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ERIC Number: ED504813
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 116
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1996. Students Voice Their Opinions On: Violence, Social Tension and Equality among Teens. Part I
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
This report, the first in a series of four 1996 releases of students' opinions, represents a continued effort by MetLife to provide insight and understanding to the issues of violence and social tension in American public schools. The survey focuses on the social climate of the nation's public schools from the perspective of public school students in middle and high school, including student accounts of how well they get along with one another; the level of social tension and violence that exists in their schools; and their perceptions of equality among young people from different economic, racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds. A total of 2,524 questionnaires were completed with public school students enrolled in grades seven through twelve throughout ail states of the continental United States. Every public school containing any of these grades had an equal chance of being selected. Weights were applied so that the sample of students in grades seven through twelve is projectable to the total student population nationally. From December 19, 1995 through February 2, 1996 questionnaires were self-administered by students in the classroom under teacher supervision. Reported findings include: (1) A large proportion of students say that in their school only some students get along with one another; (2) Students who give their teachers high marks on treating them with respect and caring about their futures, report better social relations at school than do students who give their teachers low marks; (3) Students who feel their teachers do an effective job of teaching them how to be more tolerant of others who are different from themselves, are more likely to get along better with one another; (4) Students who believe the quality of education they receive is high are more likely to say most students in their school get along than those who believe the quality of education is low; (5) Approximately 20 percent of students nationally say that students from different economic backgrounds get along very well in their school; (6) Social relations among students from different economic backgrounds are better, according to students, when teachers do a good job of teaching tolerance, and the education students receive is considered by them to be of high quality; (7) Approximately 27 percent say that students from different racial/ethnic or religious backgrounds are likely to get along very well; half say they get along somewhat well; (8) Lessons in tolerance benefit students' race relations while school-related risk factors impact negatively on them; (9) About 1 in 4 students nationally report having serious problems in their school with hostile or threatening remarks among different groups of students; physical fights among members of different groups of friends; threats or destructive acts other than physical fights; turf battles among different groups of students; and gang violence; (10) When teachers are supportive and encouraging, students report less social tension and violence in their schools; (11) One in 5 students say the level of violence has decreased over the past year; an equal proportion says it has increased; (12) Students are more likely to report a decrease rather than an increase in violence when they are satisfied with the quality of education and the lessons they receive from teachers on tolerance; (13) From 1993 to 1994, the percent reporting an increase in violence from the previous year rose, then dropped in 1996; from 1994 to 1996, the percent reporting a decrease in violence grew substantially; these changes reflect an improvement over the 1994 to 1996 period; (14) While 2 in 5 students say they rarely see violence in or around their school, nearly as many report seeing violence occasionally; (15) Less than 50 percent of students feel confident that young people from different economic and different racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds are treated equally by adults in their community; (16) When teachers score high on treating students with respect, caring about their futures and helping them learn to be tolerant of others, students are more likely to perceive adults as fair in the manner in which they treat students from different backgrounds; and (17) One in four students say it is likely that a person like themselves would be treated fairly by the police if they were a suspect in a crime. Four appendices are included: (1) Cleaning Data for the Report; (2) Methodology; (3) Harris Scholastic Sample Design Methodology; and (4) Questionnaire. (Contains 39 tables.) [This report is one of a 4-part series. For Part II, see ED504814. For Part III, see ED504815. For Part IV, see ED504827.]
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. Tel: 212-578-2419; Fax: 212-578-0617; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Identifiers - Location: United States