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Title: Some comparative effects of traditional and progressive forms of comprehensive schooling
Author: Branson, Ellen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3477 4846
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1978
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The study aims to examine the influence of school regime on pupils' attitudes and aspirations, and to achieve some insight into pupils' perceptions of the schooling process and, in particular, of their teachers. The sample population consists of 501 pupils, boys and girls aged twelve to thirteen and fourteen to fifteen. They were drawn from two large comprehensive schools within the same new town. The two schools were chosen because,in ideology and practice, they tended towards opposite poles of the 'Traditional - Progressive' continuum. The main objectives of the investigation were to examine differential responses to schooling, and to compare pupil perceptions under two regimes. Questionnaires were administered to obtain indices of school commitment, aspirations for the future, home and school variables, and personality traits. Additionally, semi-projective techniques were devised to gain a deeper understanding of the processes by which pupils assess and evaluate their teachers. These were a) a series of nineteen video-sequences portraying a variety of teacher roles, and b) a set of twelve cartoons of teacher styles. Pupils completed sentence stems after viewing the video-sequences. These open-ended responses provided data for content analysis. The analysis goes some way towards revealing the rule-governed processes by which pupils assess and evaluate their teachers. The 'teacher style' cartoons were used as elements in a Kelly repertory grid procedure to elicit significant constructs. Results were supportive of those obtained from group procedures. They confirm that pupils use a limited set of dimensions in reporting their perceptions of teachers. 'Control' is the most salient, but 'Quality of Teaching' and 'Personal Qualities of Teacher'' are also significant. In reporting on the desirable characteristics of the 'Ideal Teacher', pupils indicate that important attributes for a teacher are those of 'Showing Respect for the Individual' and 'Possessing a Sense of Humour. ' The study evinces no compelling evidence in favour of either the traditional or the progressive regime, in terms of pupil commitment to school. The results from the personality study are inconclusive. There is some evidence that school regime influences future expectations the labelling process inherent in streaming is evident from the data. In both schools there is a spread of awareness of the need for a working relationship with teachers. What does emerge is that no one school can provide the ideal environment for all pupils, some react better to one regime, others to a different one, while yet others may be better served in a nonschool environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available