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ERIC Number: EJ910911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1524-5039
Successful versus Unsuccessful Schools through the Eyes of Children: The Use of Interviews, Autophotography, and Picture Selection
DeMarie, Darlene
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v12 n2 Fall 2010
Although "top-down" indicators, such as the ratio of adults to children in classrooms and program rankings based on standardized test scores, can predict some of the future impact of children's education, "bottom-up" factors, such as whether children feel welcome and whether they find the learning activities to be meaningful and engaging, may have a greater effect on children's long-term development. Yet little is known about children's perceptions of their schools and how their views may differ depending on the type and quality of schools they attend. In the present study, three methods--interview, autophotography, and picture selection--were employed to learn about children's perceptions of their schools and whether their perspectives differed depending on whether they attended schools labeled "successful" or "unsuccessful." The 156 participants in kindergarten to fifth grade (ages 5 to 11) were interviewed about their school experiences. In the context of making books about their schools, children took photographs that they felt would show others what the schools were like. They also selected photographs from a standardized set of other photographs--one they thought "best showed" their school and one that showed what was "most important" to them. The following were among the results: (1) Participants at the unsuccessful school were more likely to identify school as being about academics and evaluation/tests and less about play/fun, especially in the early grades. (2) The importance of friendships was more evident among children at the successful school than among children at the unsuccessful school. (3) Among participants from both schools, the pictures that children selected that "best showed" their school usually differed from what was "most important" to them. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida