ERIC Number: ED148907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Exercise of Control in Two Midwestern Junior High Schools. Final Report.
Metz, Mary Haywood
This is a report on a study of two junior high schools in a small Midwestern city called "Avon". This industrial community serves an agricultural region. This study was undertaken as a complement to a study of two other junior high schools in a much less ordinary community and school system ("Canton") which had been previously studied. This report concentrates upon a comprehensive analytic description of the character of the classrooms and schools studied in Avon and upon those theoretical issues or empirical hypotheses where the findings from Avon extend or qualify those from Canton. Avon operates three junior high schools drawing from the city and two drawing mainly from surrounding unincorporated areas. Two city schools were chosen for this study, Dale and Fillmore. They have the highest proportion of recent Appalachian migrants in their student bodies and were chosen for this reason. The approach in studying the schools was ethnographic. The main focus was to observe the ways in which maintenance of control interacts with the school's other functions both in the classroom and in the school at large. In studying these differences in children's behavior within and between schools, differences between teachers and differences in the way a single teacher treated different students, differences in the policies and the practices of the principals, and differences in the character of the schools as whole organizations were studied. It was observed that the character of a school depends in large part on the nature of its environment; as that term is technically used in the study of organizations. Perhaps the most important single influence on a school was the students. Because the teachers perform the central work of the organization and because they form the vast majority of persons given a formal right to define the situation, they were found to be the next most important group in determining the character of the school. This detailed description of Dale and Fillmore provided a subjective sense of the complex ways in which students' behavior, teachers' skills and characters, and the principal's policies blend into a total school atmosphere which in turn shapes students', teachers', and administrators' behavior. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A