The Effects of Locus of Control and Two Types of Classroom Climate on Student Academic Achievement and Self-Concept
Horak, Willard Gene
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SubjectTemperature Measurements; Classrooms--Climate--Measurement; Academic Achievement; Self-Perception in Children
The Problem. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children could benefit from differing educational environments either in a cognitive or affective sense. The relationships between two types of classroom climates and the locus of control personality construct were investigated. The dependent variables were the cognitive measures of reading achievement, mathematics achievement, and composite achievement scores and the affective measure of self-concept. Procedure. This study was conducted in an independent suburban school district near a midwestern metropolitan area. The sample for the study was 125 sixth grade students enrolled in six selected classrooms during the 1977-78 school year. Three open and three non-open classrooms in the school district were selected for the study through the use of the Dimensions of Schooling Questionnaire Form VI. The DISC VI was used to assess the extent to which a school's program embodies the characteristics of open education. Locus of control scores were obtained through the use of the Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Scale. Measures of academic achievement were obtained from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Form 5. Self-concept measures were obtained through the use of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. A two-way analysis of covariance procedure was used to test for differences between means on the criterion measures of reading, mathematics, and composite achievement scores. A two-way analysis of variance procedure was used to test for differences between means on the criterion measure of self-concept. Findings. In testing the research hyopotheses at the .05 level, significant differences were found for all the criterion measures. Students with an internal locus of control scored significantly better than students with an external locus of control on the measures of reading and composite achievement. A significant difference was found for the measure of mathematics achievement, however, it could not be attributed to either locus of control or classroom climate. In this case, individual means were higher for the student with an internal locus of control and for the non-open classroom environment. Students with an internal locus of control also scored significantly better than students with an external locus of control on the measure of self-concept. These results indicate that students who believe they can, through their own efforts, accomplish desired goals, score significantly better on the criterion measures of self-concept and reading and composite achievement regardless of type of classroom climate. Conclusions. Three general conclusions can be drawn from the findings of this study. 1. Students with an internal locus of control scored significantly better on the measure of reading achievernent than students with an external locus of control regardless of the type of classroom climate. 2. Students with an internal locus of control scored significantly better on the measure of composite achievernent than students with an external locus of control regardless of the type of classroom climate. 3. Students with an intern locus of control scored significantly better on the measure of self-concept than students with an external locus of control regardless of the type of classroom climate.
181 leaves. Advisor: Dr. Marjorie Prentice
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