ERIC Number: ED217542
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Student Commitment and Purpose in a Private School.
Research on grades 9-12 in an elite, coeducational private school in an urban area examined the effects of the school's social organization on students' commitment to educational goals and their sense of academic purpose. The author gathered data through 2 years of participant observation as a teacher-researcher and through questionnaire interviews with 87 percent of the school's 254 high school students. The questionnaire data on students' academic achievement, sociometric status among their peers, acceptance in college, feelings of satisfaction, socioeconomic status, and parent involvement in the school indicate that students placed a high value on academic achievement. Student values thus matched the school's and parents' formal values. Results of the participant observation suggest that three school characteristics fostered student commitment to achievement: the school's function as a close primary community, continuity over time in students' educational experiences, and students' substantial power over their own school lives. Further research is needed to discover whether other private schools stimulate student commitment in similar ways and whether such motivational mechanisms can help improve public schools. (Author/RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.
Identifiers: Participant Observation