Date of Award

5-1-1981

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.S.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study were: 1) to determine if there was relationship between peer approval and teacher approval or disapproval; 2) to determine if there was a correlation between peer approval and average achievement in reading and mathematics; and 3) to determine if there was a correlation between teacher approval and average achievement in reading and mathematics.

Subjects

There were 126 respondents from the seven elementary schools selected for the study. Of the 126 subjects, seventy-eight were male and forty-eight were female. There were twelve Caucasians, 113 Blacks and one Hispanic. All of the subjects were in the third grade and from lower to upper middle socioeconomic levels.

Method

Three instruments were employed in this study:

1. The Personal structured interviews. The first four questions gave a rating for peer approval, the second four for teacher disapproval and the last four for teacher approval.

2. The California Achievement Test (CAT). The CAT combines the uses of norm-referenced tests with the objectives-based information of criterion-referenced tests.

3. The Pearson Product-Moment Coefficient of Correlation was used to determine if there were significant relationships between peer approval, teacher approval or disapproval and average achievement. Significant r-values were denoted at the .05 and .01 levels of confidence.

Findings

The analysis of data warranted the following findings:

1. When peer approval and teacher approval were correlated, the data indicated a correlation of .882 for school "A", .757 for school "E", and .458 for school "F"; all of which were significant at the .05 level. It also indicated a correlation of .799 for school "C" and .750 for school "G" which were significant at the .01 level. However, the findings were insignificant when peer approval and teacher approval were correlated for school "B" .376 and school "D" .308.

2. When peer approval and teacher disapproval were correlated, the data indicated a correlation of .515 for school "B" which is significant at the .01 level and .640 for school "D" which is significant at the .05 level. However, when peer approval and teacher disapproval were correlated for the following schools, the findings were: school "A" .040, school "C" .127, school "E" .624, school "F" .359, and school "G" .238.

3. When peer approval and average achievement were correlated, the data indicated a correlation of .613 for school "C" which is significant at the .01 level and .464 for school "F" which is significant at the .05 level. However, when peer approval and average achievement were correlated for the following schools, the findings were: school "A" .388, school "B" .043, school "D" .157, school "E" .655, and school "G" .371.

4. When teacher approval and average achievement were correlated, the data indicated a correlation of .429 for school "A", .726 for school "C", .990 for school "E" and .583 for school "F"; all of which were significant at the .01 level. However, when teacher approval and average achievement were correlated for the following schools, the findings were: school "B" correlated .299, school "D" correlated .157, and school "G" correlated .263.

Conclusions

The analysis and interpretation of the data seem to warrant the following conclusions:

1. There is generally a statistical significant relationship between peer approval and teacher approval.

2. There is generally a statistical significant relationship between and among peer approval and achievement and teacher approval and achievement.

3. There is a statistical significant relationship between teacher approval and average achievement.

4. There is an insignificant or negligible relationship between peer approval and teacher disapproval in all schools, except "B" and "D".

5. Students with low achievement levels were approved of less often than those students on or above the achievement level of their peers.

6. Isolates were those students with lowest achievement levels.

7. Those who were approved of by their teachers were also approved of by their peers.

8. Those students who were approved of most often by their teacher and peers were above grade level.

Implications

The conclusions of this study seem to warrant the following implications:

1. It appears that teachers emit more approval for those students on or above grade level.

2. It appears that students approve of more often those students that are approved of by their teacher.

3. It appears that factors other than achievement are involved in the approval process, i.e., appearance, attitude, socioeconomic background and values.

4. It is apparent that teacher approval greatly influences peer approval regardless of achievement or socioeconomic background.

Recommendations

It is the belief of the writer that the findings of this study warrant the following recommendations:

1. That more research in the area of peer approval, teacher approval and their relationship to academic achievement be conducted.

2. That teacher training institutions and universities include in their curriculum courses of study that will prepare teachers to meet each student's individual need for approval and acceptance.

3. That teachers use sociometric techniques in the classroom to become cognizant of isolates.

4. That teachers use results from sociometric instruments to create a classroom atmosphere which would improve peer status within groups, thus improving the opinion of students toward each other.

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