Belizean secondary school teachers' judgments of discipline problems and Belizean secondary school students' attitudes toward education
The purpose of the study was to determine Belizean secondary school teachers' judgments of the seriousness of discipline problems and Belizean secondary school students' attitudes toward education. Based on the Secondary School Teacher Questionnaire, the study identified 1) the ten discipline problems that Belizean secondary school teachers judged as occurring most frequently and 2) the ten discipline problems that Belizean secondary teachers judged as "Demands Immediate Major Attention." Based on the Student Questionnaire, the study identified 1) the characteristics of secondary schools with which students agree, 2) the characteristics of secondary schools with which students disagree, 3) the characteristics of secondary teachers with which students agree, and 4) the characteristics of secondary teachers with which students disagree.The population for the study consisted of 272 secondary school teachers and 974 secondary school students. Data from teachers and students were secured by questionnaires designed and validated for the study. The Teacher Questionnaire consisted of twenty judgmental items directed at identifying problem behaviors of students. The Student Questionnaire consisted of fifteen items on the characteristics of school and teachers.Data of teachers' judgments of discipline problems and students' attitudes toward education were treated descriptively. The research hypotheses based on the proportions of female and male teachers were tested by computing proportions and by using the .05 alpha level. The research hypotheses based on the mean scores of female and male students were tested by using t statistics with an alpha level of .05.Data relating to teachers' judgments of discipline problems in Belizean secondary schools indicated that the ten most frequently occurring discipline problems were 1) students creating a disturbance in class (giggling, whispering, talking, etc.), 2) students responding slowly to calls for silence in a classroom, 3) students consistently daydreaming or sleeping in class until it seriously reduces study time, 4) students consistently failing to come properly equipped to classes, 5) students regularly missing homework assignment, 6) students consistently being tardy for classes, 7) students completing classroom work of a quality that is less than the student's capability, 8) students making frequent complaints about assignments, 9) students withdrawing from classroom activities and are unresponsive to invitations to participate, and 10) students taking something such as pen or exercise book from other students.The ten behaviors teachers judged as "Demands Immediate Major Attention" were 1) students fighting physically on school grounds, 2) students found cheating during a test, 3) students smoking cigarettes on school grounds, 4) students regularly missing homework assignment, 5) students telling deliberate lies, 6) students consistently daydreaming or sleeping in class until it seriously reduces study time, 7) students using an obscenity that can easily be heard by a teacher, 8) students damaging school property by writing or carving on the desk, 9) students disrupting class by passing an obscene note or drawing, and 10) students consistently failing to come properly equipped to classes.Some of the findings showed that students agreed with the following statements: 1) Getting an education is helping me to prepare for a good job in the future, 2) The rules in this school are for the good of the students, and 3) The best way to do well in school is to do exactly as you are told.Review of the data led to the following conclusions: 1) The frequently occurring discipline problems as reported by teachers were those related to maintaining order in the classroom and those that interfered with the learning environment and 2) Students appeared to have positive attitudes toward school.