valid research method. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A