Title

An investigation of school morale and perceptions of school climate among minority at-risk students

Date of Award

1991

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Gilbert Cuevas, Committee Chair

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in school morale and perceptions of school climate among students classified on the basis of their gender (male versus female), status (at-risk versus non-risk) and school type (low-dropout-rate versus high-dropout-rate school). Two research questions were examined in the study: (1) To what extent, if any, is there a difference in student morale among students classified according to gender (males versus females), status (at-risk versus non-risk), and school type (low-dropout-rate school versus high-dropout-rate school)? (2) To what extent, if any, is there a difference among students classified on the basis of their gender (males versus females), status (at-risk versus non-risk), and school type (low-dropout-rate school versus high-dropout-rate school), with respect to their perception of school climate? The sample consisted of 150 Hispanic students in grade 10, who were administered Wrightsman's Student Morale Scale (SMS) and Croft's School Image Description Questionnaire (SIDQ). Results suggested that there was not a significant 3-way interaction effect. The three variables together did not affect students' morale or students' perceptions of school climate. However, upon further examination of the SMS and SIDQ subscales, significant differences among groups were found on two subscales of the SMS: (1) morale about administration, regulations and staff, and (2) morale about teacher-student relationships, and on three subscales of the SIDQ: (1) goals of the school, (2) parent participation, and (3) openness. The following conclusions were drawn from the study: (1) Regardless of the type of school they attend, at-risk Hispanic students have more negative perceptions of the goals of their school and of parent participation in their schooling than do non-risk students, (2) At-risk Hispanic males (regardless of the school they attend) have low morale and negative perceptions of school climate, (3) Regardless of their gender or status, Hispanic students attending a high-dropout-rate school have negative attitudes toward the school administration, and (4) Regardless of their status and the type of school they attend, Hispanic females have positive attitudes toward teachers and positive perceptions of the openness of the school.

Keywords

Education, General; Education, Secondary

Link to Full Text

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