Student and teacher judgements of selected socialization experiences in the junior high school
This study investigated student and teacher judgments of selected socialization experiences in the junior high school. The instruments used to collect the data were questionnaires consisting of 56 items administered to the entire student bodies (11,943 students) of fourteen junior high schools in Northwestern Indiana, plus a similar questionnaire consisting of 23 items administered to the entire faculty (502 teachers) of the same schools.The review of past research in the area of socialization in education indicated that no previous study had employed parallel instruments for students and teachers. The research revealed that previous studies employed distinctively different questionnaires for student and teacher. This suggests that other researchers did not study directly the relationships between student and teacher judgments concerning socialization in the educative process. The questions used to collect the data for this study were parallel in both student and teacher questionnaires. This was done to solicit judgments from both students and teachers on parallel topics relating to the socialization process as it occurs in the junior high school.Findings were reported on the judgments of students and teachers on selected socialization experiences under five major headings. These included the junior high school as a socializing influence, parent and peer relationships as socializing influences, and mass-media and extra-curricular activities as socialization influences, and student-teacher interactions as socializing influences.The data gathered concerning the student judgments in reference to parental influences in the socialization process in education revealed that the student judged their parents as viewing the school as a supportive agency and saw parents as desirous that their off-spring procure the benefits school affords.The conclusions drawn from the study of the part played by peer relationships was that the student judged this relationship to have little positive or negative effect on the effort he expended to do well in school. Five per cent of the students judged that they did poorly in school in order to raise their standing among their peers.Mass-media and extra-curricular activities were judged by 51 per cent of the students to be of little influence in their socialization experiences.Student-teacher relationships were judged by most students to be the major school-related socialization influence on them during their junior high school years.In the teacher questionnaire the following information contributed to the conclusions drawn from the data collected: 50 per cent of the teachers judged that the school is obligated to offer each student profitable experiences during his school years.Most teachers were focusing on mastery of content, not primarily on producing particular social outcomes.About two-thirds of the teachers agreed that an authoritarian school system was the best preparation for citizenship.About two-thirds of the teachers did not judge that the student should participate in educational decision-making in order to be prepared to face a future dependent on his ability to make decisions. The same fraction judged that the student should meet the expectations set by others rather than set his own educational goals or participate in their development.'One-third of the teachers had a sense of confidence in working within the political and social system as it existed in their school system and saw no reason for change. About one-half of the teachers agreed that the student should be involved, through a rating form, in the evaluation of the teachers, but stated that this involvement should not be a major factor in teacher evaluation.Information presented in this study is the merest outline of a few major structural patterns of pupil and teacher judgments on selected socialization experiences in the junior high school and a suggestion of some ways in which the socialization of individuals and. their acquisition of roles in society take place. It is hoped that the ideas have developed enough to suggest a field of mutual interest for social scientists on the one hand and those concerned with the actual operation of the schools on the other to join forces and investigate the problem more thoroughly.