Date of Award

Spring 1988

Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name


Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

S. Rabsatt


The intent of this study was to reveal students' perceptions of expectations of their teachers, the utility of schooling, their self-concept of their ability and their attitudes toward their teachers in math, reading, science and social studies for the purpose of initiating a plan of improvement to enhance student achievement.

The subjects were seventh grade students randomly selected, using the Iowa Test Of Basic Skills as the basis of selection, from the ten highest scoring schools and the ten lowest scoring schools in a suburban school district of Atlanta, Georgia. Data collection took place during the fall quarter. Test results are from the Spring administration previous to that fall quarter.

The instrument used to gather data was the Student Diagnostic Motivation Questionnaire (SDMQ) as developed by Kenneth Matthews and Carvin Brown (1987). This instrument measured students' perceptions of teacher expectation, the utility of schooling, students' attitudes toward teachers, and students' self-concept in math, reading, science and social studies. The sample consisted of 141 students (10% of the total population). All questionnaires, except one, were returned within the seven-day allotted time span. One returned questionnaire had no responses which resulted in a total of 139 participants.

Using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), a Factorial Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used with appropriate t-tests where significance was found. Of the sixteen hypotheses tested, there was a significant difference in students' perceptions in nine hypotheses. Students' perceptions of the variables as they relate to the subject areas can be used to help implement a plan of improvement in the areas of math, reading, science and social studies.

The results were reviewed in the light of previous research into the four variables. The implications and findings were discussed and some recommendations were presented.

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