Development of pupils' attitudes to schooling

Khayyat, Hannah (1987) Development of pupils' attitudes to schooling. Masters thesis, Lancashire Polytechnic.

[thumbnail of Thesis document] PDF (Thesis document) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



This study examines the attitudes to schooling of 250 top-stream middle-class 9-15 years old pupils, using the semantic differential (SD). A theoretical framework combining Fishbein's theory of attitude structure, Osgood et al's theory of meaning and Werner's orthogenetic development was applied. This framework allowed the conjecture that the obtained attitudinal dimensions represent the structure of a common implicit mediating response to the school situation. These cognitive structures are considered influential to pupils' psychological adaptation to school. Teacher ratings of pupil behaviour were taken as reflecting the standards, norms, expectations of teachers and thus indicating an important source of situational demands on pupil attitudinal functioning and development. Factor analysis was used to examine pupils SD responses and teacher ratings of pupil behaviour. The obtained structures were examined in detail, within and across age and sex groups. The major outcome of these empirical investigations was, perhaps, the remarkable stability.of the obtained factor structure across independent subsamples. This applied to the pupil SD and to the teacher rating of pupil behaviour S.D. The problem of interpreting these structures posed considerable difficulties in view of the potential wealth of theoretical constructs
available from the various domains of psychology. The behaviour ratings caused its own problems in as far as they may be considered data on pupils behaviour or personality or a construct system of the raters themselves.
The results of this study indicate a remarkable stability of a five dimensional structure of pupil attitudinal functioning with some meaningful variations in the attitudes of the younger age groups. The results obtained from the teacher ratings suggest that there is a meaningful relationship between age related changes in children's attitudes to schooling and changes in these situational demands.

Repository Staff Only: item control page