A comparison of students enrolled in academic and general programs on attitude toward school, attitude toward self, participation in extra-curricular activities and ratings of students by teachers

Coish, E. Calvin (1973) A comparison of students enrolled in academic and general programs on attitude toward school, attitude toward self, participation in extra-curricular activities and ratings of students by teachers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Curricular differentiation as practiced in Newfoundland high schools raises certain questions as to the relative adjustment to various aspects of school life of students in the Academic (Matriculation) group as compared with students in the General (Non-Matriculation) group. The two curricular streams were compared with respect to attitude toward school, attitude toward self, participation in extra-curricular activities, and teacher ratings of student social behavior. -- A review of related literature showed a scarcity of research concerning streaming, particularly in Newfoundland. The available research produced conflicting results concerning the correlates of streaming, thus further questioning the efficacy and necessity of the tracking procedure. -- This post-facto study included Grade 11 students in three Newfoundland rural high schools. Fifty-four students enrolled in the Non-Matriculation program and 125 doing the Matriculation course took part in the study. Data were gathered by means of a semantic differential dealing with attitude toward school and attitude toward self, a questionnaire concerning student participation in extra-curricular activities, and a rating scale on which teachers evaluated student social activity. -- The data obtained were analyzed by a computer program which provided the means, medians, standard deviations and analysis of variance for the Academic group and the General group, males and females, and, in the case of participation in extra-curricular activities, students from the community in which their school was located and students transported into the town. In addition, correlations among different variables for each curricular group, significance of differences between correlations for the two groups, and correlations among three social ratings of students by teachers were calculated. -- Analysis of the data revealed that the Academic group received significantly higher mean teacher ratings and took part in significantly more non-sports activities than did the General group. No other significant differences were noted between the two curricular streams. It was also found that, in the total sample and within both curricular groups, females participated in significantly more non-sports activities than did males. When transported students were compared with non-transported students, no significant differences were found between the participation scores of the two groups. In the Academic group, females received significantly higher mean teacher ratings than did male students. A much larger percentage of significant correlations between variables was discovered for the Academic group than for the General group. Over 75% of the correlations between different teacher ratings of student social behavior were statistically significant. -- From the findings came conclusions and implications concerning the placement of students in Academic and General classes. It was concluded that the expressed attitudes of students presented no apparent cause for alarm concerning streaming procedures. However, when a student participation in extra-curricular activities as expressed by the student and judged by the teachers was considered, reservations about curricular differentiation were raised. -- Recommendations to school personnel included the suggestion of a thorough reassessment of streaming procedures and an enrichment of extra-curricular activities programs in Newfoundland high schools. Possibilities for further study are: investigation of various aspects of student adjustment in Grades 9 to 11; comparative follow-up studies of students in the two curricular groups after graduation from high school; studies of student aspirations as related to the program in which a student is enrolled; and comparative studies of the correlates and effects of streaming as opposed to non-streaming in Newfoundland high schools.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7554
Item ID: 7554
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 98-104.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Students--Attitudes; Ability grouping in education

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