TEACHERS' ATTITUDES TOWARD STUDENT CONTROL, DISCIPLINE AND SUSPENSION
PISTONE, KATHLEEN ANN
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate teachers' expressed attitudes toward pupil control and their expressed preferences for methods of student control. The relationship between those attitudes and preferences was explored as well as the relationship of each with the frequency of initial and repeated suspensions given in middle schools. The sample consisted of 200 teachers in six middle schools of an inner-ring suburban school system of New York.;The Pupil Control Ideology Form provided the scores for the expressed attitudes of the teachers and the means for classifying the teachers as 'custodial' or 'humanistic'. The Student Behavior Response Questionnaire measured the respondent's preference for strategies to ensure pupil compliance with school rules. The responses were classified as coercive or non-coercive for each of the 20 behaviors given. Each teacher also reported the amount of his/her teaching experience.;Seven hypotheses tested relationships between the following: (1) Expressed attitudes toward pupil control and preferences for methods of control. (2) Attitudes toward pupil control and classification of schools according to frequency of initial or repeated suspensions. (3) Preferences for methods of pupil control and classification of schools according to initial or repeated suspensions. (4) Amount of teaching experience and pupil control attitudes or preferences for methods of control.;The statistical techniques employed included chi square, contingency coefficient, gamma, Mann-Whitney U Test, and Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance for ranked scores. The probability of an alpha error was .05.;The principal significant findings are as follows: (1) For certain behaviors, a weak association was shown between teachers' attitudes toward pupil control and preferences for methods of control. (2) Teachers in schools with fewer repeated suspensions were significantly more custodial than were teachers in schools with a greater frequency of repeated suspensions. (3) For certain behaviors (not the same behaviors related to pupil control attitudes), the more experienced teachers preferred coercive methods of control whereas the less experienced preferred non-coercive methods of control.;Implications/Recommendations: Establish: Students behavior code throughout districts. Expand: Staff development activities, range of behaviors in questionnaire. Examine: Leadership style, teacher expectation and alternatives to suspension.
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