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ERIC Number: ED379795
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Rhetoric and Reality: A Study of Classroom Environment in Catholic and Government Secondary Schools.
Dorman, Jeffrey P.; And Others
Much Catholic school and church rhetoric suggests that Catholic schools possess distinctive learning environments. However, little empirical evidence has been found to support this assertion. Research has been hampered by the lack of an appropriate assessment instrument. This paper describes the development of a seven-scale instrument to assess student perceptions of classroom psychosocial environments in Catholic schools. The instrument assessed student affiliation, interactions, cooperation, task orientation, order and organization, individualization, and teacher control. The instrument was used in a survey of 80 Catholic and 24 government classes in 32 schools. Findings revealed that the government schools scored significantly higher than the Catholic schools on the interaction and task orientation scales. A comparison of the environments of religion and science classes in Catholic schools indicated negligible differences on all scales except task orientation. The perceptions of 9th- and 12th-graders differed significantly in all scales except interactions. Girls perceived classrooms more positively than did boys. In general, the data suggest that the distinctive nature of Catholic schooling did not extend to all classroom environment dimensions deemed important to Catholic education. Moreover, government schools were perceived to be better organized, more conducive to positive teacher-student interactions, and more task oriented than Catholic schools. Four figures and four tables are included. (Contains 80 references.) (Author/LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia