ERIC Number: ED214883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Parents and Their Children: A Study of Congruence on Attitudes About School. A Study of Schooling in the United States. Technical Report Series, No. 13.
Sirotnik, Kenneth A.
The focus of this study was upon the congruence of responses between parents and their children to items pertaining to functions of schooling, school evaluation, school problems, and other school issues. Paired comparison data is reported for parents and students from 25 secondary schools. The interpretive frame of reference for this study stemmed from a decision making/problem solving model involving parents and students. This approach to education requires a "meeting-of-the-minds" or a common understanding of the attitudinal differences between the participants. From this perspective, being able to predict a child's attitude from the parent's attitude--and vice versa--is less important than determining to what extent they hold the same attitudes. The bulk of data analysis and interpretation in this study was based upon observed percentages of response agreement between parents and their children. An example is presented of parent and student responses to a question designed to measure degree of personal commitment to busing as a means of school desegregation. In analyzing these responses, a discussion is given of how the results were tabulated and of how convergence percentages were determined. It was found that most of the differences between parent and child attitudes occurred on items having strong value components (e.g., job preparation or intellectual curricular functions, personal or social development, racism, desegregation, religion in schools, etc.). Very few differences were obtained on items pertaining more directly to school processes (e.g., school grades and school problems). It is concluded that, in involving parents and their children in decision making about their education, educators would be well advised not to assume that belonging to the same family necessarily means having similar attitudes. Tables of participant responses to the survey questionnaire are included as well as sample questions posed by the researcher. (JD)
Descriptors: Busing, Decision Making, Family Attitudes, Family Characteristics, Institutional Evaluation, Parent Attitudes, Parent School Relationship, Parent Student Relationship, Parent Teacher Cooperation, School Community Relationship, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Social Values, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute for Development of Educational Activities, Dayton, OH.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Graduate School of Education