ERIC Number: ED321873
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Parents' Perceptions of the Moral Environment in Choosing Their Children's Elementary Schools.
This paper, based on neighborhood surveys and in-depth interviews with parents in Syracuse, New York, argues that the location of schools is a major factor in parents' school choice. It notes that this position is contrary to previous research. Parents' concerns with location reflect their concerns about moral environments for child rearing. Findings suggest that a major parental responsibility is the managing of their children's moral environment outside the home. Parents used four strategies regarding school enrollment: (1) living in a good neighborhood with a good school; (2) selecting a Catholic school to compensate for the limitations of a neighborhood; (3) remaining in a low-income neighborhood and fighting undesirable influences on children; or (4) selecting a school on the basis of its cultural diversity. Most parents managed the moral environment by means of the first strategy. While families in four neighborhoods indicated that they had acted according to this strategy, families in a fifth expressed a desire to do so, but were constrained by limited incomes. Additional findings regarding Catholic schools and cultural diversity are discussed. Concluding remarks concern the reinterpretation of previous findings and implications for parents, school staff, and policymakers. Material on the survey design is appended. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Moral Education (Pittsburgh, PA, November 1988).