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ERIC Number: ED133267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
Social Studies and Secondary Students' Political Attitudes toward Society and School: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study.
Ehman, Lee H.
The effect of social studies instruction on students' attitudes toward school and society for two years is analyzed. The social studies variables examined for their influence on the trends across time for nine attitudes were the number of social studies semesters, the extent of controversial issues treatment, treatment of more than one side of controversial issues by teachers, teacher's partisanship-neutrality during issues discussion, and student feelings of freedom to express opinions while discussing controversial issues. Data were collected during the spring semesters 1974-76 from a convenience sample of 200 randomly selected students within each of ten schools. Sixty-four attitude items were used to generate factor scores for the following nine attitude dimensions: (1) trust in people; (2) social integration; (3) political confidence; (4) political interest; (5) trust in other students; (6) trust in school adults; (7) integration in school culture; (8) school political confidence; and (9) school political interest. Findings indicated that the nine attitudes were very stable over the three data collection points for the two-year period and that the best predictor was the students' feeling of freedom to express opinions in class discussion. It is concluded that the social studies classroom climate is more important to student attitudes than any other factor. Tables representing multivariate analysis of variance for trends over the two years are included. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Classroom Environment, Data Analysis, Educational Research, Longitudinal Studies, Political Attitudes, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Social Attitudes, Social Studies, Statistical Analysis, Student Attitudes, Student Participation, Student School Relationship, Tables (Data), Teaching Methods, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Washington, D.C., November 4-7, 1976)