ERIC Number: ED160591
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Feb
Authority Structures and Student Development. Report No. 246.
Epstein, Joyce L.; McPartland, James M.
The debate about appropriate student-teacher authority relations in schools has persisted at least since the movement for "progressive education" in the 1920's, and it is reflected today in the debate between "open" education programs and "traditional" education programs. This paper, based on data from 7,361 students in elementary and secondary open and traditional schools, examines the role of school authority structures in the learning process. The paper identifies formal and informal aspects of the authority structures. Formal aspects, such as individualization of instruction and control of student assignments, differed much more between schools than did informal aspects, such as the teachers' classroom decision-making styles. However, the formal aspects facilitate the small differences in informal aspects found between schools. Also, the formal authority relations are found to have a small effect on nonacademic student outcomes such as self-reliance and attitudes toward school, while the informal authority relations show a much stronger effect. (Authors)
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.