A Comparative Study of Academic Climate of Private and Provincialised Schools of Dhubri District, Assam ?>

A Comparative Study of Academic Climate of Private and Provincialised Schools of Dhubri District, Assam

Hasanur Rahman –

Abstract:

The present study was undertaken to identify the academic climate of private and provincialised secondary schools of Dhubri district, Assam. For that purpose 100 students of class X were selected randomly from 10 different schools out of which 50 were taken from private schools and remaining 50 were taken from provincialised schools. Academic Climate Description Questionnaire (ACDQ) developed by Shah, M.L and Shah, A was employed to collect data for the study. Results indicate that both the private and provincialised schools show average academic climate. However, a significant difference in academic climate of private and provincialised schools is also found out.

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Introduction

School climate has been identified as a key element for effective schools that have strong implications for young people’s cognitive and social growth. It reflects the physical and psychological aspects of the school that are more susceptible to change and provide the preconditions necessary for teaching and learning to take place. It can be focused on the basis of the feelings and attitudes about a school expressed by the students, teachers, staff and parents – the way the students and the staff ‘feel’ about being at school every day. Infact, school climate comprises several aspects of school environment that includes a physical environment to welcome learning, a social environment to promote communication, an effective environment to promote learning on the part of the students.

Academic climate can be conceived as climate wherein teaching learning is spontaneous and natural wherein hurdles in the process are removed by willing mutual effects of the teachers and the students, wherein the student feels encouraged to engage himself in learning activity and makes effort of improving and fashioning their behaviour accordingly. Thus, the concept of academic climate incorporates the motivation of students to learn, encouragement and inspiration given by the teacher and inter-personal trust between the authority and the students.

Such a climate throbs with ideas, activities and processes that contribute to the mental and behavioural enrichment. Besides physical, social and cultural environment, the leadership behaviour of the principal can also be incorporated to signify the academic climate of school. Over the past two decades, researchers and educators have increasingly recognized the importance of school climate Devine and Cohen (2007) while studying school climate came to the conclusion that feeling safe in schools powerfully promotes the students learning and healthy development. Doyle and others (2010) while conducting study on school climate, underscore the importance of school rules and perceived fairness in regard to student’s behaviour. Sorah D. Sparks (2011) study links academics with school climate and finds that school safety depends far less on the poverty and crime surrounding of the campus than on the academic achievement of its students and their relationship with teachers in schools. In the Indian context, Shah, M.L (1988) studied on characteristics of academic climate in educational institution to report that the boys and girls belonging to urban and rural, govt. and private colleges, differed in the perception of physical material, school provision and academic provision dimensions of ACDQ.

Methodology

A normative survey method is used for the present research. The investigator has made an attempt to find out the existing situation of academic climate in private and provincialised secondary schools of Dhubri district. A sample of 100 students of X standard has been selected by simple random sampling technique. It comprises 50 students from private schools and 50 students from provincialised schools.

Objectives of the Study

The investigator has formulated the following objectives for the study:

1) To identify the academic climate of private schools.

2) To identify the academic climate of provincialised schools.

     3) To compare the academic climate of private and provincialised secondary schools.

Hypothesis

There exists a significant difference in academic climate between private schools and provincialised schools.

Research Tools

The research tools employed to collect data for the present study are Academic Climate Description Questionnaire (ACDQ) developed by Shah, M.L. and Shah, A. The ACDQ seeks to study academic climate in respect to four dimensions namely, physical material (PM), inter-personal trust (IPT), school provision (SP) and academic provision (AP) respectively. The final scale contained 80 items in which 15 for PM, 14 for IPT, 30 for SP and 21 for AP were selected.

Data Collection and Scoring

The adopted ACDQ and a personal information data sheet were administered on selected sample with the help of the headmasters and teachers. The students were asked to read instruction manual before answering the questions. They also instructed to keep the answers confidential and not to disclose to anyone. The scoring procedure was done according to the test manual.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

The perceptions of the students with regard to academic climate of their respective schools collected with ACDQ were scored adopting the procedure given in the test manual. The analysis of ACDQ was based on the four dimensions of academic climate of schools namely-physical material (PM), interpersonal trust (IPT), school provision (SP) and academic provision (AP). The raw data obtained for each dimension have been tabulated and fed into appropriate frequency table in the light of four dimensions of ACDQ. Percentiles were calculated with regard to each dimension separately to measure the level of academic climate of the schools. The percentiles calculated in the four dimensions of ACDQ are given in table 1.

Table-1

Percentiles calculated in respect to dimensions of ACDQ

(private schools)

Percentiles Dimensions of ACDQ Total Interpretation
PM IPT SP AP
P90 26.02 23.33 45.22 33.8 128.37 Very high academic climate
P80 24.58 21.41 43.78 30.14 119.91 High academic climate

 

P75 (Q3) 24.1 19.49 42.82 29.18 115.59
P70 23.23 19.68 41.38 28.03 112.32
P60 22.46 18.72 40.03 26.98 108.19 Average academic climate
P50 (Mdn) 21.5 17.95 37.54 25.65 102.64
P40 20.35 17.57 36.63 24.48 99.03
P30 18.72 16.9 35.04 22.56 93.22 Low academic climate
P25 (Q1) 18.14 16.03 34.18 21.6 89.95
P20 17.95 15.84 32.74 20.26 86.79 Very low academic climate
P10 15.07 14.69 30.24 17.86 77.86

In view of the percentiles calculated in respect to the different dimensions of ACDQ (Table-1) the following table-2 represents the Mean and SD of all the dimensions to interpret the academic climate of private schools.

