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A comparison of at-risk students' self-perceptions of control in alternative and traditional educational environments

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Title:
A comparison of at-risk students' self-perceptions of control in alternative and traditional educational environments
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Fries, Harry G
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Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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x, 158 leaves : forms ; 29 cm

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High school students -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
Non-formal education -- Evaluation ( lcsh )
High school students -- Attitudes ( fast )
Non-formal education -- Evaluation ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Thesis:
Education
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Harry G. Fries.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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25725947 ( OCLC )
ocm25725947
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LD1190.E3 1991d .F74 ( lcc )

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Full Text
A COMPARISON OF AT-RISK STUDENTS SELF PERCEPTIONS
OF CONTROL IN ALTERNATIVE AND TRADITIONAL
EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS
by
HARRY G. FRIES
B.S. Ed., University of Florida, 1962
M.Ed., University of Florida, 1965
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Education
School of Education
1991


This thesis for the Doctor of Education
degree by
Harry G. Fries
has been approved for the
School of
Education
by
Steve del Castillo
Date


Fries, Harry G. (Ph.D., Education)
A Comparison of At-Risk Students' Self-Perceptions
of Control in Alternative and Traditional
Educational Environments
Thesis directed by Professor W. Michael Martin.
This was an exploratory study, the major
problems studied were: (1) to determine how at-risk high
school students in traditional school environments and in
alternative educational environments perceive their sense
of control at school compared to academically successful
students in traditional high school environments and (2)
to determine if there is a relationship between academic
achievement and students' perception of control at
school.
This study used the survey method with two instruments
(the Perceived Control at School Scale, PCSS; and the
Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale, PICSS)
to identify how they perceive their sense of control at
school in their respective environments.
It was hypothesized that participation in the
alternative education environment (SWAP, School-to-Work-
Action program sponsored by the Colorado Alliance of
Business) would enhance students' perceptions of control
and improve their attitude toward school and learning,
ultimately improving their academic achievement.


The major findings of this exploratory study indicate
that although at-risk high school students in traditional
educational environments differ significantly in their
perceptions of control at school from at-risk students in
the SWAP, alternative educational environment and the
academically successful students in the traditional
environment, these students were comparable in their
rating of how they valued the importance of control at
school. Their responses explicitly demonstrated that
they valued having control. When considered as a total
group, high school students voiced clear perceptions
about their sense of control in a school setting.
Based on the data and findings of this study, the SWAP
group's treatment (alternative educational environment)
made a significant difference in the final outcome of the
SWAP students' perception of control at school. The SWAP
students academic performance improved from their pre-
SWAP GPAs. The findings have demonstrated that, the
variables, of perception of control and achievement may
be related and that they can be enhanced in a relatively
short period of time by providing students with the
opportunity to participate in their own educational
decisions and by furnishing them with a greater range of
choices than what is currently provided in traditional
educational environments.
iv


The form and content of this abstract are approved. I
recommend its publication.
Signed.
Michael Martin
v


DEDICATION
To our children, the hope for the future.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION........................................1
Background of Study...............................8
Characteristics of At-Risk Students..............12
Characteristics of Alternative
Schools/Programs.................................15
Indicators of Success for
Alternative Schools/Prorams......................17
Perceived Control Research.......................18
School-To-Work Action Program....................20
Purpose of Study.................................22
Significance of Study............................23
Statement of Problem.............................24
Research Questions...............................25
Hypotheses.......................................26
Basic Assumptions................................27
Definitions of Terms.............................28
Limitations of Study.............................33
Delimitations of Study...........................34
Organization of Thesis...........................34
2. REV IEW OF LITERATURE..............................35
Factors of Student Achievement...................35
Psychology of Control............................37
Perceived Control Research.......................39


Perceived Control and
Academic Achievement.............................41
Social Learning Theory........................ .46
Perceived Control and Motivation.................51
Summary of Control,
Motivation and Achievement.......................53
Interventions and Teaching Strategies
Relevant to Students' Perceptions of Control.....55
Summary of Strategies and Interventions..........59
Review of Perceived Control Instrumention........61
Conclusions......................................65
3. RESEARCH PROCEDURES................................66
Methodo 1 ogy and Des i gn......................66
Description and Selection of Subjects...........67
I nstrument at ion..............................70
Procedures......................................77
Data Collection................................ 78
Data Analysis...................................79
4. FINDI NQS OF THE STUDY.............................80
I ntroduction................................... 80
Research Questions...............................81
Hypotheses.......................................82
Hypotheses Testing...............................83
Summary of Findings..............................97
vi i


Background and Demographic Data..................98
5. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS..........102
Summary of Study................................102
Reviewof Literature..............................104
Major Findings..................................107
Summary of Major Findings.......................113
Conclusions.....................................115
Recommendations.................................119
Recommendations for Further Study...............121
APPENDIX
A. Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS).........123
B. Perceived Importance of Control
at School Scale (PICSS).........................128
C. Frequency Distributions for PCSS & PICSS.........132
D. SWAP Annual End of Year Reports..................135
BIBILOQRAPHY............................................144
v i i i


TABLES
Table
1. Comparison of Group Means for Item
Ratings and Total Mean Scores on
the Perceived Control at School
Scale(PCSS).................................85
2. ANOVA of PCSS Total Mean Scores................87
3. ANOVA of PI CSS Total Mean Scores..............89
4. Rank Ordered Means Ratings for the Total
Sample Responses to the Perceived
Importance of Control at School
Scale.......................................92
5. Mean GPA's of Pre-SWAP and SWAP
by School and by Year.......................94
6. Comparison of SWAP Students
Attendance..................................95
7. ANOVA of Attitude Toward School
Items.......................................96
8. Gender Composition............................ 99
9. Ethnic Composition............................100
10. Grade Level in School.........................100
11. Age of Respondents............................100
12. Years in School...............................101


TABLES
Table
1. Comparison of Qroup Means for Item
Ratings and Total Mean Score on
the Perceived Control at School
Scale(PCSS).................................85
2. ANOVA of PCSS Total Mean Scores................87
3. ANOVA of PI CSS Total Mean Scores..............89
4. Rank Order Means Ratings for the Total
Sample Responses to the Perceived
Importance of Control at School
Scale.......................................92
5. Mean QPA's of Pre-SWAP and SWAP
by School and by Year.......................94
6. Comparison of SWAP Students
Attendance..................................95
7. ANOVA of Attitudes Toward School
Items.......................................96
8. Gender Composition.............................99
9. Ethnic Composition............................100
10. Grade Level in School.........................100
11. Age of Respondents............................100
12. Years in School...............................101
ix


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation
to Dr. W. Michael Martin for his guidance, support,
suggestions and his careful attention to detail. I also
want to thank Dr. David Melendez, Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski,
and Dr. Andrew Helwig for their support and suggestions.
To my wife, Lynn, I extend my gratitude and loving
appreciation for her personal support and understanding
that made this dissertation process bearable. Without
her dedication, computer knowledge and word processing
assistance, my efforts would have been futile.
x


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTI ON
At the Summit Meeting on Education, held in
Charlottesville, Virginia, on September 28, 1989,
President Bush and the nation's 50 governors agreed on
the need to overhaul the nation's education system. They
reached agreement on the need for national performance
goals, on the need for more flexibility for and
accountability of teachers, the need for restructuring
schools and the need to provide choice of schools
(Weinraub, 1989).
The current national concern with the nation's
educational system was initially raised by the then
Secretary of Education, T.H. Bell in 1981, when he
created the National Commission on Excellence in
Education, directing it to examine the quality of
education in the United States. When this commission
released the report, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative
For Education Reform, the national dropout rate was at
2036, one out of every five students (Digest of
Educational Statistics. 1983-84).


The Nation at Risk report contained recommendations for
the improvement of the quality of education in Americas
public schools. The report called for sweeping reforms
in the educational system that were based on the
commission's findings that:
Declines in educational performance are in a
large part the result of disturbing inadequacies in
the way the educational process is often conducted
(Gardner, 1983, p.10).
Three years later, Butchart (1986), in a national
review of dropout prevention programs, suggested that
"one out of every four young people of high school age
will drop out of school before graduating" (p.3). This
report suggests an increase in school dropouts to 25%,
and even higher in urban centers and for minorities. The
current educational statistics (Digest of Educational
Statistics. 19901. confirms Butchart's projections and is
an indication that the nation's public schools are still
in need of sweeping educational reform.
Butchart (1986) contends that the national dropout rate
is partially caused by ineffective schools and
ineffective teaching. Butchart (1986) stated that:
2


Common sense suggests that no one
system of schooling can successfully
educate all the learners, despite a
century of effort to create the "One Best
System" (p.5).
Raywid (1989) contends that traditional conventional
("one best system") schools adequately serve students
with particular cognitive and personal orientations.
They place a premium on the ability to sit still and to
learn by listening to the teacher.
Tyack (1974) stated that "one best system" schools do
not serve all students well. Research indicates that
students primarily leave school because they dislike
their experience with school. Their experiences at
school are the lack of control and of choices. They feel
excluded/alienated from the classroom and they drop out
psychologically long before dropping out physically.
This situation causes these students to experience a
sense of hopelessness, depression and results in feelings
of hostility, negative behavior and attitudes toward
school and learning (Butchart, 1986, Coleman et al.,
1966; Morley & Clay, 1983; Kyle, Lane, Sween & Armando,
1986; Sexton, 1985; Silberman, 1970).
There is an enormous body of literature on the
variability of learning styles and different learning
environments that have provided successful learning
3


situations. The research of Dunn & Dunn (1978) and
Sinclair and Qhory (1987) supports this observation.
Yet, educators continue to behave as if this knowledge
does not exist. A continued increase in the national
dropout rate is the reflection of school systems not
adjusting to the needs of society, and continuing to
provide a single model of learning for all students
(Digest of Educational Statistics. 1988; 19901. Raywid
(1989) further contends:
...that there is no single best approach to
learning for all youngsters. Therefore, a strong
case exists for a diversity of school environments
with programs that are aligned with student needs
and interests. This underscores the importance of
students' choice (p.12).
School systems need to begin to reform their attitudes,
their policies and procedures, and their teaching
strategies. They need to examine what alternative
schools have been providing students, i.e., the
opportunity to participate in the educational process.
The goals of alternative schools have been to provide a
different and worthwhile educational experience (Raywid,
1989). Butchart (1986) stated that alternative schools
have "turned in a remarkable track record of solid
educational accomplishments". This is further supported
4


by the research of Duke and Muzio (1978) and Smith,
Gregory & Pugh (1981). Raywid (1989), in her review of
alternative educational, programs has presented a number
of studies that have shown remarkable improvement by low
achievers when placed in new and different learning
environments. Students demonstrated improvements in
attitudes toward school and learning, in attendance, in
behavior patterns, and in achievement. She stated that:
Such students have frequently turned from
chronic truancy to regular attendance. And, they
have sometimes achieved multi-year gains, as
measured by standardized tests, within a matter of
months (p.9).
The analysis of dropout patterns, presented by Sexton
(1985), demonstrated that the school environment has more
to do with school dropout rates than does the student's
race or socio-economic circumstances. This is further
supported by a study of at-risk students in Chicago's
Public Schools (Kyle et al., 1986), which found that for
many students, the different learning environment appears
to be the key. Mario Fantini (1973), suggests that:
....student failure is more likely a mismatch
of learner to the educational environment than the
result of a lack of ability (p.143).
5


James Coleman in his report to Congress, Equalitv of
Educational Opportunity (Coleman et al., 1966), Presents
another key factor that alternative education programs
attempt to address:
....a pupil attitude factor, which appears to
have a stronger relationship to achievement than do
all the "school" factors together, is the extent to
which an individual feels that he has control over
his destiny(p.23).
There is considerable evidence supporting the view that
believing one has control "may be even more important
than exercising particular overt responses to bring about
desired outcomes" (Langer, 1983, p.13). There is a need
to consider alternative intervention strategies that hold
promise of enhancing intrinsic motivation for overcoming
problem behavior and pursuing learning (e.g., Adelman &
Taylor, 1982; Deci & Ryan, 1985). Smith, Adelman, Nelson,
Taylor & Phares (1987) suggests that:
....greater consideration should be given to
replacing approaches that rely excessively on
extrinsics to control behavior with interventions
that emphasize enhancement of perceptions of control
and self-determination (p.175).


The research of Smith, Adelman, Nelson, Taylor, and
Phares (1987) found that:
In general, our findings to date support
previous studies showing that youngsters have
strong perceptions and attitudes about the degree
of control they have over processes affecting their
lives and that these perceptions and attitudes have
a profound impact on their actions (p.165).
The search for factors which influence student
achievement has intensified in the past decade. One
variable that has appeared in numerous studies is
internal locus of control. The research of Stipek and
Weisz (1981b) and Findley and Cooper (1983) revealed that
students' perception of control at school could be a key
school variable in the equation of student achievement.
While a variety of factors appear to affect student
achievement, many require massive social and political
changes within the school system. Locus of control
appears to be a variable that can be manipulated to
provide positive learning environments to improve
students' academic achievement with very little change
being required by the school system.
This study was based upon the premises that students
have a need to have a sense (perception) of control at
school and over their destiny if they are to be
academically successful and that alternative educational
7


environments can provide students with the opportunity to
gain this perception of control and become more
academically successful than they had been in the
traditional school environment.
Background of Study
In response to the A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For
Educational Reform, released in 1983 by the U.S.
Department of Education, which presented strong criticism
of the nation's schools, many states have plunged
headlong into reform movements based on the advice of the
Presidential Commission that wrote the report (Orlich,
1989). William Chance (1988) reported in 1986 that more
than 275 education task forces had been organized in the
early to mid-1980's. In addition to the 275 reports
generated by these task forces, at least 18 book-length
national reports intending to improve the schools were
published during the 1980's. More than 700 statutes
emanated from the nation's statehouses that specified who
should teach what to whom and when and how. In 1988
Chance documented these state statutes as follows:
43 states required higher standards
for high school graduation.
17 states required higher standards
for admission to colleges.
8


37 states required statewide student
assessment programs.
29 states required teacher competency
tests.
28 states increased the requirements
for teacher certification.
(Orlich, 1989, p.513)
Chance (1988) concluded that most of the school reform
was political and ephemeral. The clear purpose of this
mass of legislation was to control and regulate teachers
and local schools.
At the annual meeting of the American Educational
Research Association in April 1986, Mary Hatwood Futrell
presented the National Educational Association's thesis
that the time had come to reform the reform movement:
Every attempt at reform that dilutes the
authority of the classroom teacher dilutes the
quality of instruction in our nation's classroom.
Teachers cannot hope to prepare students for a
world of perpetual flux if they themselves are
condemned to static, externally imposed conceptions
of effective pedagogy.
Teachers cannot hope to prepare students for
the Information Age if they themselves are condemned
to organizational structures derived from the
Industrial Age.
Teachers cannot hope to ready students for
responsibility within a participatory democracy if they
themselves are condemned to an autocratic
bureaucracy, (p.11).
9


Theodore Sizer's, 1983 report, A Celebration of
Teaching: High Schools in the 1980's, advocated
incentives for learning, an emphasis on quality,
increased responsibility for students, mastery of defined
skills as a precondition for graduation, and inculcation
of ethical values. Sizer underscored the need to move
away from top-down regulation as a means for school
improvement when he stated that the decentralization of
substantial authority to the persons closest to the
students is essential.
John Qoodlad's A Place Called School (1984) is the most
comprehensive report on the school reform of the 1980's.
Qoodlad noted that genuine school reform requires large
amounts of locally generated data that reveal consistent
patterns regarding what is actually taking place in the
schools. Qoodlad described the "flatness" of American
classrooms. Silberman (1970) had a similar label in the
previous decade, "mindless", indicating most teachers
spent the major portion of their teaching day on routine
activities. Whole group instruction was typical.
Teachers tended to work in isolation, to control the
content, to distribute little praise or feedback to
students, and to provide a narrow range of student
activities. Students tended to be passive. They were
seldom given sufficient time to understand or complete
10


their assignments. At the high school level, teachers
relied primarily on lecturing, assigning written work,
testing and quizzing. Qoodlad (1984) further contended
that instruction in a typical classroom was neither
exciting, dynamic, nor innovative; his findings suggested
that "reform" was failing to produce an impact at the
most critical level: the classroom.
It was also during this period that "equity", quality
education for all students in all schools, began to
reclaim a central position alongside excellence in
discussions of school reform (Futrell, 1989). Boyer
(1988) presented the issue succinctly:
The harsh truth is that school reform is
failing in the inner city because the diagnosis is
wrong. Formulas for renewal, more homework, more
testing, more requirements for graduation work
best for schools that are already succeeding and for
students who are college bound. But to require a
troubled student in an urban ghetto to take another
unit in math or foreign language, without more
guidance or support, is like raising a hurdle in the
high jump without giving more coaching to someone
who has stumbled (p.12).
Futrell (1989) concluded that:
As the 1980's draw to a close, there is no
excuse for believing that educational excellence for
all students necessitates a uniform structure for
all schools. Solid evidence demonstrates that to
educate young people to their full potential, we
must legitimate divergent paths to the goal (p.13).
11


