The Scottish comprehensive school : its function and the roles of its teachers, with special reference to the opinions of pupils and student-teachers
The research compared the views of a sample of Scottish comprehensive-school pupils and, a sample of students training to become secondary-school teachers in two Scottish Colleges of Education on the two subjects: "The Characteristics of a Good Teacher" and "The Purpose of School". Essays on the two topics were collected from a sample of pupils in three comprehensive schools in central Scotland. The essays were unitized into statements, and two category-systems were developed to code them. Statements on both topics were also obtained from a small sample of student-teachers to ensure that the universe of statements derived from the essays was truly exhaustive. The statements made most frequently by pupils were included in a two-part questionnaire; care was taken to ensure that the views of all the sub-groups of the pupil sample were properly represented. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of pupils and student-teachers. The method of completion was devised by the researcher to facilitate the selection of a small group of statements to be ranked from an initially large number of statements. This process involved progressive stages of elimination by means of "collapsing" four lists of statements to form two, and finally one. Six alternative forms of the questionnaire were constructed, to avoid bias arising from the statements' order of presentation. The four lists on both sections of the questionnaire were also balanced by the seeding of statements across the lists according to their estimated appeal to respondents, and by the equal distribution of statements referring to particular areas, (eg. the teacher's discipline).The results revealed major disagreement between students' and pupils' views on the purpose of school, but closer agreement on the characteristics of a good teacher.