ERIC Number: ED454573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Middle School Climate: A Study of Attitudes. Fastback 455.
Gold, Joshua M.; Rotter, Joseph C.; Holmes, George R.; Motes, Patricia S.
This fastback document presents the results of an opinion survey of middle-school students, parents, and teachers in South Carolina. Because no surveys in the literature had combined responses from these three groups, researchers asked 4,940 students, 735 teachers, and 2,576 parents about their attitudes toward school, students, and teachers. The results show that all three groups held significantly different opinions about school climate, about students, and about teachers. These different opinions were also evident within the groups themselves, with female and male students, for example, holding significantly different views on all items. The responses also revealed that the organization and management of schools made more sense to parents and teachers than it did to students. In fact, many students failed to see what relevance school had for them, and this pointed to a discrepancy between teachers and students, suggesting a poor working relationship. These findings indicate that schools should make a whole-school commitment to becoming student-oriented by developing prevention programs, by viewing students as consumers, by encouraging family participation, by using peer mentoring, by making schools smaller, and by challenging gender stereotypes. Teachers should also work on self-awareness, should strive to make learning relevant, should recognize individuality, and should practice collegiality. (Contains 39 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Educational Policy, Educational Principles, Middle Schools, Parent Attitudes, School Policy, Student Attitudes, Student School Relationship, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
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Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
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