Table-2

Academic climate of private school (N = 50)

Dimensions of ACDQ Mean SD Interpretation
Physical material 21.1 4.14 AVERAGE

ACADEMIC

CLIMATE

Inter personal trust 18.33 2.11
School provision 38.14 5.86
Academic provision 25.5 5.47
Total 103.07 17.58

The table-2 shows the mean and SD of all the dimensions of academic climate of school. It also shows the calculated Mean values of physical material, interpersonal trust, school provision and academic provisions are 21.1, 18.33, 38.14 and 25.5 respectively. All the four dimensions of academic climate indicate an average academic climate. The total Mean score 103.07 falls at P60, can be interpreted as average academic climate of private schools. To identify the academic climate of provincialised schools, percentiles in terms of the four dimensions of ACDQ are also calculated which are given in the Table-3.

Table-3

Percentiles calculated in respect to dimensions of ACDQ

(provincialised schools)

 

Percentiles Dimensions of ACDQ Total Interpretation
PM IPT SP AP
P90 24.19 21.41 42.53 30.91 119.04 Very high academic climate
P80 21.79 18.34 39.55 27.55 107.23 High academic climate

 

P75 (Q3) 21.31 17.38 38.5 26.21 103.4
P70 19.3 16.51 38.11 25.15 99.07
P60 17.47 15.46 34.85 23.62 91.4 Average academic climate
P50 (Mdn) 17.57 14.59 28.9 22.46 83.52
P40 16.51 13.73 31.01 20.74 81.99
P30 15.65 13.34 30.34 19.1 78.43 Low academic climate
P25 (Q1) 14.5 12.67 28.99 17.76 73.92
P20 13.92 11.62 28.13 16.51 70.18 Very low academic climate
P10 12.96 10.66 27.07 16.03 66.72

In view of the percentiles calculated in respect to the different dimensions of ACDQ (Table-3), the following table-4 represents the Mean and SD of all the dimensions to interpret the academic climate of provincialised secondary schools.

Table-4

Academic climate of provincialised schools (N = 50)

 

Dimensions of ACDQ Mean SD Interpretation
Physical material 17.74 3.22 AVERAGE

ACADEMIC

CLIMATE

Inter personal trust 15.06 2.02
School provision 33.46 5.38
Academic provision 22.37 4.04
Total 88.63 14.66

The table-4 shows the Mean and SD of all the dimensions of academic climate of schools. It also shows the calculated mean value of PM, IPT, SP and AP dimensions are 17.74, 15.06, 33.46 and 22.37 respectively. The total Mean score is 88.63 which fall at P60 and which can easily be interpreted as average academic climate of provincialised schools.

Moreover, to compare the academic climate of private and provincialised schools, the significance in difference of their Means calculated and shown in the table-5.

Table-5

Comparison of academic climate of private and provincialised schools

Medium N Mean SD t-value Remark
Private 50 103.07 17.58 4.28 **
Provincialised 50 88.63 14.66

** Significant at 0.01 level.

The table-5 shows that the t-value 4.28 is significant at 0.01 level. Therefore, the hypothesis ‘there is a significant difference in academic climate between private schools and provincialised schools’ is accepted. Hence, it can be concluded that significant difference exists between the two types of schools. The academic climate of private schools is found better than that of the provincialised school as far as their means scores are concerned.

Major Findings

On the basis of analysis of data the following findings have been drawn.

1) The private schools show an average academic climate. The total Mean score is 103.07, which falls at P60 and this can be interpreted as average academic climate.

2) The provincialised schools also show an average academic climate. The total Mean score was 88.63 which fall at P60 and this can be interpreted as average academic climate.

3) There exists a significant difference in the academic climate of private schools and provincialised school. The t-value 4.28 is highly significant at 0.01 levels to establish their difference. Private schools (Mean 103.07) are found having better academic climate than that of their provincialised (Mean 88.63) counterparts.

Conclusion

From the above analysis of data and findings of the study, we can come up with the conclusion that academic climate of private and provincialised schools needs improvement so as to ensure a high academic climate. The study measures academic climate in respect to physical material, inter-personal trust, school provision and academic provision dimensions. There is a need to improve all the dimensions giving equal emphasis. On the other hand, the study finds out a marked difference in the academic climate of private and provincialised schools. Their differences can be observed in the entire dimension. The teachers, students and administrators must increase their concern to improve the academic climate of rural schools. The government should come forward to provide all the materials, educational and infrastructural facilities to improve the academic climate of both the private schools as well as the provincialised schools.

References

  1. Goswami, M (2007). A study of the organizational climate of the secondary schools of Kamrup district in relation to teacher freezingness and academic performance of students. Ph.D. Edu. G.U. Assam.
  2. Baruah, S (2004). Organizational climate of Govt. and privately managed high schools of Kamrup district. A comparative study. Ph.D. G.U. Assam.
  3. Kumar, D (2001). A study of organizational climate and academic performance of higher secondary school. The Educational Review, 2001, Sept.
  4. Chauhan, SS (1996), Advanced Educational psychology, Sixth Edition, Vikas publishing house Pvt. Ltd.
  5. Shah, M.L and Shah, A. (1988), Manual for Academic Climate Description Questionnaire, Ankur psychological Agency, Srinagar, Lucknow-16.

Hasanur Rahman

Bilasipara College

Bilasipara, Dhubri, Assam

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