Our society and our schools have become so preoccupied
with students who plan to go on to college they have lost
sight of the other half of our young people who do not.
More and more, the non-college bound now fall between the
cracks in our current school systems. This "forgotten
half" then either drop out or graduate inadequately
prepared to fill their adult roles as parents, workers,
and citizens (William T. Grant Foundation, 1988). This
regretful situation has been documented by the U.S.
Office of Education in the Digest of Educational
Statistics. 1983-84. with a national dropout rate at 20*.
When it was updated later in 1988, it reported the
national dropout rate increased to 25* and even higher in
the urban centers and for minorities (Digest of
Educational Statistics. 1988).
Characteristics of At-Risk Students
Ronald E. Butchart (1986) in a recent publication,
Dropout Prevention Through Alternative High Schools: A
Study of the National Experience, presented the following
information about the national dropout problem:
12


1. One out of every four young people of high school
age will drop out of school before graduating.
2. Dropouts tend to share a characteristic profile
which allows educators to predict with a fair
degree of accuracy which young people are most at
risk of dropping out of school.
3. Research indicates that students primarily leave
school because they personally dislike their
experience with school. They feel excluded and
alienated from the classroom via school and
societal policies and practices.
4. Students drop out psychologically long before
dropping out physically (pp.3-4).
Academic failure is the primary precursor, leading to
both disruptive behavior and dropping out. Morley and
Clay (1983) suggested that potential dropouts are
frequently discipline problems and disruptive in the
classroom. At the secondary level the following
indicators of potential dropouts were identified:
1. Absenteeism, truancy, and frequent tardiness.
2. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects or
grade levels.
3. Low math and reading scores, usually two or
more years behind.
4. Limited extracurricular participation, lack of
identification with school, expressed feelings
of not belonging.
5. Poor social adjustment, perhaps socially or
emotionally disturbed.
6. Low self-concept relative to authority figures.
7. Reluctance.
8. Lack of future orientation.
9. Inability to tolerate present school-structured
activities, but wants structure.
10. Failure to see relevance of education to life
experiences (Morley & Clay, 1983, pp.1-2).
13


Scott (1985) contends that:
Most dropouts are marginal students, with poor
self-concepts in academics, uncertain support
systems among their peers and parents, weak basic
skills despite street savvy and quick minds, and
certainty of purpose in life (p.29).
Amster and Lazarus (1982) collected normative data
on 197 disadvantaged high school dropouts. Their data
indicated that this group of students appeared to be,
markedly, externally oriented.
Coleman et a1.(1966), in an extensive two year research
project, that included some 900,000 students, on
achievement and aptitude tests and questionnaires on
family background concluded:
Taking all these results together, one implication
stands out above all: that schools bring little
influence to bear upon a child's achievement that is
independent of his background and general social
context; and that this very lack of independent effect
means that the inequalities imposed upon children by
their home, neighborhood, and peer environment are
carried along to become the inequalities with which
they confront adult life at the end of school (p.325).
In the National Education Longitudinal Study: a 1988
Survey of 24,600 eighth graders, Staimer (1990) suggests
that any one of the following six factors can put
students (in the research study) at risk of dropping out
of or failing school:
14


Factors Affecting students;
Percent of At-Risk
students in the study
Single parent family ........................22%
Annual family income
under $15,000................................21%
Unsupervised, often
at home alone................................14%
Parents have a low
level of education...........................11%
Sibling who dropped out......................10%
Limited-English
Proficiency...................................2%
The aforementioned statistics confirm many of Coleman's
early concerns and provide current data that the at-risk
student is still a major problem in our schools.
Characteristics of Alternative Schools/Proarams
The goals of alternative (planned intervention) schools
have been to provide a different and worthwhile
educational experience (Raywid, 1984; 1989). These
schools have been the products of the educational and
social fervor of the 1960's. The research has documented
that the alternative schools have turned in a remarkable
track record of solid educational accomplishment
15


that the alternative schools have turned in a remarkable
track record of solid educational accomplishment
(Butchart, 1986; Duke & Muzio, 1978; Raywid, 1985; Smith
et al 1981) .
The term alternative education covers a broad range of
educational configurations, "...from magnet schools to
dropout prevention programs, from schools-without-walIs
to schools-within-a-school, from back-to-basics academies
to the much maligned free schools" (Butchart, 1986, p.2).
Although there is some difficulty in clearly defining
alternative schools, they all seem to share some common
characteristics. Mary Ann Raywid (1984), presented the
most comprehensive survey of alternative schools to date.
She contends that there are six elements that set
alternative schools apart from traditional "one best
system" schools. They are:
1. The alternative constitutes a distinctive
and identifiable administrative unit with its own
personnel and program. Moreover, substantial effort
is likely to be addressed to creating a strong sense
of affiliation with the unit.
2. Structures and processes generative of the
school climate are held important and receive
considerable attention within the unit.
3. Students as well as staff enter the alternative
as a matter of choice rather than assignment.
4. The alternative is designed to respond to
particular needs, desires, or interests not
otherwise met in local schools, resulting in a
16


5. The impetus to launch the alternative, as well
as its design, comes from one or more of the groups
affected by the program: teachers, students, and
parents.
6. Alternative schools generally address a broader
range of student development than just the cognitive
or academic. Typically, the sort of person the
learner is becoming is a matter of first concern
(P.77).
Indicators of Success for Alternative Schools/Proarams
Alternative school/programs come closer to satisfying
the needs of students than do traditional schools (Smith,
Qregory & Pugh, 1981). There is an impressive amount of
documentation (Butchart, 1986; Duke & Muzio, 1978; Kyle
et al., 1986; Raywid, 1984, 1989; Smith et al., 1981)
that suggests that alternative schools/programs are
effective and successful. The aforementioned researchers
have presented the following indicators as a measure of
success for alternative schools/programs:
1. Improved daily attendance
2. Improved reading levels
3. Improved math and science levels
4. Improved scores on standardized tests
5. Improved academic achievement - higher GPA
6. Increased retention rates
7. Increased graduation rates
17


Another way to assess success in alternative
schools/programs is in terms of students' attitudes and
behavior toward schooling, toward their teachers, toward
the school and toward the education process in general.
The authors presented a strong case for students'
improved attitudes toward themselves, others and
schooling. In fact, they further suggest that the longer
students remain in the alternative schools/programs the
more positive their attitudes toward the educational
process.
Perceived Control Research
In the past 25 years, perceived control has been a
popular area of research. Rotter (PerImuter & Monty,
1979) reports that "there are well over 1000 published
papers on having to do with individual differences in
internal vs. external control of reinforcement" (p.263).
Perceived control has been researched under the following
terminology: locus of control (Lefcourt, 1979; Phares,
1979; Rotter, 1966; 1975; 1979), learned helplessness
(Dweck & Qoetz, 1978; Seligman, 1975; Seligman & Miller,
1979), personal causation (deCharms, 1979), personal
18


Perceived control has been researched under the following
terminology: locus of control (Lefcourt, 1979; Phares,
1979; Rotter, 1966; 1975; 1979), learned helplessness
(Dweck & Goetz, 1978; Seligman, 1975; Seligman & Miller,
1979), personal causation (deCharms, 1979), personal
self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977a; Brown, 1979),
self-determination (Deci, 1980), perceived competence
(Harter, 1978; 1981), and more recently to perceived
contingency (Skinner & Chapman, 1983; Weisz, 1983; and
Weisz & Stipek, 1982).
Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor & Phares (1986), contend
that the bulk of the research has focused on adults and
that the available measures (e.g., of locus of control,
attributions, perceived competence, self-efficacy)
provide indirect data on perceptions of control over
school events and outcomes.
Smith et al., (1987) contended:
...there have been relatively few studies
examining the relationship between perceived control
and overt behavior and related attitudes and affect
at school (p.167).
This statement underlies; this writer's motivation for
undertaking the present study to examine the relationship
between students' perceived control at school and
academic success.
19


basic skills/job readiness program designed to maximize
the potential of at-risk teens. Originally offered at
two Denver urban high schools, SWAP has significantly
increased retention rates by giving at-risk youth the
hands-on training and self-confidence to make a
successful transition to a career and/or post-secondary
education.
Based on the encouraging results of the Denver SWAP
program, the program was replicated in 20 junior and
senior high school sites serving over 1,400 students
statewide in communities as diverse as Brighton, Colorado
Springs, Denver, Elizabeth, Thornton and Wheat Ridge.
SWAP employs a unique educational approach which includes
an interdiscipi inary core curriculum emphasizing high
expectations, high content and high support. High
support includes direct parental involvement, business
participation, and a flexible school administration
dedicated to providing equal educational opportunities
for all youth.
The aforementioned process was a planned intervention
with the practical application of many, if not all, of
the recommendations outlined by Holt (1969), Qoodlad
(1984), Raywid (1984; 1989), Boyer (1988), Futrell
(1989), and Orlich (1989) in a naturalistic setting.
20


The key to SWAP's success was the ability of the
schools to incorporate the following components (which
were considered as the interventions/treatment of the
at-risk students in alternative educational
environments):
1. Voluntary participation by students committed to
improve themselves (educationally).
2. Voluntary participation of teachers committed to
work as a team.
3. The development of
based on well-defined
of the programs teach
math, social studies,
(including some career
account for approximately 64% of
day. During the remainder of the
attend courses and activities in
an interdisciplinary curriculum
values, outcomes and goals. Most
the following subjects: English,
science and life skills
education). The SWAP classes
the students' school
day, the students
regular school.
4. Block scheduling of classes for students and
teachers that allows for alternative strategies to
accomplish educational objectives and goals.
5. A curriculum that incorporates many learning
styles and teaching approaches/strategies, that
emphasizes connectedness and integration of content
materials and activities.
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study was to explore the
relationship between academic achievement and at-risk
high school students perceptions of control in varying
21


educational environments in secondary schools that were
participating in the Colorado Alliance of Business,
School-To-Work Action Program (SWAP). The study focused
upon two major questions:
1. What is the relationship between academic
achievement and at-risk students' perception of
control at school in varying educational
environments (traditional/ alternative)?
2. What is the relationship between at-risk
students' perceptions of control at school in
traditional and alternative educational
environments compared to students that are
academically successful in traditional
educational environments?
This study attempted to establish the relationship
expected from current perceived control research and to,
more precisely, identify those important processes which
were significantly related to the successful academic
performance of students.
22


Significance of Study
Over the last several years researchers Perlmuter &
Monty (1979); Deci (1980); Stipek & Weisz (1981a; 1981b);
Weisz & Stipek (1982); Skinner & Chapman (1983); Weisz
(1983); Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares
(1986); Smith, Adelman, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1987)
have focused their research activity in the area of
perceived control. Common to these researchers is the
implicit belief that high levels of perceived control can
serve a beneficial function in human behavior (Smith et
al., 1987, p.167). Langer (1983, p.3) contends that
perceived control is crucial not only to one's
psychological well-being, but to one's physical health as
well. The research efforts of Savage, Perlmuter & Monty
(1979) and Deci & Ryan (1985) have related perceived
control to attitudinal and motivational factors
associated with learning, while deCharms (1976) related
perceived control to achievement in school.
Despite the aforementioned research, there have been
relatively few studies that examine the relationship
between perceived control related to students' attitudes,
behavior and affect at school. Extrapolating from work
in this area, it appears that certain experiences at
school may result in loss of students' sense of control
23


or choice, and that students' efforts to restore a sense
of perceived control may account for a significant part
of negative behavior, and affect (Smith et al., 1987).
This research study investigated at-risk students'
perceptions of sense of control (of their destiny) in
traditional high school environments and in alternative
educational environments (SWAP).
Statement of Problem
The major problems to be studied are twofold: (1)
determine how at-risk high school students in traditional
schools perceive their sense of control at school as
compared to at-risk students in alternative educational
environments (i.e.,the School-To-Work Action Program,
SWAP), and academically successful students in
traditional high school environments; (2) determine if
there is a relationship between academic achievement and
students' perception of control at school.
Research Questions
1. How do at-risk high school students in the
traditional school environment and in the alternative
24


educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of
control at school?
2. How do at-risk high school students in traditional
school and in alternative educational environment (SWAP)
perceive their sense of control compared to academically
successful students in traditional school environments?
3. How do at-risk high school students in the
traditional school environment and in the alternative
educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of the
importance of control at 'school?
4. How do at-risk high school students in traditional
school and in alternative educational environment (SWAP)
rate their sense of the importance of control compared to
academically successful students in traditional school
env i ronments?
5. Is there a relationship between academic
achievement and high school students' perception of
control at school?
25


Hypotheses
It was hypothesized that there is a relationship
between academic achievement and a perceived sense of
control at school, specifically:
1. At-risk high school students (no intervention) in a
traditional environment will report a lower sense of
perceived control at school than (a) at-risk high school
students receiving intervention in the alternative
environment, SWAP and (b) academically successful high
school students in a traditional environment.
2. There will be a significant difference in how
at-risk high school students will report their sense of
control in the alternative education environment (SWAP)
when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school
students in the traditional educational environment.
3. Academically successful high school students in a
traditional environment will report a higher sense of
importance of perceived control at school than (a) at-
risk high school students (no intervention) in a
26


traditional environment and (b) at-risk students
receiving intervention in the alternative environment,
SWAP.
4. There will be a significant difference in the
academic achievement of at-risk high school students
receiving treatment in the alternative education
environment (SWAP) in contrast to academic achievement of
at-risk high school students (no treatment) in the
traditional educational environment.
Basic Assumptions
The alternative education environment (SWAP) provides
students with the opportunity to participate in the
educational decision making process. It provides
students the opportunity to make choices and develop a
sense of control over their destiny, which in turn,
increases their motivation and academic performance.
27


Definitions of Terms
1. Academic: Refers to general or liberal education
rather than the technical or vocational education.
2. Academic Environments: Refers to types/styles of
teaching/learning (i.e., traditional or the "one best
system" or alternative educational approaches/SWAP).
3. Academically Successful Students: Refers to
students that maintain a 2.5 grade point average or
better and do not display the at-risk student
characteristics described by Morley and Clay (1983).
4. At-Risk Students: At the secondary level, these are
students that display one or more (if not all) of the
following characteristics:
a. Absenteeism, truancy, and frequent tardiness.
b. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects.
c. Low math and reading scores, usually two or
more years behind.
d. Limited extracurricular participation, lack of
identification with school, expressed feelings
of not belonging.
e. Poor social adjustment, perhaps socially or
emotionally disturbed.
f. Low self-concept relative to authority figures.
g. Reluctance/resistance to do school work.
h. Lack of future orientation.
i. Inability to tolerate present school structured
activities, but wants structure.
j. Failure to see relevance of education to life
experience (Morley & Clay, 1983, pp.1-2).
28


