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COMPARISON OF A SCHOOL CLASS CLIMATE IN A TRADITIONAL AND AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL

P. Doulik, J. Skoda, L. Rovnanova
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the results of a quantitative research study focusing on the comparison of the classroom climate in a traditional school and the most common types of alternative schools in the Czech Republic - Waldorf schools and Montessori schools. The research was based on the premise that one of the characteristics of alternative schools is the paidocentric approach to the child and a greater emphasis on teacher-student communication, and access to a teaching approach, which more respects the individual characteristics of pupils. All these specific approaches of alternative schools should, according to theoretical assumptions, be positively reflected in the perceived climate of the classroom. In order to verify these theoretical assumptions, a research study was carried out involving 108 students of traditional schools, 56 Waldorf school students and 54 students of Montessori schools in the Czech Republic, ranging from 14 to 15 years of age. The school climate was assessed using a 34-item inventory built on the principle of Likert’s scales, where pupils expressed their degree of agreement with given statements. The inventory used was standardized for the population of pupils aged 12-15 years in the Czech Republic. The inventory identifies the class climate in six major areas: good relationships between classmates; cooperation of classmates; perceived support from the teacher; equal attention of teachers to pupils; transmission of taught material between school and a family; the preference of students’ competitions. The data obtained were statistically evaluated using the ANOVA test and, in case of a statistically significant difference, post hoc analysis was performed using the Tukey HSD test. Results of the research study are not clear. There are partial differences in the individual areas of school class climate. Students of alternative schools present higher rating of the assessment especially in the area concerned with the support from the teacher. On the other hand, respondents from traditional and alternative schools do not differ significantly in the rating of relationships with their classmates. Events during break are higher rated by the students of traditional schools. It appears that the climate of the school class is very specific and depends more on the personality of the teacher and the social ties of the individual pupils than on the teaching methods of managing pupil’s activities and the preferred approach of the school to the pupils.

Keywords: Classroom Climate, Traditional Schools, Alternative Schools, Waldorf Schools, Montessori Schools, Likert’s Scales


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