An investigation of school alienation and related factors in fourth form students.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study was to identify the nature, and determine the relationship, of certain factors thought to be associated with school alienation. After completion of several pilot studies concerned with developing valid and reliable instruments, a representative sample of fifteen Canterbury secondary schools was selected and 674 fourth form students from those schools responded to a questionnaire measuring school alienation, perceived school bureaucratization, perceived conflict of values, and achievement motivation. Results indicated that school alienation is comprised of five dimensions which can be subsumed under a single factor. Perceived school bureaucratization consists of six dimensions which may be subsumed under two factors: Bureaucratic Organisation and Development of Expertise. The first of these factors contributed 20.63% to the variance of school alienation and was positively related to that variable, while the second contributed 5.48% to variance and was negatively related to the criterion. Perceived conflict of values consists of five dimensions which may be subsumed under the two factors of Conflict over Present-oriented School Values and Conflict over Future-oriented School Values. Both factors were significantly and positively related to school alienation, with the former contributing 1.11% to variance, and the latter 1.23%. Achievement motivation was not significantly related to school alienation. In all, 44.53% of the total variance of school alienation was explained, of which 28.45% was contributed by the experimental variable.s, and 16.08% by the controls. It was concluded that student dissatisfaction with school apparently focuses on the perceived bureaucratic organisation of the school, and on perceived student-school conflict over values which the student has about school and the extent to which the school puts those values into effect. Of particular interest was the implication that school has 'intrinsic' meaning for students; furthermore, school experience seems to be interpreted by students as being an inevitable part of life which has important implications for future status.