ERIC Number: ED316381
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Adolescents' Attitudes toward School and Teachers: From 1963 to 1989.
Schmuck, Richard A.; Schmuck, Patricia A.
A comparison of adolescents views about school, based on data gathered 26 years apart, shows remarkable similarities. Students interviewed in 1963 were from Detroit schools while 1989 interviews were conducted in small-town schools of Texas, Missouri, and Minnesota. viewed poor teachers as lacking respect for students, unwilling to try to establish rapport, lacking a sense of humor, not caring much about teaching, and playing favorites. Student councils had little influence on academics and were mainly a perfunctory demonstration of representative democracy. Small-town students enjoyed their friends in school, small classes, extracurricular activities, and the caring attitudes of teachers and administrators, but deplored the lack of electives and advanced courses, indifferent teachers, alcohol abuse, gossip, closed campuses, and restrictive dress codes. Observation of classes in 1989 showed teachers talking 75% of the time, with 75% of their talk being unidirectional lecturing. Reform movements focus on the academic performance of teachers, but students focus on teachers' empathy and respect. American adolescents who live today in small towns do not have very different attitudes toward school and teachers from their urban counterparts of more than a generation ago. This report suggests that adolescents should be engaged in the selection and evaluation of teachers. Administrators should put greater emphasis on student councils and seek ways for students to serve their communities as part of the secondary school experience. (DHP)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, High Schools, Interviews, Rural Urban Differences, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Student Government, Student Interests, Student Leadership, Student Participation, Student School Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A