ERIC Number: ED219292
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-23
Reference Count: 0
Relationships of Student Political Attitudes and Group Characteristics to the Roles Students Choose to Play in School Groups.
Eyler, Janet; Ehman, Lee H.
This study examines the role of the high school as a political environment in which students may acquire experiences which contribute to the development of their political competence. The paper explains the objectives of the study, discusses the methods used, describes the schools in which data were gathered, reports the findings, and identifies areas for future study. Specifically examined is the relationship of political attitudes to participation in school groups and to the types of participation students engage in within groups. Also examined are differences in the political characteristics among groups that may have an impact on the experiences students have within groups and on the skills they develop. And finally, since both school size and social/economic status (SES) have been linked with attitudes and participation, the effect of these variables is explored. Thirteen secondary schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings were selected for primary data collection on the basis of convenience and accessibility. Questionnaires were developed and administered to random samples within each school to assess student attitudes, school system political characteristics, and within-school group political characteristics. Data for the study were collected in 1974, and again in 1975 and 1976 from the same schools and students. Findings show that student political attitudes are associated with both quantity and quality of participation. The study also found a lack of relationship between school SES and level of participation within the school. (RM)
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Group Behavior, Group Structure, Institutional Characteristics, Political Attitudes, Political Socialization, Politics, School Size, Secondary Education, Social Science Research, Socioeconomic Status, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior, Student Organizations, Student Participation, Student Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 23, 1982).