The aforementioned at-risk student characteristics are
congruent with those described by the SWAP program.
For the purposes of this study the following criteria
were selected for the screening process of the sample at-
risk population:
1. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects.
2. Low math and reading scores, usually two or more
years behind.
3. High rate of absenteeism.
There were such significant variations in the
terminology of the perceived control construct used by
various authors cited in this research project that there
was a need to clarify these terms for the reader. There
are at least two related meanings of control that this
research addresses. The first equates control with
competence, i.e.. the ability to exert control.
Competence refers to: White's (1959) terms of autonomy
and mastery, Bandura's (1977a) self-efficacy, Harter's
(1978; 1981) terms of control over processes and Deci's
(1980) notions of self-determination and Deci & Ryan
(1985) intrinsic motivation.
The second conceptualization relates perceived control
to perceived contingency. In this construct,
expectations of control are primarily a function of
29


whether an individual believes that outcomes are
contingent upon her/his decisions. This construct
incorporates Rotter's (19S6) research of internal versus
external locus of control, i.e., the degree to which a
student believes she/he has control over choice and
action that can effect outcomes/school performance (e.g.,
see deCharms, 1976; Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek &
Weisz, 1981a; 1981b).
In defining perceived control most of the research has
emphasized the notion that the construct encompasses the
belief that one is able to choose among courses of action
and effect outcomes. Yet, Langer (1983) distinguishes
between actual control and the illusion of control. She
contends that what is important is that individuals
believe they have control, not whether an outcome occurs.
More specifically, numerous theorists have stressed the
importance of independently considering an individual's
(a) perceptions about the process necessary to accomplish
a specific outcome, (b) expectations that one can control
the process, and (c) expectations about accomplishing the
outcome.
The major assumptions of perceived control, which are
directly related to this research, are presented by Smith
et al., (1987) and Taylor, Adelman, Nelson, Smith &
Phares (1989).
30


In our work, we view perceived control as the
degree of freedom one expects to have over the
processes that one believes must be pursued in order
to accomplish particular aims. More specifically,
we distinguish between the ability to understand
contingencies and the belief that one has control
over contingencies; we include a focus on decision
making; and we approach perceived control as a
generalized expectancy with regard to specific types
of situations (Smith et al., p. 168).
5. Perceived Control at School: Refers to the students'
perceived level of freedom of choice and decision making
with regard to school processes and outcomes,
availability of choices and options, fairness of imposed
limits, reactions to significant others at school to the
student's efforts to act autonomously, and the ability of
the student to counter the control efforts of others at
school.
6. Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS): An
instrument developed by Adelman et al. (1986) to aid in
the investigation of students perceived control at
school. Constructed to tap five areas of control in
which schools vary: (1) decision making with regard to
school processes and outcomes, (2) reactions to
significant others at school to the students efforts to
act autonomously, (3) availability of choices and
options, (4) fairness of imposed limits, and (5) ability
31


of a student to counter the control efforts of others at
school (high scores relate to a sense of internal
control, low scores relate to a sense of external
control) (Adelman et al., 1986, p.1007).
7. Perceived Importance of Control at School
Scale (P1CSS): An instrument designed by Adelman et
al.(1986) to measure the degree to which a student values
control over the matters described by the PCSS. PI CSS has
been found to be comparable in reliability to the PCSS.
The ability of the PCSS to detect group differences is
seen as suggestive that the PICSS is sensitive to
detecting differences when they exist (Taylor et al.,
1989, p.440).
8. School-To-Work Action Program (SWAP): A
Colorado Alliance of Business sponsored basic ski 11s/job
readiness program designed to maximize the potential of
at-risk secondary level students.
Limitations of the Study
1. The use of the Perceived Control at School Scale
(PCSS) and the Perceived Importance of Control at School
32


Scale (PICSS) developed by Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor
and Phares (at the University of California, Los Angeles,
1987), limits the perceptual responses to the authors
definitions of perceived control.
2. There can be no assurance of the respondent's honesty
in answering the questionnaire items.
3. As with any self-reporting instrument, only
conscious attitudes and views can be assessed.
4. All students that participated in the SWAP programs
were volunteers. This decision to participate in this
program may provide these students with a pre-existing
sense of control.
Delimitations of the Study
1. This study addressed the perceptions of at-risk
students in both the traditional and alternative (SWAP)
educational settings. The at-risk students that have
already dropped out of school could not be surveyed.
33


Organization of Thesis
The remainder of this dissertation was organized into
four chapters. Chapter 2 reviews the literature
regarding the factors of student achievement, the
psychology of control, perceived control, social learning
theory, perceived control and motivation, interventions
t
and teaching strategies relevant to students' perceptions
of control at school, and the review of perceived control
instruments as they relate to at-risk students. Chapter
3 describes the method and the research design employed
in this study, description and selection of subjects,
instrumentation (PCSS & PICSS), procedures that were used
in the administration of the instruments and the
collection of the data, data preparation and analysis.
Chapter 4 reports on the data findings and analyses of
the study and Chapter 5 presents the summary, conclusions
and recommendations resulting from the study.
34


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND RESEARCH
Factors of Student Achievement
The research for those factors that influence a
student's academic performance was greatly impacted by
the 1966, Coleman report. Equality of Educational
Opportunity. The educational research on student
academic performance in the late 1960's and the 1970's
have demonstrated that significant relationships exist
between student performance and the following variables:
(a) student ability (intelligence) and motivation; (b)
parental support and encouragement; (c) family
background; (d) socio-economic status; (e) level of
parents education; (f) level of peer
group expectations; (g) ethnicity; (h) psycho-social
environments of learning; (i) the quality and nature of
instruction; and (j) the characteristics of teachers
(Averch, Carrol, Donaldson, Kiesling & Pincus, 1972;
Bowels & Levin, 1963; Bridge, Judd & Moock, 1979; Coleman
et al., 1966; Jencks et al., 1972; Mayeske et al., 1972;
Silberman, 1970). The California Department of Education


(1977) presented data that suggests that these variables
account for as much as 75% of the variation in students'
academic performance.
The extent to which each of these factors contribute to
relative academic success/failure of students has not
been determined. As a result, controversy has arisen
within a body of complex and conflicting research.
During the past decade research has demonstrated that
schools can influence the outcomes of student achievement
when attributed to factors over which the school has
direct control (Benjamin, 1979; Brookover et al., 1979;
Butchart, 1986; deCharms, 1976; Duke & Muzio, 1978;
Madaus et al., 1980; Morley & Clay, 1983; Smith et al.,
1981; Squires, 1980; Walberg & Rashner, 1977).
In an effort to determine why some schools are more
effective than others, researchers are focusing on the
examination of specific school related processes and
behaviors as they relate to student academic performance
(Lipman, 1981; Williams, 1982). One of the many
recommendations suggested by the Coleman Report (1966)
was that:
The fact that attitudes such as a sense of
control of the environment [at school], or a belief
in responsiveness of the environment [at school],
are extremely highly related to achievement (p.325).
36


The concept of perceived sense of control seems
especially relevant in situations where students are
performing below their expected abilities.
Psychology of Control
In the past 20 years, there has been an increased
interest in the area of the psychology of control.
Perlmuter and Monty (1979) edited a series of papers
derived from a national conference which produced, the
cornerstone publication, Choice and Perceived Control.
During the 1980's there were three major publications
that presented theories of perceived control from
different perspectives. Baum and Singer (1980) apply the
concept of control from the standpoint of environmental
psychology. Their concern is with the manner in which
people use control as a means of coping with the
environment. Brehm and Brehm (1981) present control as a
central concept in the theory of psychological reactance.
Equating freedom with control, they theorize that a
threat to one's sense of psychological freedom (control)
will motivate the individual to recover that sense of
freedom (control). And in, The Psychology of Control.
Langer (1983) distinguishes between actual control and
the illusion of control and discusses interventions in
37


health psychology that seek to enhance individuals'
perceptions of control.
In explaining the development of children's quest for
control, Rothbaum and Weisz (1989) stated:
Only recently have researchers begun to document the
depth and pervasiveness of the desire for control
(p.18).
According to White (1959) most researchers miss
significant problems of growth. In particular, they fail
to recognize the development of competence (control),
which is required for the individual's maintaining
oneself, growing and flourishing. Rothbaum (1980)
further contends that investigators often neglect the
fact that frustration of the desire for control plays a
prominent role in many traumatic crises, such as illness
and loss of mobility due to accidents (i.e., diminished
ability to manipulate the physical environment), peer
rejection, failure in sports activities, and failure at
school.
The current research suggests that the scope of work on
perceived control is a diverse and robust construct.
38


Perceived Control Research
Current research on the psychology of control has
focused on the construct of perceived control (e.g.,
Adelman et al., 1986; Perlmuter & Monty, 1979; Smith et
al., 1987; Stipek & Weisz, 1981b; Weisz & Stipek, 1982).
ft has differentiated between at least two significant
variations in how the construct of perceived control is
defined and operationalized. The first equates control
with competence ( i.e.,the ability to exert control),
building on White's (1959) work on effectance motivation.
Competence motivation theory assumes that humans
naturally strive for effective interactions with their
environment and that successful mastery of a problem
produces feelings of efficacy, or competence. A primary
concern from this perspective is the degree of control an
individual believes he/she has over processes (e.g.,
events, tasks, situations, rules, policies and
procedures). Research in this area has drawn heavily
from the ideas of deCharms (1979) on personal causation,
Bandura (1977a) and Brown (1979) on self-efficacy, the
Harter (1978; 1981) concept of perceived competence, and
Deci's (1980) notions of self-determination and intrinsic
motivation.
39


The second conceptualization equates perceived control
to perceived contingency/outcome-expectancy. In this
perspective the primary concern is with the expectations
of control, and an individual believes that outcomes are
contingent on his or her behavior. This construct of
perceived control incorporates Rotter's (1966) concept of
internal versus external locus of control (l-E).
Research in this area has been supported by Lefcourt
(1979), Phares (1979), Rotter (1966; 1975; 1979), Weisz &
Stipek (1982), Skinner & Chapman (1983), Weisz (1983),
Adelman et al. (1986), Smith et al. (1987).
Smith et al., (1987) stated that:
Common to both of these approaches is the
implicit belief that high levels of perceived
control can serve a beneficial function in human
behavior (p.167).
Langer (1983) suggests that perceived control "is
crucial not only to one's psychological well-being but to
one's physical health as well" (p.13). Research efforts
have attempted to relate perceived control to a variety
of outcome variables (Smith et al., 1987), including
attitudinal and motivation factors associated with
learning (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Savage, Perlmuter & Monty,
1979), achievement in school (deCharms, 1976; Stipek &
40


Weisz, 1981b), and with positive aspects of mental health
(Arnkoff & Mahoney, 1979; Langer, 1983).
Smith et a1..,(1987), further claim that:
In general, our findings to date support
previous studies showing that youngsters have strong
perceptions and attitudes about the degree of
control they have over processes affecting their
lives and that these perceptions and attitudes have
a profound impact on their lives (p.168).
All of the aforementioned
with individuals' perception
to which they exert personal
environments.
researchers are concerned
or experiences of the degree
control over their
Perceived Control and Academic Achievement
Rotter (1966) suggested that internal versus external
control of reinforcement might be related to the need for
achievement in his original monograph, though he thought
that the relationship might not be linear due to the
effects of motivation, which might not be highly
correlated with locus of control. In his article.
Individual Differences and Perceived Control (Rotter,
1979) commented on the relationship of perceived control
and individual beliefs. He contended that:
41


It seems apparent that individuals cannot
develop a feeling that they can control outcomes if
they are not given choices. Only if we accept the
notion that we have had real choices can we feel
that an outcome is a result of our own decisions and
efforts. How should this relate to individual
differences in a belief in internal versus external
control? It seems reasonable that a history of being
given more choices would lead to a greater feeling
of internality, and in fact, some of the work with
children's locus-of-control (Crandall, Katkovsky &
Crandall; 1965) supports this in relating Internal
Achievement Responsibility (IAR) scores to greater
independence training and greater freedom of choice
(p.268).
John Weisz (1963) suggests that control-related beliefs
can mediate goal-directed action. Several theoretical
models suggest that efforts to achieve a goal depend on
the perceived controllability of that goal (e.g., Chapman
& Skinner, 1985; Dweck & Elliott, 1983; Lefcourt, 1976;
Weisz, 1983). He further stated that:
Tests of this proposition have focused most
often on academic achievement, which has been shown
to correlate with perception of control (see reviews
by Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek & Weisz, 1981).
Causal analyses indicate that perceived control can
stimulate academic achievement and that the reverse
may also be true (Calsyn, 1973; Stipek, 1980)
(p.789).
In a quantitative review of research investigating the
relationship between locus of control and academic
achievement, Findley and Cooper (1983) concluded:
42


....(a) Locus of control and academic
achievement are significantly positively related,
more internal beliefs are associated with greater
academic achievement and (b) the magnitude of this
relationship is small to medium. The relation tended
to be stronger for adolescents than for adults or
children. Also, the relation was more substantial
among males than among females (p.419).
In a comprehensive review of perceived control and
academic achievement Stipek and Weisz (1981b) summarized
35 studies investigating control and academic achievement
from several different related bodies of research:
Rotter's (1966, 1975) social learning theory, Weiner's
(1974) attribution theory, Harter's (1978) and White's
(1959) competency motivation theories, deCharms's (1979)
personal causation theory, and Deci's (1980)
self-determination theory. Stipek and Weisz (1981b)
concluded that:
Studies demonstrating a relationship between
personality or motivational variables and school
achievement have proliferated the psychological
research over the past two decades. These studies
are of great potential value to educators: If
students' personality or motivation are more
amenable to change than their ability, then
achievement might be enhanced indirectly through
educational practices that positively affect
personality and motivational development (p.101).
Stipek and Weisz (1981b) further confirmed the
Coleman's Report (1966) recommendation "that attitudes
43


such as sense of control of the environment" (p.325), an
attitude not unlike perceived control/locus of control,
is one motivational variable that appears to affect
children's academic achievement. The findings of Stipek
& Weisz (1981b) suggest an important possibility for
educational research:
Students who believe they have control over
their behavior and environment may mediate their
academic achievements and are more likely to invest
the energy necessary for academic success than
students who believe that their academic outcomes
are uncontrollable (p.101).
Nunn, Montgomery & Nunn, (1986) in their research
on the relationship between locus of control and academic
achievement indicate consistently moderate inverse
relationships between students' level of external control
and academic achievement. Keith, Pottebaum, & Eberhart
(1986) used path analysis to determine the extent of the
influence of self-concept and locus of control on
academic achievement with 27,718 high school seniors from
the National Center for Educational Statistics' High
School and Bevond. The longitudinal study suggests that
students that have an internal orientation tend to be
higher achievers. This concept is further supported by
the research of Douglas and Powers (1982), Powers and
Wagner (1983), Walden and Ramey (1983), Brog (1985),
44


Sharma (1986), Boggiano, Main and Katz (1988), Harris
(1988) and Payne and Payne (1989).
Powers and Wagner's (1983) study indicated that
Hispanic subjects were more internally oriented than the
Anglos. Conversely, Payne and Payne (1989) in their
study of elementary students found no main effects for
gender or race. They observed a significant main effect
condition (at-risk versus not at-risk), with at-risk
students being more externally oriented. Additional
verification of at-risk students being predominantly
externally oriented is supported by the study of Amster
and Lazarus (1982). They presented normative data
collected on 197 disadvantaged high school dropouts that
indicated that this group appears to be externally
oriented. This notion is further supported by the
research of Boss & Taylor (1989), who investigated the
relationships among locus of control and academic
programs for 267 high school students from advanced,
general and basic level programs. Their findings suggest
that advanced level students were more internally
oriented.
45


Social Learning Theory
Most of the research on perceptions of control is
grounded in social learning theory. Julian B. Rotter
(1975) stated that:
Social learning theory in its earliest
formulation was an attempt to integrate the two
trends in American psychology the stimulus
response or reinforcement theories on one hand, and
the cognitive or field theories on the other (p.2).
Rotter (1954) developed the concept of "Locus of
Control" (LOC) which is defined as a generalized
expectancy for internal or external control of
reinforcements. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) explained that:
"Internal control" refers to an individual's
belief that an event or-outcome is contingent on his
or her own behavior or on relatively permanent
characteristics such as ability. The belief that an
event is caused by factors beyond the individual's
control (e.g., luck, task difficulty, powerful
other) has been labeled external control" (p.102).
Rotter (1966) bases his LOC construct on the
proposition that reinforcement is not the only key in the
processes of learning skills and knowledge. He claims
that individuals must view reinforcement as contingent
upon their behavior in order for the reinforcement to
46


have any effect. He contends
not seen as contingent on the
then it will not increase the
that a particular behavior or
reinforcement in the future,
further that:
that if reinforcement is
individual's own behavior,
individual's expectancy
event will be followed by
Rotter (1975) states
Expectancies in each situation are determined
not only by specific experiences in that situation
but also, to some varying extent, by experiences in
other situations that the individual perceives as
similar" (p.57).
Stipek and Weisz (1981a; 1981b) reported that more
studies on the relationship between children's
perceptions of personal control have been done from a
social learning perspective than from any other
theoretical orientation. Most of the social learning
theorists contend that students' behavior in academic
achievement situations are influenced by their perceived
locus of control. Rotter (1975) has elaborated on the
relationship between locus of control and academic
achievement. He explains that a student's expectation
that a particular behavior will bring a particular
reinforcement is not the only predictor of the occurrence
of that behavior. The value of the expected
reinforcement is also important. A student who does not
47


value a high gradef for example, may not study for a
test, even though the student believes that the high
grade is contingent on studying.
The social learning theorists (Lefcourt, 1976; Rotter,
1966;) have always stated that situational variables can
influence an individual's perception of the contingency
of reinforcement. Rotter (1966) reviewed the research of
fellow social learning theorists, whose research focused
on the: relationship between various situations and locus
of control; locus of control as a personality variable;
and a variety of correlates. He concluded that not only
do situations vary with regard to the degree to which
they promote an internal versus external locus of
control, but individuals vary in their generalized
control expectancies across the same situation. In
summarizing the major correlates of locus of control, he
stated that individuals with an internal locus of control
tend to:
(a) be more alert to those aspects of the
environment which provide useful information for
future behavior; (b) take steps to improve his
environmental condition; (c) place greater value on
skill or achievement reinforcements and be generally
more concerned with his ability, particularly his
failures; and (d) be resistive to subtle attempts to
influence him (p.25).
48


Rotter (1966) does clarify these statements by
suggesting that extremely high internals are as
dysfunctional as those who score extremely low on his l-E
scale. However, within the normal range, he views the
internal locus of control as more conducive to motivated
behavior. He postulated a positive relationship between
internal locus of control and academic achievement.
Other research in this area suggests that the
relationship is mediated by personal variables such as
age (Bartel, 1971; Clifford & Cleary, 1972; Kiefer, 1975;
Nowicki & Strickland, 1973). Crandall, Katkovsky &
Preston (1962) contend that a stronger relationship
exists for boys than for girls and this was also
confirmed by Nowicki & Walker (1973). However, in their
review Stipek and Weisz (1981b) concluded that they found
very little support for the assumptions that the
relationship between locus of control and achievement is
stronger for boys than for girls.
The previously mentioned studies are correlational in
nature and the causal direction between the variables is
somewhat ambiguous. Calsyn (1973) and Stipek (1980) used
path and cross lagged panel correlation analysis to
determine the causal direction between locus of control
and academic achievement. Both of these studies provided
evidence to support the notion that locus of control
49


caused academic success, and that increased perceived
control leads to increased motivation.
In the past decade control conceptualizations have
merged as a result of the research emphasis on the
effects of control perceptions. Nichols (1985) stated
that:
Though these research projects typically define
control in accordance with one of the two views
presented they are less concerned with the
definition of control than with the consequences of
having or not having it. In other words, these
researchers have not necessarily been driven to
refine or expand the control concept. They have
operationalized control using the various
conceptualizations and focused their attention on
control relevant outcomes (p.19).
Despite the different ways that control has been
conceptualized, altered, and synthesized it continues to
be linked to motivation. In fact, the presumed
relationship between control and motivation appears to be
the main force behind the continued research in this
area. For most researchers (e.g., Langer, 1983) control
is operationalized as perceived control. This represents
the position that individual's belief in control is more
judicious to motivation than simply having control.
50


Perceived Control and Motivation
The perceived control research on learning infers that
by providing students with choices we can increase their
sense of perceived control. In a series of studies that
investigated the relationship between choice and learning
(Monty & Perlmuter, 1975; Monty, Rosenberg, & Perlmuter,
1973; Perlmuter & Monty, 1973; 1979) the researchers
found that when students are provided with choices it
increased their motivation to learn. Competence
motivation (White, 1959) is central to theories of
intrinsic motivation because the pleasure produced by
mastery of tasks is believed to act as a reinforcer of
the mastery behavior. The individual is intrinsically
motivated to master tasks, and therefore finds successful
mastery attempts reinforcing (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Harter
(1978) contends that in order for children to experience
a feeling of efficacy they must perceive themselves as
responsible for their successful performance. She claims
that success attributed to an external factor, such as
luck, should not lead to feelings of competence as would
success attributed to an internal factor such as effort
or ability. Harter (1978) explicitly stated that internal
perceptions of control serve as important mediators by
"maintaining if not increasing the child's effectance
51


motivation" (p.57). Her analysis is similar to Weiner's
(1971) attributional approach in that perceptions of
personal causality are believed to enhance the affective
response to success.
Regardless of which conceptualization of control that
one may choose, having control is perceived to be a
positive motivational force. As an example of competence
theories, individuals are motivated to achieve control,
and once they do, they experience feelings of efficacy,
competence, an increase in self-esteem and personal
effectiveness. In the case of perceived contingency
(outcome-expectancy), perceiving control should precede
motivated behavior. If an individual perceives a
contingency between his/her behavior and reinforcements,
he/she is more likely to be motivated to approach
potentially successful situations.
Conversely, the theories suggest that the lack of
perceived control can have a negative impact on
motivation (Calsyn, 1973; Stipek, 1980). Rotter (1966)
and Seeman (1959) contend that lack of control precedes a
sense of alienation. Similarly, deCharms (1979) suggests
that individuals dislike feeling like pawns because they
feel powerless. Harter (1978) speculates that failure
perceived to be caused by a lack of competence could lead
to anxiety in mastering situations thereby decreasing the
52


child's mastery motivation. Oeci (1980) further suggests
that when individuals perceive no relationship between
their behavior and reinforcements, they experience
feelings of incompetence and helplessness.
Seligman and his colleagues (Overmier & Seligman, 1967;
Maier & Seligman, 1976; Seligman & Miller, 1979) provided
the classic research that led to the formulation of the
"learned helplessness" hypothesis. Several other studies
(e.g., Fosco & Qeer, 1971; Gachtel & Proctor, 1976;
Hiroto, 1974) provided significant support for the
"learned helplessness" concept. Seligman (1975) developed
a theory of depression based on the learned helplessness
phenomenon. Nichols (1985) presented the following
overview of Seligman's theory of depression:
The perception of response-outcome
non-contingency leads to motivational, cognitive,
and emotional components of depression. The
motivational component is a deficit in voluntary
responding due to belief that a particular response
will not produce a desired outcome. The cognitive
component is reflected in a difficulty learning that
future responses could lead to the desired outcomes.
Finally, the emotional or affective component is
reflected by general dysphoria (p.33).
The research on learned helplessness and Seligmans
subsequent theory of depression has provided support for
control theorists who believe that loss of perceived
53


control has negative motivational consequences for
individuals.
Summary of Control. Motivation and Achievement
Evidence from the aforementioned major theoretical
perspectives converge on one point:
Success or failure per se might be less
important than a child's perceptions of the causes
of the success or failure. Success enhances
self-perceptions of competence only if the child
accepts the responsibility for that success. 0rf as
an attribution theorist might put it, the pride from
success is undermined when attributed to external
factors; the shame from failure is similarly
diffused through external attributions.
Thus, the effect of success or failure on
children's subsequent behavior in achievement
contexts depends on their perceptions of the cause
of that success or failure (Stipek & Weisz, 1981b,
p.130).
The message to educators should be clear. That
providing successful learning situations for students is
important, but as educators we have an additional
responsibility of teaching students the relationship
between their behavior and their performance.
Performance is optimized when students accept the
54


responsibility for their successes, and understand that
effort and persistence can overcome failures (Meyer,
1979).
Social learning theorists have clearly demonstrated
that perceptions of control and achievement can be
enhanced by providing students with the opportunity to
participate in their own educational decisions and by
giving them greater choices in thenr academic
environments.
Interventions and Teaching Strategies Relevant to
Students' Perceptions of Control
A diversity of teaching strategies and interventions
have been based on perception of control theory and
research. Stipek & Weisz (1981b) reported that:
Some of the most impressive and educationally
relevant research examining the relationship between
locus of control and achievement comes from
classroom intervention studies (p. 119).
Several classroom intervention studies (Matheny &
Edwards, 1974; Wang & Stiles, 1976) gave students greater
control over their behavior (i.e., choices of tasks and
55


more responsibility for their own learning) and enhanced
their perceptions of control of outcomes. The
intervention studies do demonstrate that an educational
environment that encourages students to take
responsibility for their learning can positively
influence learning. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) have
concluded that:
These classroom intervention studies
involve two characteristics we believe to be
critically important for future research:
naturalistic, real-life settings and attempts to
alter the variables under investigation (p. 132).
Andrews & Debus (1978), Chapin & Dyck (1976), deCharms
(1976), and Dweck (1975) have further demonstrated that
children's cognition about the causes of success and
failure can be altered through explicit teaching
strategies.
In 1976 deCharms investigated the effects on children's
achievement of intervention programs designed to provide
children with greater responsibility and control in their
classroom by training elementary teachers in inner city
schools to teach children to perceive themselves as the
"locus of causality (internal control)" rather than being
the instruments of an outside source (external control).
56


He found that:
...the usual increasing discrepancy between
performance by black innercity school children and
the national norms for achievement tests had been
arrested for children who had participated in the
personal causation training. In contrast,
achievement score for the control group were
increasingly behind the national norms, as is
typically seen in innercity schools (Stipek &
Weisz, 1981b, p.128).
DeCharms (1979) also found that over the course of four
years, the academic achievement of these students
increased significantly more than the control group.
Nichols (1985) reports that:
....deCharms (1979) found no increase in locus
of control as a result of the training, nor did he
find locus of control to be related to academic
achievement. In a long term follow-up, it was found
that students who received the training in
elementary school were more likely to graduate from
high school than students in the comparison group
(p.49).
Attribution theorists have provided intervention
studies that focus on locus of control and the related
attributions for the causes of success and failure. Dweck
(1975) claims that the task behavior following failure
can be changed by altering children attributions of
failure. She identified students who exhibited "helpless"
behavior in response to failure and randomly assigned
57


them to two treatment groups; half of the students
received attribution training which emphasized an
attribution of failure to lack of effort rather than
ability. The other treatment group received only success
experiences. At the end of the 25 daily sessions of
trying to solve math problems they were retested for the
effects of failure on their performance. The Dweck
intervention study found that while there was no
improvement shown by the success-only group, all the
students in the attribution-training group were
significantly more willing to attribute failure to lack
of effort and completed more problems correctly after a
failure. Additional evidence that students can be
trained to perceive effort attributions for failure and
improve their performance has been provided by Andrews &
Debus (1978) and Chapin & Dyck (1976).
Students participation in psycho-educational decision
making process has been extensively researched by Adelman
and his colleagues (Adelman, KaseiBoyd, & Taylor, 1984;
Taylor, Adelman, & Kaser-Boyd, 1983; 1985). In the Taylor
et al. (1983) study, students who had learning and
behavior problems were given the opportunity to
participate in decisions relating to their educational
plan for the up-coming year. They were provided with a
choice of six potential areas in which they could
58


participate in the decision making process. The result
indicated that these students followed through on their
decisions and perceived themselves as effective
participants in the decision making process. These
results seem to further confirm the aforementioned
findings of other perceived control psychologists (i.e.,
Monty & Perlmuter, 1975; Perlmuter & Monty, 1973; 1979;
Monty, Rosenberg, & Perlmuter, 1973). Adelman et al.
(1984) suggested that when students are not given the
opportunity to participate in the psycho-educational
decision making process, they are unlikely to demonstrate
motivational readiness for treatment. He further
contended that low motivational readiness is likely to
impede positive treatment adjustment and outcomes. His
results seem to further confirm the "learned
helplessness" hypothesis of Seligman (1975) and the lack
of perceived control constructs of Calsyn (1973) and
Stipek (1980).
Summary of Strategies and Interventions
In designing an intervention to enhance students'
perception of control and to improve their motivation one
59


should take into consideration all of the previously
mentioned research and the review of interventions
prior to attempting this task. Several control
interventions were presented to enhance perceived control
and the researchers have emphasized that students be
given the opportunity to accept responsibility for their
own lives (destiny), provide students with choices and
decision making power relevant to their psychoeducational
programs, and reinforce effort attributions for student
failures. These strategies alnd interventions have
preceded improved satisfaction within the immediate
psychoeducational environment and improved student
performance. Several of the investigations reported
higher perceptions of control, however, other studies did
not measure for perceived control. In two of the studies
(deCharms, 1976; Wang & Stiles, 1976) the locus of
control did not change as a result of control enhancing
interventions. However, the implied general consensus
appears to be that perceived control enhancing strategies
and interventions have a positive effect when applied to
practical psychoeducational situations and that perceived
control of events is one motivational variable that
appears to affect student's academic achievement.
60


Review of Perceived Control Instrumentation
The earliest experiments which investigated the concept
of expectancies was conducted by Rotter and James (1958),
using 80 college freshman enrolled in an introductory
psychology course. In the early research conducted by
Phares and Rotter the skill condition represented what
Rotter (1966) later defined as an Internal locus of
control. Conversely, the chance condition was considered
the external locus of control.
The construct of locus of control (perceived control)
was developed to explain different rates of response when
individuals perceive that reinforcement has a cause and
effect relationship between behavior and reinforcement as
compared to the perception that reinforcement is random.
The construct of locus of control (perceived control) has
been supported by the results of numerous,
aforementioned, studies.
Several scales (see Stipek & Weisz, 1981b, for a
comprehensive review of 13 scales) have been developed
since Rotter's (1966) original l-E scale was published.
What most of these scales have in common is that their
statements and questions are based on Rotter's social
learning theory of either an internal or external belief.
61


Most of these scales attempt to assess the relationship
between children's scores on a questionnaire that is
designed to measure locus of control and scores on some
global measure of achievement, although, a few studies
have attempted to examine causal direction of the
relationship between locus of control and achievement.
Stipek and Weisz (1981b) present the following summary
of the characteristics of the most commonly used locus of
control questionnaire measures for children:
The measures have essentially three kinds of
formats: agree-disagree, choice of attribution, and
open-ended, which are best described by example. The
Children's Locus of Control Scale (Bialer, 1961)
exemplifies the agree-disagree format. Children are
presented with a series of belief statements with
which they are asked to agree or disagree (e.g.,
"When somebody gets mad at you, do you usually feel
that there is nothing you can do about it?"). The
Intellectual Achievement Responsibility (IAR)
Questionnaire (Crandall, Katovsky, & Crandall, 1965)
is the most widely used questionnaire measure with
the choice of attribution format. Children respond
to statements describing hypothetical outcomes by
endorsing one of two causes for the outcome (e.g.,
"When you have trouble understanding something at
school, is it usually...(a) because the teacher
didn't explain it clearly, or (b) because you didn't
listen carefully?"). The open-ended format is
exemplified by the Stephens-Delys Reinforcement
Contingency Interview (Stephen & Delys, 1973).
Children are asked to reply to open-ended question
such as "What makes mothers smile?" (p.103)
62


Adelman et al.(1986), contend that the bulk of the
perceived control research that has been completed has
focused on adults and has approached the concept from
three different focal points:
(1) perceived control in relation to stress and
health (e.g., the benefits of increased perceived
control (see-Langer, 1983), (2) Psychological
reactance, seen as a major psychological consequence
of loss of perceived control (e.g., psychological
reactance as a motivator for reactions to restore
perceived control/freedom (see-Brehm & Brehm, 1981),
(3) the relationship between perceived control (seen
as a motivational or personality variable) and
specific functioning such as school achievement
(e.g., see Stipek & Weisz, 1981). This third focus,
including work by social learning, attribution, and
intrinsic motivation theorists, has involved child
samples more than others (p.1006).
Adelman et al. (1986), suggest that all three lines of
research are relevant to studies of school performance.
However, they point out that the available instruments
that measure locus of control, attributions, perceived
competence, and self-efficacy provide indirect data on
perceptions of control over school events and outcomes.
Numerous, aforementioned theorists have stressed the
importance of independently considering an individual's
(a) perceptions about processes necessary to accomplish a
specific outcome, (b) expectations about the degree to
63


which one can control processes, and (c) expectations
about accomplishing outcomes (Adelman et al., 1986).
Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1986) at
the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed
a scale to aid in the investigation of students'
perceived control at school. They have developed two
related scales (1) the Perceived Control at School Scale
(PCSS) and (2) the Perceived Importance of Control at
School Scale (PICSS). They present the following
rationale:
In measuring perceived control, we distinguish
between the ability to understand contingencies and
the belief one has control over contingencies. We
also focus on decision making and approach perceived
control as a generalized expectancy with regard to
specific types of situations (including processes
and outcomes). More specifically, we view perceived
control as the degrees of freedom one expects to
have over processes that one believes must be
pursued to accomplish specific outcomes (including
decision making processes and outcomes). In looking
at how such perceptions affect behavior, we
distinguish the degree of valuing one places on
having control over a specific process or outcome.
We also recognize that individuals' behavior can be
influenced by the degree to which they perceive
external control of processes or outcomes (or both)
as an intrusive or hostile act (pp.1006-1007).
64


Conclusions
Several themes appear to emerge from this review of the
literature. Research findings have supported many (not
all) of the theoretical constructs presented by
psychologists (i.e., Adelman, Bandura, deCharms, Deci,
Lefcourt, Phares, Rotter, Taylor, and White), and many of
the studies found a positive relationship between
perceived control and academic achievement (see Findley &
Cooper, 1983, for a quantitative review of 802 studies,
and Stipek & Weisz, 1981b, for a comprehensive review).
There have been several intervention studies based on
these theories that have demonstrated successful outcomes
(e.g., Arlin & Whitley, 1978; deCharms, 1976; Matheny &
Edwards, 1974; Wang & Stiles, 1976). Therefore, the
construct of perceived control in relation to academic
achievement should be considered an important factor in
determining students' attitudes, behavior, affect, and
motivation at school.
65


CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH PROCEDURES
Methodology and Design
This exploratory study was designed to permit
examination of the relationships between: (1) at-risk
high school students' perceptions of control at school in
varying educational environments (traditional and
alternative, SWAP) compared to academically successful
high school students; (2) at-risk high school students'
perception of the importance of having control at school
in varying educational environments (traditional and
alternative, SWAP) compared to academically successful
high school students; and, (3) at-risk high school
students' academic achievement and their perceptions of
control at school in varying educational environments
(traditional and alternative, SWAP);
This study used the survey method to examine the
previously mentioned relationships of students
perceptions of control. Three groups of students were
surveyed from the general population at each of four
school sites: (1) at-risk students in the alternative


educational environment (treatment) group, SWAP, (2)
at-risk students in the traditional educational
environment (no treatment), and (3) academically
successful students in the traditional educational
environment.
Each of the three groups consisted of 15 students
randomly selected from the general population sample pool
of students at each of the four participating high school
sites. There were a total of 45 subjects at each school
site for a grand total of 180 subjects that participated
in the study.
The subjects were surveyed with the Perceived Control
at School Scale (PCSS) and the Perceived Importance bf
Control at School Scale (PICSS) to identify how they
perceived their sense of control in their respective
academic environments. An additional eight items were
asked of each student about life and school satisfaction.
The nine school sites were selected jointly by the
Colorado Alliance of Business and this researcher because
each school hosts an in-school alternative program
(SWAP).
The schools that participated in this study were
selected because they indicated that they would cooperate
with the researcher, several schools indicated that they
67


could not participate. The following schools volunteered
to participate in this study:
(1) Montbello High School, Denver Public School
District; (2) Elizabeth High School, Elizabeth School
District; (3) Wasson High School, Colorado Springs
School District and (4) Sierra High School, Harrison
School District (Colorado Springs).
Description and Selection of Sub.iects
By design, three groups of students were surveyed: (1)
at-risk students in the intervention (SWAP) program
(students had to be enrolled a minimal of four months)
(2) at-risk students in traditional educational
environments (no treatment), and (3) academically
successful students in traditional educational
environments.
The SWAP (treatment) sample was selected first, and in
the process of selecting subjects from the pool of SWAP
(treatment) students there was an attempt to select a
representative sample that reflected the age, grade,
gender, ethnicity and QPA's of the total population of
SWAP.
Once the SWAP random sample was completed there was an
attempt to match the two other sample groups, at-risk
68


students in traditional educational environments and
academically successful students in traditional
educational environments, to reflect similar
characteristics of age, grade, gender and ethnicity of
the SWAP sample.
The potential at-risk students were identified by
teachers, counselors and administrators from their
respective schools, using the following criteria
suggested by Morley and Clay (1983): they were failing
one or more class; low QPA's (less than 1.5); low levels
of reading or math; and, a high rate of absenteeism.
There was a large enough at-risk population identified
that they were randomly assigned as at-risk students in
traditional environment (no treatment) and alternative
education intervention (treatment) groups, SWAP.
Furthermore, an academically successful (GPA of 2.5 or
better for the previous three terms) with none of the
at-risk student characteristics described by Morley and
Clay group of students that were enrolled in a
traditional educational environment, were identified and
randomly selected to complete the surveys for a
comparison to the two at-risk groups.
The schools that participated would not reveal
information about individual student academic performance
as a result of the students' rights of privacy laws.
69


However, with the assistance of directors of the SWAP
programs and the state representative from the Colorado
Alliance of Business they were able to provide the end of
term report which included data on the SWAP groups GPA's
and attendance percentages, for the three student
populations that participated in the study. For example:
the at-risk sample reflected a unimproved GPA of 1.5 or
less, the pre-SWAP sample reflected a GPA of 1.37, the
post-SWAP sample reflected a GPA of 1.93 and the
academically successful sample reflected a maintained GPA
of 2.5+.
Instrumentat i on
This section describes the development of the Perceived
Control at School Scale and the parallel instrument
designed to measure the degree to which a student values
control, the Perceived Importance of Control at School
Scale, which was developed by Adelman, Smith, Nelson,
Taylor, and Phares (1986) at the University of
California, Los Angeles.
70


Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSSl
Adelman et al. (1986) described the PCSS development:
At first, twelve items were constructed to tap
five control areas in which schools vary: (1)
decision making with regard to school socialization
processes and outcomes (e.g., focus on learning,
rules and consequences for rule violations), (2)
reactions of significant others at school to a
student's efforts to act autonomously, (3)
availability of options and choices, (4) fairness
of the rationale for imposed limits, and (5) ability
of a student to counter the control efforts of
others at school (p.1007).
They made efforts to reverse the wording of four items
to use the item pairs as a reliability check. When
precise opposites were not clear, items were added
primarily to determine if positive and negative wordings
produced different responses (Adelman et al., 1986).
The Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) items:
At school, how much of the time do you feel..........
1. you have a say in deciding about what the rules
should be?
2. people don't let you be yourself and act the way
you really are?
3. you have a say in deciding about what should happen
to you if you break a rule?
71


4. you can't influence what is happening to you?
(opposite created for item 8)
5. people want you to be yourself and to act the way
you really are? (opposite created for item 2)
6. people don't let you make decisions?
7. you have a choice about what you are doing or
learning?
8. you can influence what is happening to you?
9. the rules make you do things you don't agree with?
10. no matter what you do you probably won't get what
you want?
11. you have little choice about what you are doing or
learning?
12. you are able to change something if you don't like
it?
13. others make your decisions for you?
14. you get to do things in the way you think is right
for you?
15. people want you to take part in making decisions?
(opposite created for item 6)
16. people dont treat you fairly?
(Adelman et al., 1986)
In rating the PCSS items, Adelman et al. (1986) used a
Likert six-point scale to which students respond with:
1 = never, 2 = not very often, 3 = slightly less than
half the time, 4 = slightly more than half the time, 5 =
very often, and 6 = always. To counter response sets they
let a rating of 6 indicate high perceived control on half
72


the items and on the other half 6 indicates low perceived
control. In computing a total score, ratings on the
latter items are reversed to make all ratings comparable;
thus total perceived control scores can range from a low
of 16 to a high of 96 (Taylor et al., 1989).
Taylor et al. (1989) reported that the:
Internal consistency of the scale was assessed
using Cronbach's (1951) coefficient alpha. For
special education samples (combined), a1pha=.80;
for the regular education samples (combined),
alpha=.69..............separate factor analyses of
the PCSS data on special and regular education
students indicate three common factors that we have
labeled (a) personal power/decision making, (b)
self-determination, and (c) others' interference
with autonomy (p.440).
As a direct test of response consistency and as a
potential validity index, they recommended the use of
several school attitude items (i.e., "How often do you
feel like you want to go to school?"). This question was
placed at the beginning (item 1a); a negatively worded
version was placed at the end (item 1b). Neither was
scored as a PCSS item. Items 1-16 represent the
original 16 PCSS items.
Taylor's recommendations were incorporated into the
rating system that was used in this study.
Additional items were recommended by Smith et al.
(1987), to further assess student attitudes and affect at
73


school and life in general, in conjunction with the PCSS.
That is, whereas the PCSS measures how much the
individual perceives having control at school, these
items focus on the respondents' satisfaction with
opportunities to make their own decisions and
satisfaction with the amount of control they have
over their lives in general (p.170).
The following items reflect Smith et al. (1987)
suggested additions to assess the students' satisfaction
with the amount of control they have over their lives in
general to be administered in conjunction with the PCSS:
Life Satisfaction Items:
HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEI____
1. that the teacher likes you?
2. that you are being taught in a way that helps
with your learning?
3. that what you are being taught is not
improving your skills?
4. that you like your teachers?
5. satisfied with the goals you have set for your
education?
6. satisfied with the goals you have set for your
future?
7. happy?
8. satisfied with your life?
74


Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PICSS)
Adelman et al. (1986) report that:
The Perceived Importance of Control at School
Scale, was developed to elicit student ratings about
the degree to which a student values control. This
scale excludes the four similar (reversed) items and
thus consists of the matters described by the 12 major
PCSS items (e.g., At school, how important is it for
you.... to take part in deciding about rules?....to
have a choice about what you will be doing or
learning?) (p.1008).
The PICSS has been found to have comparable
reliability to the PCSS, and the ability of the
PCSS to detect group differences is seen as
suggestive that the PICSS is sensitive to detecting
differences when they exist (Taylor et al., 1989,
p.440).
In an effort to maintain consistency and facilitate
computation of discrepancy scores based on students'
responses the authors, Smith et al. (1987), suggest to
use a similar six-point Likert scale where: 1 = very
unimportant to me, 2 = somewhat unimportant to me, 3 =
slightly unimportant to me, 4 = slightly important to me,
5 = somewhat important to me, and 6 = very important to
me.
The aforementioned suggestions were incorporated into
the rating system that was used in this study.
75


Reliability and Validity of the PCSS and the PICSS
Adelman et al. (1986) claim that the:
Data on the reliability, validity and factor
structure of the PCSS and the PICSS indicate its
usefulness as a measure of perceived control at
school. With regard to the sets of negative and
positively paired perceived control items, the data
indicate that, especially for special education
samples and younger children, these items are not
responded to as opposites and load on separate
factors. Therefore, we recommend maintaining all
16 items on the PCSS in investigating group and
individual differences and relationships between
perceived control (e.g., PCSS factors) and other
variables (p.1015).
Smith et al.(1987) provided additional evidence to
support the use of the PCSS:
The index has been validated with both special
and regular education samples. Internal consistency
(alpha) coefficients (Cronbach, 1951) range from .69
to .80; test-retest reliabilities for special and
regular education samples were .80 and .55,
respectively (p.170).
Smith and his colleagues (1987) in their current
research of students' perceptions of control at school
stated that:
...the findings are encouraging not only
methodologically, but also in indicating both the
positive relationship between perceptions of
control at school and attitudes, affect, and
76


behavior and as an initial validation of the
experimental programs. In respect to the future
research on this type of intervention our
experience, combined with the present findings,
suggests to us the value of a sequential evaluation
strategy, since it appears that enhancement of
perceived control comes first and changes in
attitude, affect, and behavior gradually follow.
In sum, the findings support the importance of
studying the relationship of perceptions of control
at school to school attitudes, affect, and behavior
and of doing so in both regular and experimental
programs. In addition to cross-validating the
present findings, future studies will want (a) to
use larger samples so that adequate analysis of
sex, age, and ethnic differences can be made and
(b) to make more highly controlled comparisons
among school settings that vary in the degree of
student control (p.174).
Procedures
Careful procedures were followed to assure sincere and
careful completion of the instruments by each group. In
each case the individuals were assured of anonymity.
This was handled by assigning a number to each set of
surveys. Further instructions for each instrument
clearly described the intent of data collection and the
way in which each answer was to be completed (see
Appendix A & B). Procedures for the administration were
standardized and attention was given to provide
consistency and objectivity by the administrator for
completion and return of all data.
77


The problem of non-English-speaking students was
addressed and arrangements were made for an interpreter
to be present if this situation presented itself.
To avoid problems associated with group administration,
students were provided with a copy and invited to follow
along as each item was read aloud by the researcher. To
aid and assist understanding of the ratings and to
encourage attention, the rating alternatives were printed
below each question and read aloud after each question.
The students circled each response. The PICSS was
administered first. Average administration time was 15
minutes for each scale. The scale administrator read the
following general instructions:
We are concerned about knowing what you like
and dislike at school and what you think is
important and what you don't think is important. We
know that not all students see things the same way.
We've written down some things that may be important
or may not be important to some students; they may
or may not be important to you. What we'll do is
read these things to you, and then you can tell us
how important or unimportant they are to you.
After reading the instructions for the PICSS, a sample
item was used to ensure that the students understood the
directions. In moving from the PICSS to the PCSS, the
student was told, "Now, let's talk about how things are
for you here at school."
78


Data Collection
Student respondents were asked to mark their
appropriate responses on the PCSS and the PI CSS. The
response sheets were coded for school site, type of
academic environment, and type of respondent group
information.
Data Analysis
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
was used to analyze the data. Hypotheses testing was
accomplished by using the mean scores of the three sample
populations. The ANOVA procedure was applied to the
total mean scores from the Perceived Control at School
Scale (PCSS) and the Perceived Importance of Control at
School Scale (PICSS). A post hoc analysis using a
multiple comparison test. Least Significant Differences,
was used to further verify the findings of the ANOVA
procedure.
79


CHAPTERS 4
FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
Introduction
\
The purpose of this chapter is to report the
findings as they relate to the major problems to be
studied:
(1) Determine how at-risk high school students, in
traditional schools, perceive their sense of control at
school as compared to at-risk students in an alternative
educational environment and academically successful
students in traditional high school environments; and,
(2) determine if there is a relationship between academic
achievement and students' perception of control at
school.
The study sought to answer five research questions,
which led to the development and testing of four
hypotheses regarding students' perceived sense of control
at school, their perceived value of having control at
school and the relationship between academic achievement
and students' perceptions of control at school.


Research Questions
1. How do at-risk high school students in
traditional school environments and in the alternative
educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of
control at school?
2. How do at-risk high school students in
traditional school environments and in alternative
educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of
control compared to academically successful students in
traditional school environments?
3. How do at-risk high school students in the
traditional school environment and in the alternative
educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of
importance of control at school?
4. How do at-risk high school students in
traditional school environments and in alternative
educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of
importance of control compared to academically successful
students in traditional school environments?
5. Is there a relationship between academic
achievement and high school students' perceptions of
control at school?
81


Hypotheses
It was hypothesized that there is a relationship
between academic achievement and a perceived sense of
control at school, specifically:
1. At-risk high school students (no intervention) in
a traditional environment will report a lower sense of
perceived control at school than (a) at-risk high school
students receiving intervention in the alternative
environment, SWAP and (b) academically successful high
school students in a traditional environment.
2. There will be a significant difference in how at-
risk high school students will report their sense of
control in the alternative educational environment (SWAP)
when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school
students in the traditional educational environment.
3. Academically successful high school students in a
traditional environment will report a higher sense of
importance of perceived control at school than (a) at-
risk high school students (no intervention) in a
traditional environment and (b) at-risk high school
82


students receiving intervention in the alternative
environment, SWAP.
4. There will be a significant difference in the
academic achievement of at-risk high school students in
the alternative education environment (SWAP) in contrast
to the academic achievement of at-risk high school
students (no intervention) in the traditional environment
for the same period of time.
Hypotheses Testing
To test Hypothesis 1, and 2 the ANOVA procedure was
applied to the data of the Perceived Control at School
Scale (PCSS) using the total mean scores of the three
sample populations. This procedure revealed that there
were significant differences for the overall perceptions
of control at school among the three groups, £ = 6.71,
£<.001 (see Table 1).
Table 1 indicated that the SWAP group's total mean
scores (M=57.80, SD =11.06) and the academically
successful group's total mean scores (M=59.45, SD=11.43)
were significantly higher than the at-risk group's total
mean scores (M=52.25, SD=10.31). There was no
83


Comparison of Group Means for Item Ratings and Total Mean
Scores on the Perceived Control < at School Scale (PCSS)
I tern At-Risk SWAP Academic Successful
At school, how much of MEAN MEAN MEAN F
the time do vou feel... (SD) (SD) (SD) ratio
you take part in 2.08 3. 10 2.33
deciding about rules (1.24) (1.54) (1.04) 10.16**
people let you be 3.62 4.32 4.62
yourself (reversed) (1.78) (1.61) (1.21) 6.57**
you have a say in
deciding what happens 2.12 2.35 2.07
if you break rules (1.17) (1.19) (1.23) 0.96
you can influence what
happens to you 4.12 4.20 4.45
(reversed) (1.25) (1.47) (1.11) 1.42
people want you to be 3.27 3.93 4.30
yourself (1.67) (1.60) (1.43) 6.68**
people let you take
part in making 4.03 3.88 4.03
decisions (reversed) (1.34) (1.44) (1.16) 0.26
you have a choice about 2.85 3.58 3.17
what you do and learn (1.52) (1.64) (1.46) 3.42*
you can influence what 3.65 4.32 4.32
happens to you (1.38) (1.36) (1.36) 5.25*
you agree with the 2.95 2.87 3.85
rules (reversed) (1.55) (1.36) (1.45) 8.46**
you can get what you 3.57 3.40 4.15
want (reversed) (1.53) (1.40) (1.26) 4.72**
you have little choice
about what you do or 3.58 3.63 3.72
learn (reversed) (1.37) (1.29) (1.22) 0.17
you are able to change
something if you 2.50 2.92 2.78
don't like it (1.32) (1.50) (1.80) 1.51
you make decisions for 4.70 3.83 3.98
yourself (reversed) (1.62) (1.53) (1.57) 0.09
you get to do things
the way that is 3.33 3.83 3.98
right for you (1.36) (1.30) (1.10) 4.54**
people want you to
take part in 3.22 3.68 3.52
making decisions (1.43) (1.40) (1.28) 1.79
people don't treat
you fairly 3.50 3.80 3.52
(reversed) (1.38) (1.42) (1.25) 3.58**
Total Mean Scores 52.45 57.80 (10.31)(11.06) 59.45 (11.43) 6.71**
* = {><.05; ** = £<.01 level
84


significant difference between the SWAP group's total
mean score and the academically successful group's total
mean scores.
The post hoc, Least Significant Difference,
procedure further verified the ANOVA findings at the .05
level. The probability of a Type I error is one in ten
thousand with alpha being .05. The Least Significant
Difference test was selected since it is a liberal
measure (the Least Significant Difference, Tukey-Honest
Significant Difference and the Scheffe procedures were
explored with similar results).
The obtained F ratio (6.71) is significantly larger
than the critical value of F. (at £.<.0016) and two of the
sample means, academically successful group and SWAP
group differ from the sample means of the at-risk (no
intervention) group.
Hypothesis 1. At-risk high school students (no
intervention) in a traditional environment will report a
lower sense of perceived control at school than (a) at-
risk high school students receiving intervention in the
alternative environment, SWAP and (b) academically
successful high school students in a traditional
environment.
The at-risk (no intervention) group's total mean
score on the Perceived Control at School Scale (see Table
1) was the lowest of the three groups and significantly
85


lower than the SWAP group and the academically successful
group. The academically successful group's total mean
score on the Perceived Control at School Scale (see Table
1) was the highest of the three groups and significantly
higher than the mean score of the at-risk group in the
traditional educational environment. The ANOVA procedure
revealed that there were significant differences among
the three groups (see Table 2). The post hoc. Least
Significant Difference procedure further verified the
ANOVA findings at the .05 level, thereby allowing the
acceptance of this hypothesis.
An analysis of the PCSS items (Table 1) further
revealed that the at-risk group (no intervention) in the
traditional educational environment scored the lowest on
all sixteen items and that the academically successful
group scored highest on nine of the sixteen items.
These findings provided additional support for this
hypothesis: the at-risk (no intervention) students were
significantly different from the academically successful
students and the at-risk students receiving intervention
in the alternative environment, SWAP.
Hvoothesis 2. There will be a significant difference in
how at-risk high school students will report their sense
of control in the alternative educational environment
(SWAP) when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high
86


school students in the traditional educational
environment.
The at-risk high school students receiving
intervention in the alternative educational environment
(SWAP) reported a significantly higher sense of control
at school when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high
school students in the traditional educational
environment (see Table 1). The ANOVA procedure revealed
that there were significant differences among the two
groups (see Table 2). The post hoc, Least Significant
Difference procedure further verified the ANOVA findings
at the .05 level, thus allowing the acceptance of this
hypothesis.
Table 2
ANOVA of PCSS Total Mean Scores
At-risk SWAP Academically Successful F ratio
Mean 52.45 57.80 59.45 6.71**
SD (10.31) (11.06) (11.43)
** = £<.01 level
In the analysis of the items of the PCSS (Table 1),
nine items were significantly different between the SWAP
group in the alternative educational environment and the
at-risk (no intervention) group in the traditional
educational environment. In fact, the SWAP group scored
87


higher on six items than did the academically successful
group. These items were:
you take part in decisions about rules;
you have influence over what happens to you;
you have a choice about what you learn;
people treat you fairly;
people want you to take part in making decisions;
and, you are able to change things.
These findings provided additional support of
Hypothesis 2 by the indication that there were
significant differences between the two at-risk groups.
The SWAP students reported that they perceived having
more control over their decision making processes and
indicated that they were more involved in the
participation (choices) of the educational process at
school, than the at-risk students in the traditional
environment reported perceiving. In fact, the SWAP
students' responses on the PCSS (see Table 1) were very
similar to the reported perceptions of the academically
successful students responses.
To test Hypothesis 3 the ANOVA procedure was applied
to the data of the Perceived Importance of Control at
School Scale (PICSS). Total scores of the three
population samples revealed that there were significant
differences (F= 4.43, fi<.01) when compared to the
88


Full Text

PAGE 1

A COMPARISON OF AT-RISK STUDENTS; SELF PERCEPTIONS OF CONTROL IN ALTERNATIVE AND TRADITIONAL -EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS by HARRY G. FRIES Ed., University or Florida, 1962 M.Ed., University of Florida, 1965 A thesis submitted to the Faculty or the Graduate School or the University or Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education School of Education 1991

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This thesis for the Doctor of Education degree by Harry G. Fries has been approved for the School of Education by Andrew Steve del Castillo Date It bolv __ I

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Pries, Harry G. (Ph.D., Education) A Comparison of At-Risk Students' Self-Perceptions of Control in Alternative and Traditional Educational Environments Thesis directed by Professor W. Michael Martin. This was an exploratory study, the major problems studied were: (1) to determine how at-risk high school students in traditional school environments and in alternative educational environments perceive their sense of control at school compared to academically successful students in traditional high school environments and (2) to determine if there is a relationship between academic achievement and students' perception of control at school. This study used the survey method with two instruments (the Perceived Control at School Scale, PCSS; and the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale, PICSS) to identify how they perceive their sense of control at school in their respective environments. It was hypothesized that participation in the alternative education environment (SWAP, School-to-WorkAction program sponsored by the Colorado Alliance of Business) would enhance students' perceptions of control and improve their attitude toward school and learning, ultimately improving their academic achievement.

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The major findings of this exploratory study indicate that although at-risk high school students in traditional educational environments differ significantly in their perceptions of control at school from at-risk students in the SWAP, alternative educational environment and the academically successful students in the traditional environment, these students were comparable in their rating of how they valued the importance of control at school. Their responses explicitly demonstrated that they valued having control. When considered as a total group, high school students voiced clear perceptions about their sense of control in a school setting. Based on the data and findings of this study, the SWAP group's treatment (alternative educational environment) made a significant difference in the final outcome of the SWAP students' perception of control at school. The SWAP students academic performance improved from their pre SWAP GPAs. The findings have demonstrated that, the variables, of perception of control and achievement may be related and that they can be enhanced in a relatively short period of time by providing students with the opportunity to participate in their own educational decisions and by furnishing them with a greater range of choices than what is currently provided in traditional educational environments. iv

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The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Signed. Michael Martin v

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DEDICATIOK To our children, the hope for the future. vi

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CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 I NTROOUCT I C1t1 1 Background of Study .............................. 8 Characteristics of At-Risk Students ............ 12 Characteristics of Alternative Scooo 1 s/ProgranB ................................. 1 Indicators of Success for A 1 ternat; ve Schoo 1 s/Prorams .............. 17 Perceived Contro 1 Research ................... 18 Scheol-To-Work Action Program ....... 20 Purpose of Study ................................ 22 significance of Study ................. 23 Statement of Prob 1 em ........ 24 Research Quest ions ............................... 25 Hypotheses ............................ 26 Bas ;c Assumpt; or\s ........... 2 7 Definitions of Terms ................ 28 Limitations of Study ............. 33 Delimitations of Study ...... 34 Organization of Thesis ................ 34 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE .... 35 Factors of Student Achievement ..... 35 Psychology of Control ................... 37 Perceived Contro 1 Research ............... 39

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Perceived Control and Academic Achievement ........................ 41 Socia1LearningTheory ..................... Perceived Control and Motivation ............. 51 Summary of Control, Motivation and Achievement ............ 53 Interventions and Teaching Strategies Re 1 evant to Students' Percept ions of Contro 1 .. 55 Summary of Strategies and 1 ntervent ions .... 59 Review of Perceived Control lnstrumention .... 61 Cone 1 us i or1s ............... 65 3. RESEARCH PROCEDURES 6 6 Methodologyand0esign ......... 66 Description and Selection of Subjects ...... 67 I ns tr um.,ta t i Ol"l 7 0 Procedures .................................... 77 Data Co 11 ect ion .................................. 78 Data Analysis .................................. 79 4. FINO I NGS OF THE STUDY 80 I ntroduct ion ..................................... 80 Rese&r"ch Quest ;ons ........................... 81 Hypotheses ............................ 82 Hypotheses Test; ng ............................. 83 Summary ofF i nd i ngs ............... 97 vii

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Background and Demographic Data .............. 98 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUS IONS, AND RECOMMENDA T I ONS .. o o 1 0 2 Sunwnaryof Study ...... ......................... 102 Reviewofliteratureooooooooooooooooooooooooo104 Major Firld;ngs .................................. 107 Summary of Major Find; ngs o o ........ o 1 1 3 Cone 1 us ia""as .......................... 115 ons ................................ 119 Reconmendat; ons for Further Study. o 121 APPENDIX A. Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) .. 123 B. Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PICSS) ....... o .. o . o . o ol28 C. Frequency Distributions for PCSS & PICSS .. 132 D. SWAP Annual End of Year Reports ooo BIB I LOORAPtiY ............... 144 v;;i

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Table TABLES 1. Comparison of Group Means for Item Ratings and Total Mean Scores on the Perceived Control at School Seale ( PCSS) ................................. 85 2. ANOVA of PCSS Tota 1 Mean Scores ........... 87 3. ANOVA of PI CSS Tot a 1 Mean Scores ........... 89 4. Rank Ordered Means Ratings for the Total Sample Responses to the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale ........................................ 92 5. Mean GPA's of Pre-SWAP and SWAP by Schoo 1 and by Year ................ 94 6. Comparison of SWAP. Students Attel'ldance ........................ 95 7. ANOVA of Attitude Toward School I tens ....................................... 96 8.
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Table TABLES 1. Comparison of Group Means for Item Ratings and Total Mean Score on the Perceived Control at School Sea le(PCSS) ................................. 85 2. ANOVA of PCSS Tota 1 Mean Scores .......... 87 3. ANOVA of PI css Tota 1 Mean Scores ............ 89 4. Rank Order Means Ratings for the Total Sample Responses to the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale ....................................... 92 5. Mean GPA's of Pre-SWAP and SWAP by Schoo 1 and by Year .................... 94 6. Comparison of SWAP Students Atterldance .................................. 95 1. ANOVA of Attitudes Toward School ltens ...................................... 96 8 Gender Composition ................... 99 9. Ethnic Composition ...................... 100 10. Grade Level in Schoo 1 .................. 100 11 Age of Respondents ............... 1 00 12. Years ; n Schoo 1 ............................ 101 ix

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ACKKONLEDGEMENTS I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. W. Michael Martin for his guidance, support, suggestions and his careful attention to detail. I also want to thank Dr. David Melendez, Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski, and Dr. Andrew Helwig for their support and suggestions. To my wife, Lynn, I extend my gratitude and loving appreciation for her personal support and understanding that made this dissertation process bearable. Without her dedication, computer knowledge and word processing assistance, my efforts would have been futile. X

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION At the Summit Meeting on Education, held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on September 28, 1989, President Bush and the nation's 50 governors agreed on the need to overhaul the nation's education system. They reached agreement on the need for national performance goals, on the need for more flexibility for and accountability of teachers, the need for restructuring schools and the need to provide choice of schools (Weinraub, 1989). The current national concern with the nation's educational system was initially raised by the then Secretary of Education, T.H. Bell in 1981, when he created the National Commission on Excellence in Education, directing it to examine the quality of education in the United States. When this commission released the report, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For Education Reform, the national dropout rate was at 20%, one out of every five students (Digest of Educational Statistics, 1983-84).

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The Nation at Risk report contained recommendations for the improvement of the quality of education in America's public schools. The report called for sweeping reforms in the educational system that were based on the commission's findings that: Declines in educational performance are in a large part the result of disturbing inadequacies in the way the educational process is often conducted (Gardner, 1983, p.10). Three years later, Butchart (1986), in a national review of dropout prevention programs, suggested that "one out of every four young people of high school age will drop out of school before graduating" (p.3). This report suggests an increase in school dropouts to 25,, and even higher in urban centers and for minorities. The current educational statistics (Digest of Educational Statistics, 1990), confirms Butchart's projections and is an indication that the nation's public schools are still in need of sweeping educational reform. Butchart (1986) contends that the national dropout rate is partially caused by ineffective schools and ineffective teaching. Butchart (1986) stated that: 2

PAGE 15

Common sense suggests that no one system of schooling can successfully educate all the learners, despite a century of effort to create the "One Best System" (p.S). Raywid (1989) contends that traditional -conventional ("one best system") schools adequately serve students with particular cognitive and personal orientations. They place a premium on the ability to sit still and to learn by listening to the teacher. Tyack (1974) stated that "one best system" schools do not serve all students well. Research indicates that students primarily leave school because they dislike their experience with school. Their experiences at school are the lack of control and of choices. They feel excluded/alienated from the classroom and they drop out psychologically long before dropping out physically. This situation causes these students to experience a sense of hopelessness, depression and results in feelings of hostility, negative behavior and attitudes toward school and learning (Butchart, 1986, Coleman et al., 1966; Morley & Clay, 1983; Kyle, Lane, Sween & Armando, 1986; Sexton, 1985; Silberman, 1970). There is an enormous body of literature on the variability of learning styles and different learning environments that have provided successful learning 3

PAGE 16

situations. The research of Dunn & Dunn (1978) and Sinclair and Ghory (1987) supports this observation. Yet, educators continue to behave as if this knowledge does not exist. A continued increase in the national dropout rate is the reflection of school systems not adjusting to the needs of society, and continuing to provide a single model of learning for all students (Digest of Educational Statistics, 1988; 1990). Raywid (1989) further contends: .. that there is no single best approach to learning for all youngsters. Therefore, a strong case exists for a diversity of school environments with programs that are aligned with student needs and interests. This underscores the importance of students' choice (p.12). School systems need to begin to reform their attitudes, their policies and procedures, and their teaching strategies. They need to examine what alternative schools have been providing students, i.e., the opportunity to participate in the educational process. The goals of alternative schools have been to provide a different and worthwhile educational experience (Raywid, 1989). Butchart (1986) stated that alternative schools have "turned in a remarkable track record of solid educational accomplishments". This is further supported 4

PAGE 17

by the research of Duke and Muzio (1978) and Smith, Gregory & Pugh (1981). Raywid (1989), in her review of alternative educational, programs has presented a number of studies that have shown remarkable improvement by low achievers when placed in new and different learning environments. Students demonstrated improvements in attitudes toward school and learning, in attendance, in behavior patterns, and in achievement. She stated that: Such students have frequently turned from chronic truancy to regular attendance. And, they have sometimes achieved multi-year gains, as measured by standardized tests, within a matter of months (p.9). The analysis of dropout patterns, presented by Sexton {1985), demonstrated that the school environment has more to do with school dropout rates than does the student's race or socio-economic circumstances. This is further supported by a study of at-risk students in Chicago's Public Schools (Kyle et al., 1986), which found that for many students, the different learning environment appears to be the key. Mario Fantini {1973), suggests that: .. student failure is more likely a mismatch of learner to the educational environment than the result of a lack of ability {p.143). 5

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James Coleman in his report to Congress, Equality of Educational Opportunity (Coleman et al., 1966), Presents another key factor that alternative education programs attempt to address: .. a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the "school" factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has control over his destiny(p.23). There is considerable evidence supporting the view that believing one has control "may be even more important than exercising particular overt responses to bring about desired outcomes" (Langer, 1983, p.13). There is a need to consider alternative intervention strategies that hold promise of enhancing intrinsic motivation for overcoming problem behavior and pursuing learning (e.g., Adelman & Taylor, 1982; Deci & Ryan, 1985). Smith, Adelman, Nelson, Taylor & Phares (1987) suggests that: ... greater consideration should be given to replacing approaches that rely excessively on extrinsics to control behavior with interventions that emphasize enhancement of perceptions of control and self-determination (p.175). 6

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The research of Smith, Adelman, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1987) found that: In general, our findings to date support previous studies showing that youngsters have strong perceptions and attitudes about the degree of control they have over processes affecting their .lives and that these perceptions and attitudes have a profound impact on their actions (p.165). The search for factors which influence student achievement has intensified in the past decade. One variable that has appeared in numerous studies is internal locus of control. The research of Stipek and Weisz (1981b) and Findley and Cooper (1983) revealed that students' perception of control at school could be a key school variable in the equation of student achievement. While a variety of factors appear to affect student achievement, many require massive social and political changes within the school system. Locus of control appears to be a variable that can be manipulated to provide positive learning environments to improve students' academic achievement with very little change being required by the school system. This study was based upon the premises that students have a need to have a sense (perception) of control at school and over their destiny if they are to be academically successful and that alternative educational 1

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environments can provide students with the opportunity to gain this perception of control and become more academically successful than they had been in the traditional school environment. Background of Study In response to the A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform, released in 1983 by the U.S. Department of Education, which presented strong criticism of the nation's schools, many states have plunged headlong into reform movements based on the advice of the Presidential Commission that wrote the report (Orlich, 1989). William Chance (1988) reported in 1986 that more than 275 education task forces had been organized in the early to mid-1980's. In addition to the 275 reports generated by these task forces, at least 18 book-length national reports intending to improve the schools were published during the 1980's. More than 700 statutes emanated from the nation's statehouses that specified who should teach what to whom and when and how. In 1988 Chance documented these state statutes as follows: 43 states required higher standards for high school graduation. 17 states required higher standards for admission to colleges. 8

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37 states required statewide student assessment programs. 29 states required teacher competency tests. 28 states increased the requirements for teacher certification. (Orlich, 1989, p.513} Chance (1988) concluded that most of the school reform was political and ephemeral. The clear purpose of this mass of legislation was to control and regulate teachers and local schools. At the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in April 1986, Mary Hatwood Futrell presented the National Educational Association's thesis that the time had come to reform the reform movement: Every attempt at reform that dilutes the authority of the classroom teacher dilutes the quality of instruction in our nation's classroom. Teachers cannot hope to prepare students for a world of perpetual flux if they themselves are condemned to static, externally imposed conceptions of effective pedagogy. Teachers cannot hope to prepare students for the Information Age if they themselves are condemned to organizational structures derived from the Industrial Age. Teachers cannot hope to ready students for responsibility within a participatory democracy if they themselves are condemned to an autocratic (p.11). 9

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Theodore Sizer's, 1983 reportJ A Celebration of Teaching: High Schools in the 1980's, advocated incentives for learning, an emphasis on quality, increased responsibility for students, mastery of defined skills as a precondition for graduation, and inculcation of ethical values. Sizer underscored the need to move away from top-down regulation as a means for school improvement when he stated that the decentralization of substantial authority to the persons closest to the students is essential. John Goodlad's A Place Called School (1984) is the most comprehensive report on the school reform of the 1980's. Goodlad noted tha.t genuine school reform requires large amounts of locally generated data that reveal consistent patterns regarding what is actually taking place in the schools. Goodlad described the "flatness" of American classrooms. Silberman {1970) had a similar label in the previous decade, "mindless'', indicating most teachers spent the major portion of their teaching day on routine activities. Whole group instruction was typical. Teachers tended to work in isolation, to control the content, to distribute little praise or feedback to students, and to provide a narrow range of student activities. Students tended to be passive. They were seldom given sufficient time to understand or complete 10

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their assignments. At the high school level, teachers relied primarily on lecturing, assigning written work, testing and quizzing. Goodlad (1984) further contended that instruction in a typical classroom was neither exciting, dynamic, nor innovative; his findings suggested that "reform" was failing to produce an impact at the most critical level: the classroom. It was also during this period that "equity", quality education for all students in all schools, began to reclaim a central position alongside excellence in discussions of school reform (Futrell, 1989). Boyer (1988) presented the issue succinctly: The harsh truth is that school reform is failing in the inner city because the diagnosis is wrong. Formulas for renewal, more homework, more testing, more requirements for graduation work best for schools that are already succeeding and for students who are college bound. But to require a troubled student in an urban ghetto to take another unit in math or foreign language, without more guidance or support, is like raising a hurdle in the high jump without giving more coaching to someone who has stumbled (p.12). Futrell (1989) concluded that: As the 1980's draw to a close, there is no excuse for believing that educational excellence for all students necessitates a uniform structure for all schools. Solid evidence demonstrates that to educate young people to their full potential, we must legitimate divergent paths to the goal (p.13). 1 1

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Our society and our schools have become so preoccupied with students who plan to go on to college they have lost sight of the other half of our young people who do not. More and more, the non-college bound now fall between the cracks in our current school systems. This "forgotten half" then either drop out or graduate inadequately prepared to fill their adult roles as parents, workers, and citizens (William T. Grant Foundation, 1988). This regretful situation has been documented by the U.S. Office of Education in the Digest of Educational Statistics, 1983-84, with a national dropout rate at 20%. When it was updated later in 1988, it reported the national dropout rate increased to 25% and even higher in the urban centers and for minorities (Digest of Educational Statistics, 1988). Characteristics of At-Risk Students Ronald E. Butchart (1986) in a recent publication, Dropout Prevention Through Alternative High Schools: A Study of the National Experience, presented the following information about the national dropout problem: 12

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1. One out of every four young people of high school age will drop out of school before graduating. 2. Dropouts tend to share a characteristic profile which allows educators to predict with a fair degree of accuracy which young people are most at risk of dropping out of school. 3. Research indicates that students primarily leave school because they dislike their experience with school. They feel excluded and alienated from the classroom via school and societal policies and practices. 4. Students drop out psychologically long before dropping out physically (pp.3-4). Academic failure is the primary precursor, leading to both disruptive behavior and dropping out. Morley and Clay (1983) suggested that potential dropouts are frequently discipline problems and disruptive in the classroom. At the secondary level the following indicators of potential dropouts were identified: 1. Absenteeism, truancy, and frequent tardiness. 2. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects or grade levels. 3. Low math and reading scores, usually two or more years behind. 4. Limited extracurricular participation, lack of identification with school, expressed feelings of not belonging. 5. Poor social adjustment, perhaps socially or emotionally disturbed. 6. Low self-concept relative to authority figures. 7. Reluctance. 8. Lack of future orientation. 9. Inability to tolerate present school-structured activities, but wants 10. Failure to see relevance of education to life experiences (Morley & Clay, 1983, pp.1-2). 13

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Scott (1985) contends that: Most dropouts are marginal students, with poor self-concepts in academics, uncertain support systems among their peers and parents, weak basic skills despite street savvy and quick minds, and certainty of purpose in life (p.29). Amster and Lazarus (1982) collected normative data on 197 disadvantaged high school dropouts. Their data indicated that this group of students appeared to be, markedly, externally oriented. Coleman et a1.(1966), in an extensive two year research project, that included some 900,000 students, on achievement and aptitude tests and questionnaires on family background concluded: Taking all these results together, one implication stands out above all: that schools bring little i nf 1 uence to bea r upon a chi 1 d's achievement that is independent of his background and general social context; and that this very lack of independent effect means that the inequalities imposed upon children by their home, neighborhood, and peer environment are carried along to become the inequalities with which they confront adult life at the end of school (p.325). In the National Education Longitudinal Study; a 1988 Survey of 24,600 eighth graders, Staimer (1990) suggests that any one of the following six factors can put students (in the research study) at risk of dropping out of or failing school: 14

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Factors Affecting students: Percent of At-Risk students in the study Single parent f ami 1 y 2 2% Annual family ;ncome under ............................... 21' Unsupervised, often at home a 1 one ............................... 1 4" Parents have a low level of education .................. 11% s;bJ;ng who dropped out .......... 10' Limited-English Proficiency .................................. 2The aforementioned statistics confirm many of Coleman's early concerns and provide current data that the at-risk student is still a major problem in our schools. Characteristics of Alternative Schools/Programs The goals of alternative (planned intervention) schools have been to provide a different and worthwhile educational experience (Raywid, 1984; 1989). These schools have been the products of the educational and social fervor of the 1960's. The research has documented that the alternat;ve schools have turned in a remarkable track record of solid educational accomplishment 15

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that the alternative schools have turned in a remarkable track record of solid educational accomplishment (Butchart, 1986; Duke & Muzio, 1978; Raywid, 1985; Smith et a 1 1981 ) The term alternative education covers a broad range of educational configurations, ... from magnet schools to dropout prevention programs, from schools-without-walls to schools-within-a-school, from back-to-basics academies to the much maligned free schools" (Butchart, 1986, p.2). Although there is some difficulty in clearly defining alternative schools, they all seem to share some common characteristics. Mary Ann Raywid (1984), presented the most comprehensive survey of alternative schools to date. She contends that there are six elements that set alternative schools apart from traditional "one best system" schools. They are: 1. The alternative constitutes a distinctive and identifiable administrative unit with its own personnel and program. Moreover, substantial effort is likely to be addressed to creating a strong sense of affiliation with the unit. 2. Structures and processes generative of the school climate are held important and receive considerable attention within the unit. 3. Students as well as staff enter the alternative as a matter of choice rather than assignment. 4. The alternative is designed to respond to particular needs, desires, or interests not otherwise met in local schools, resulting in a 16

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5. The impetus to launch the alternative, as well as its design, comes from one or more of the groups affected by the program: teachers, students, and parents. 6. Alternative schools generally address a broader range of student development than just the cognitive or academic. Typically, the sort of person the learner is becoming is a matter of first concern (p.77). Indicators of Success for Alternative Schools/Programs Alternative school/programs come closer to satisfying the needs of students than do traditional schools (Smith, Gregory & Pugh, 1981). There is an impressive amount of documentation (Butchart, 1986; Duke & Muzio, 1978; Kyle et al., 1986; Raywid, 1984, 1989; Smith et al., 1981) that suggests that alternative schools/programs are effective and successful. The aforementioned researchers have presented the following indicators as a measure of success for alternative schools/programs: 1. Improved daily attendance 2. Improved reading levels 3. Improved math and science levels 4. Improved scores on standardized tests s. Improved academic achievement -higher GPA 6. Increased retention rates 7. Increased graduation rates 17

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Another way to assess success in alternative schools/programs is in terms of students' attitudes and behavior toward schooling, toward their teachers, toward the school and toward the education process in general. The authors presented a strong case for students' improved attitudes toward themselves, others and schooling. In fact, they further suggest that the longer students remain in the alternative schools/programs the more positive their attitudes toward the educational process. Perceived Control Research In the past 25 years, perceived control has been a popular area of research. Rotter {Perlmuter & Monty, 1979) reports that "there are well over 1000 published papers on having to do with individual differences in internal vs. external control of reinforcement" (p.263). Perceived control has been researched under the following terminology: locus of control (Lefcourt, 1979; Phares, 1979; Rotter, 1966; 1975; 1979), learned helplessness {Dweck & Goetz, 1978; Seligman, 1975; Seligman & Miller, 1979), personal causation (deCharms, 1979), personal 18

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Perceived control has been researched under the following terminology: locus of control (Lefcourt, 1979; Phares, 1979; Rotter, 1966; 1975; 1979), learned helplessness (Dweck & Goetz, 1978; Seligman, 1975; Seligman & Miller, 1979), personal causation (deCharms, 1979), personal self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977a; Brown, 1979), self-determination (Deci, 1980), perceived competence (Harter, 1978; 1981), and more recently to perceived contingency (Skinner & Chapman, 1983; Weisz, 1983; and Weisz & Stipek, 1982). Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor & Phares (1986), contend that the bulk of the research has focused on adults and that the available measures (e.g., of locus of control, attributions, perceived competence, self-efficacy) provide indirect data on perceptions of control over school events and outcomes. Smith et al., (1987) contended: ... there have been relatively few studies examining the relationship between perceived control and overt behavior and related attitudes and affect at school (p.167). This statement this writer's motivation for undertaking the present study to examine the relationship between students' perceived control at school and academic success. 19

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basic skills/job readiness program designed to maximize the potential of at-risk teens. Originally offered at two Denver urban high schools, SWAP has significantly increased retention rates by giving at-risk youth the hands-on training and self-confidence to make a successful transition to a career and/or post-secondary education. Based on the encouraging results of the Denver SWAP program, the program was replicated in 20 junior and senior high school sites serving over 1,400 students statewide in communities as diverse as Brighton, Colorado Springs, Denver, Elizabeth, Thornton and Wheat Ridge. SWAP employs a unique educational approach which includes an interdisciplinary core curriculum emphasizing high expectations, high content and high support. High support includes parental involvement, business participation, and a flexible school administration dedicated to providing equal educational opportunities for all youth. The aforementioned process was a planned intervention with the practical application of many, if not all, of the recommendations outlined by Holt (1969), Goodlad (1984), Raywid (1984; 1989), Boyer (1988), Futrell (1989), and Orlich (1989) in a naturalistic setting. 20

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The key to SWAP's success was the ability of the schools to incorporate the following components (which were considered as the interventions/treatment of the at-risk students in alternative educational environments): 1. Voluntary participation by students committed to improve themselves (educationally). 2. Voluntary participation of teachers committed to work as a team. 3. The development of an interdisciplinary curriculum based on well-defined values, outcomes and goals. Most of the programs teach the following subjects: English, math, social studies, science and life skills (including some career education). The SWAP classes account for approximately of the students' school day. During the remainder of the day, the students attend courses and activities in regular school. 4. Block scheduling of classes for students and teachers that allows for alternative strategies to accomplish educational objectives and goals. 5 A curriculum that incorporates many learning styles and teaching approaches/strategies, that emphasizes connectedness and integration of content materials and activities. Purpose of Study The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between academic achievement and at-risk high school students perceptions of control in varying 21

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educational environments in secondary schools that were participating in the Colorado Alliance of Business, School-To-Work Action Program (SWAP). The study focused upon two major questions: 1. What is the relationship between academic achievement and at-risk students' perception of control at school in varying educational environments (traditional/ alternative)? 2. What is the relationship between at-risk students' perceptions of control at school in traditional and alternative educational environments compared to students that are academically successful in traditional educational environments? This study attempted to establish the relationship expected from current perceived control research and to, more precisely, identify those important processes which were significantly related to the successful academic performance of students. 22

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Significance of Study Over the last several years researchers Perlmuter & Monty (1979); Deci (1980); Stipek & Weisz (1981a; 1981b); Weisz & Stipek {1982); Skinner & Chapman (1983); Weisz (1983); Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1986); Smith, Adelman, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1987) have focused their research activity in the area of perceived control. Common to these researchers is the implicit belief that high levels of perceived control can serve a beneficial function in human behavior (Smith et al., 1987, p.167). Langer (1983, p.3) contends that perceived control is crucial not only to one's psychological well-being, but to one's physical health as well. The research efforts of Savage, Perlmuter & Monty (1979) and Deci & Ryan (1985) have related perceived control to attitudinal and motivational factors associated with learning, while deCharms (1976) related perceived control to achievement in school. Despite the aforementioned research, there have been relatively few studies that examine the relationship between perceived control related to students' attitudes, behavior and affect at school. Extrapolating from work in this area, it appears that certain experiences at school may result in loss of students' sense of control 23

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or choice, and that students' efforts to restore a sense of perceived control may account for a significant part of negative behavior, and affect (Smith et al., 1987). This research study investigated at-risk students' perceptions of sense of control (of their destiny) in traditional high school environments and in alternative educational environments (SWAP). Statement of Problem The major problems to be studied are twofold: (1) determine how at-risk high school students in traditional schools perceive their sense of control at school as compared to at-risk students in alternative educational environments (i.e.,the School-To-work Action Program, SWAP), and academically successful students in traditional high school environments; (2) determine if there is a relationship between academic achievement and students' perception of control at school. Research Questions 1. How do at-risk high school students in the traditional school environment and in the alternative 24

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educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of control at school? 2. How do at-risk high school students in traditional school and in alternative educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of control compared to academically successful students in traditional school environments? 3. How do at-risk high school students in the traditional school environment and in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of the importance of control at school? 4. How do at-risk high school students in traditional school and in alternative educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of the importance of control compared to academically successful students in traditional school environments? 5. Is there a relationship between academic achievement and high school students' perception of control at school? 25

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Hypotheses It was hypothesized that there is a relationship between academic achievement and a perceived sense of control at school, specifically: 1. At-risk high school students (no intervention) in a traditional environment will report a lower sense of perceived control at school than (a) at-risk high school students receiving intervention in the environment, SWAP and (b) academically successful high school students in a traditional environment. 2. There will be a significant difference in how at-risk high school students will report their sense of control in the alternative education environment (SWAP) when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school students in the traditional educational environment. 3. Academically successful high school students in a traditional environment will report a higher sense of importance of perceived control at school than (a) atrisk high school students (no intervention) in a 26

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traditional environment and (b) at-risk students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP. 4. There will be a significant difference in the academic achievement of at-risk high school students receiving treatment in the alternative education environment (SWAP) in contrast to academic achievement of at-risk high school students (no treatment) in the traditional educational environment. The alternative education environment (SWAP) provides students with the opportunity to participate in the educational decision making process. It provides students the opportunity to make choices and develop a sense of control over their destiny, which in turn, increases their motivation and academic performance. 27

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Definitions of Terms 1. Academic: Refers to general or liberal education rather than the technical or vocational education. 2. Academic Environments: Refers to types/styles of teaching/learning (i.e., traditional or the "one best system" or alternative educational approaches/SWAP). 3. Academically Successful Students: Refers to students that maintain a 2.5 grade point average or better and do not display the at-risk student characteristics described by Morley and Clay (1983). 4. At-Risk Students: At the secondary level, these are students that display one or more (if not all) of the following characteristics: a. Absenteeism, truancy, and frequent tardiness. b. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects. c. Low math and reading scores, usually two or more years behind. d. Limited extracurricular participation, lack of identification with school, expressed feelings of not belonging. e. Poor social adjustment, perhaps socially or emotionally disturbed. f. Low self-concept relative to authority figures. g. Reluctance/resistance to do school work. h. Lack of future orientation. i. Inability to tolerate present school structured activities, but wants structure. j. Failure to see relevance of education to life experience (Morley & Clay, 1983, pp.1-2). 28

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The aforementioned at-risk student characteristics are congruent with those described by the SWAP program. For the purposes of this study the following criteria were selected for the screening process of the sample atrisk population: 1. Poor grades, failure in one or more subjects. 2. Low math and reading scores, usually two or more years behind. 3. High rate of absenteeism. There were such significant variations in the terminology of the perceived control construct used by various authors cited in this research project that there was a need to clarify these terms for the reader. There are at least two related meanings of control that this research addresses. The first equates control with competence, i.e . the ability to exert control. Competence refers to: White's (1959) terms of autonomy and mastery, Bandura's (1977a) self-efficacy, Harter's (1978; 1981) terms of control over processes and Deci's (1980) notions of self-determination and Deci & Ryan (1985) intrinsic motivation. The second conceptualization relates perceived control to perceived contingency. In this construct, expectations of control are primarily a function of 29

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whether an individual believes that outcomes are contingent upon her/his decisions. This construct incorporates Rotter's (1966) research of internal versus external locus of control, i.e., the degree to which a student believes she/he has control over choice and action that can effect outcomes/school performance (e.g., see deCharms, 1976; Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek & Weisz, 1981a; 1981b). In defining perceived control most of the research has emphasized the notion that the construct encompasses the belief that one is able to choose among courses of action and effect outcomes. Yet, Langer (1983) distinguishes between actual control and the illusion of control. She contends that what is important is that individuals believe they have control, not whether an outcome occurs. More specifically, numerous theorists have stressed the importance of independently considering an individual's (a) perceptions about the process necessary to accomplish a specific outcome, (b) expectations that one can control the process, and (c) expectations about accomplishing the outcome. The major assumptions of perceived control, which are directly related to this research, are presented by Smith et al., (1987) and Taylor, Adelman, Nelson, Smith & Phares (1989). 30

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In our work, we view perceived control as the degree of freedom one expects to have over the processes that one believes must be pursued in order to accomplish particular aims. More specifically, we distinguish between the ability to understand contingencies and the belief that one has control over contingencies; we include a focus on decision making; and we approach perceived control as a generalized expectancy with regard to specific types of situations (Smith et al., p. 168). 5. Perceived Control at School: Refers to the students' perceived level of freedom of choice and decision making with regard to school processes and outcomes, availability of choices and options, fairness of imposed limits, reactions to significant others at school to the student's efforts to act autonomously, and the ability of the student to counter the control efforts of others at school. 6. Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS): An instrument developed by Adelman et al. (1986) to aid in the investigation of students' perceived control at school. Constructed to tap five areas of control in which schools vary: (1) decision making with regard to school processes and outcomes, (2) reactions to significant others at school to the student's efforts to act autonomously, (3) availability of choices and options, (4) fairness of imposed limits, and (5) ability 31

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of a student to counter the control efforts of others at school (high scores relate to a sense of internal control, low scores relate to a sense of external control) (Adelman et al., 1986, p.1007). 7. Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PICSS): An instrument designed by Adelman et a1.(1986) to measure the degree to which a student values control over the matters described by the PCSS. PICSS has been found to be comparable in reliability to the PCSS. The ability of the PCSS to detect group differences is seen as suggestive that the PICSS is sensitive to detecting differences when they exist (Taylor et al., 1989, p.440). 8. School-To-Work Action Program (SWAP): A Colorado Alliance of Business sponsored basic skills/job readiness program designed to maximize the potential of at-risk secondary level students. Limitations of the Study 1. The use of the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) and the Perceived Importance of Control at School 32

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Scale (PICSS) developed by Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor and Phares (at the University of California, Los Angeles, 1987), limits the perceptual responses to the authors definitions of perceived control. 2. There can be no assurance of the respondent's honesty in answering the questionnaire items. 3. As with any self-reporting instrument, only conscious attitudes and views can be assessed. 4. All students that participated in the SWAP programs were volunteers. This decision to participate in this program may provide these students with a pre-existing sense of control. Delimitations of the Study 1. This study addressed the perceptions of at-risk students in both the traditional and alternative (SWAP) educational settings. The at-risk students that have already dropped out of school could not be surveyed. 33

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The remainder of this dissertation was organized into four chapters. Chapter 2 reviews the literature regarding the factors of student achievement, the psychology of control, perceived control, social learning theory, perceived control and motivation, interventions and teaching strategies relevant to students' perceptions of control at school, and the review of perceived control instruments as they relate to at-risk students. Chapter 3 describes the method and the research design employed in this study, description and selection of subjects, instrumentation (PCSS & PlOSS), procedures that were used in the administration of the instruments and the collection of the data, data preparation and analysis. Chapter 4 reports on the data findings and analyses of the study and Chapter 5 presents the summary, conclusions and recommendations resulting from the study. 34

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND RESEARCH Factors of Student Achievement The research for those factors that influence a student's academic performance was greatly impacted by the 1966, Coleman report, Equality of Educational Opportunity. The educational research on student academic performance in the late 1960's and the 1970's have demonstrated that significant relationships exist between student performance and the following variables: (a) student ability (intelligence) and motivation; (b) parental support and encouragement; (c) family background; (d) socio-economic status; (e) level of parents education; (f) level of peer group expectations; (g) ethnicity; (h) psycho-social environments of learning; (i) the quality and nature of instruction; and (j) the characteristics of teachers (Averch, Carrol, Donaldson, Kiesling & Pincus, 1972; Bowels & Levin, 1963; Bridge, Judd & Hoock, 1979; Coleman et al., 1966} Jencks et al., 1972; Mayeske al., 1972; Silberman, 1970). The California Department of Education

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(1977) presented data that suggests that these variables account for as much as 75' of the variation in students' academic performance. The extent to which each of these factors contribute to relative academic success/failure of students has not been determined. As a result, controversy has arisen within a body of complex and conflicting research. During the past decade research has demonstrated that schools can influence the outcomes of student achievement when attributed to factors over which the school has direct control (Benjamin, 1979; Brookover et al., 1979; Butchart, 1986; deCharms, 1976; Duke & Muzio, 1978; Madaus et al., 1980; Morley & Clay, Smith et al., 1981; Squires, 1980; Walberg & Rashner, 1977). In an effort to determine why some schools are more effective than others, researchers are focusing on the examination of specific school related processes and behaviors as they relate to student academic performance (Lipman, 1981; Williams, 1982). One of the many recommendations suggested by the Coleman Report (1966) was that: The fact that attitudes such as a sense of control of the environment [at school], or a belief in responsiveness of the environment [at school], are extremely highly related to achievement (p.325). 36

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The concept of perceived sense of control seems especially relevant in situations where students are performing below their expected abilities. Psychology of Control In the past 20 years, there has been an increased interest in the area of the psychology of control. Perlmuter and Monty (1979) edited a series of papers derived from a national conference which produced, the cornerstone publication, Choice and Perceived Control. During the 1980's there were three major publications that presented theories of perceived control from different perspectives. Baum and Singer (1980) apply the concept of control from the standpoint of environmental psychology. Their concern is with the manner in which people use control as a means of coping with the environment. Brehm and Brehm (1981) present control as a central concept in the theory of psychological reactance. Equating freedom with control, they theorize that a threat to one's sense of psychological freedom (control) will motivate the individual to recover that sense of freedom (control). And in, The Psychology of Control, Langer (1983) distinguishes between actual control and the illusion of control and discusses interventions in 37

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health psychology that seek to enhance individuals' perceptions of control. In explaining the development of children's quest for control, Rothbaum and Weisz {1989) stated: Only recently have researchers begun to document the depth and pervasiveness of the desire for control (p.18). According to White (1959) most researchers miss significant problems of growth. In particular, they fail to recognize the development of competence (control), which is required for the individual's maintaining oneself, growing and flourishing. Rothbaum {1980) further contends that investigators often neglect the fact that frustration of the desire for control plays a prominent role in many traumatic crises, such as illness and loss of mobility due to accidents (i.e., diminished ability to manipulate the physical environment), peer rejection, failure in sports activities, and failure at school. The current research suggests that the scope of work on perceived control is a diverse and robust construct. 38

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Perceived Control Research Current research on the psychology of control has focused on the construct of perceived control (e.g., Adelman et al., 1986; Perlmuter & Monty, 1979; Smith et al., 1987; Stipek & Weisz, 1981b; Weisz & Stipek, 1982). It has differentiated between at least two significant variations in how the construct of perceived control is defined and operationalized. The first equates control with competence ( i.e.,the ability to exert control), building on White's (1959) work on effectance motivation. Competence motivation theory assumes that humans naturally strive for effective interactions with their environment and that successful mastery of a problem produces feelings of efficacy, or competence. A primary concern from this perspective is the degree of control an individual believes he/she has over processes (e.g., events, tasks, situations, rules, policies and procedures). Research in this area has drawn heavily from the ideas of deCharms (1979) on personal causation, Bandura (1977a) and Brown.(1979) on self-efficacy, the Harter (1978; 1981) concept of perceived competence, and Deci's (1980) notions of self-determination and intrinsic motivation. 39

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The second conceptualization equates perceived control to perceived contingency/outcome-expectancy. In this perspective the primary concern is with the expectations of control, and an individual believes that outcomes are contingent on his or her behavior. This construct of perceived control incorporates Rotter's (1966) concept of internal versus external locus of control (1-E). Research in this area has been supported by Lefcourt (1979), Phares (1979), Rotter (1966; 1975; 1979), Weisz & Stipek (1982), Skinner & Chapman (1983), Weisz (1983), Adelman et al. (1986), Smith et al. (1987). Smith et al., (1987) stated that: Common to both of these approaches is the implicit belief that high levels of perceived control can serve a beneficial function in human behavior (p.167). Langer (1983) suggests that perceived control "is crucial not only to one's psychological well-being but to one's .Physical health as well" (p.13). Research efforts have attempted to relate perceived control to a variety of outcome variables (Smith et al., 1987), including attitudinal and motivation factors associated with learning (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Savage, Perlmuter & Monty, 1979), achievement in school (deCharms, 1976; Stipek & 40

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Weisz, 1981b), and with positive aspects of mental health (Arnkoff & Mahoney, 1979; Langer, 1983). Smith et a1 ,(1987), further claim that: In general, our findings to date support previous studies showing that youngsters have strong perceptions and attitudes about the degree of control they have over processes affecting their lives and that these perceptions and attitudes have a profound impact on their lives (p.168). All of the aforementioned researchers are concerned with individuals' perception or experiences of the degree to which they exert personal control over their environments. Perceived Control and Academic Achievement Rotter (1966) suggested that internal versus external control of reinforcement might be related to the need for achievement in his original monograph, though he thought that the relationship might not be linear due to the effects of motivation, which might not be highly correlated with locus of control. In his article, Individual Differences and Perceived Control (Rotter, 1979) commented on the relationship of perceived control and individual beliefs. He contended that: 41

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It seems apparent that individuals cannot develop a feeling that they can control outcomes if they are not given choices. Only if we accept the notion that we have had real choices can we feel that an outcome is a result of our own decisions and efforts. How should this relate to individual differences in a belief in internal versus external control? It seems reasonable that a history of being given more choices would lead to a greater feeling of internality, and in fact, some of the work with children's locus-of-control (Crandall, Katkovsky & Crandall; 1965) supports this in relating Internal Achievement Responsibility (IAR) scores to greater independence training and greater freedom of choice (p.268). John Weisz (1983) suggests that control-related beliefs can mediate goal-directed action. Several theoretical models suggest that efforts to achieve a goal depend on the perceived controllability of that goal (e.g., Chapman & Skinner, 19QS; Dweck & Elliott, 1983; Lefcourt, 1976; Weisz, 1983). He further stated that: Tests of this proposition have focused most often on academic achievement, which has been shown to correlate with perception of control (see reviews by Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek & Weisz, 1981). Causal analyses indicate that perceived control can stimulate academic achievement and that the reverse may also be true (Calsyn, 1973; Stipek, 1980) (p.789). In a quantitative review of research investigating the relationship between locus of control and academic achievement, Findley and Cooper (1983) concluded: 42

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.... (a) Locus of control and academic achievement are significantly positively related, more internal beliefs are associated with greater academic achievement and (b) the magnitude of this relationship is small to medium. The relation tended to be stronger for adolescents than for adults or children. Also, the relation was more substantial among males than among females (p.419). In a comprehensive review of perceived control and academic achievement Stipek and Weisz (1981b) summarized 35 studies investigating control and academic achievement from several different related bodies of research: Rotter's (1966, 1975) social learning theory, Weiner's (1974) attribution theory, Harter's (1978) and White's (1959) competency motivation theories, deCharms's (1979) personal causation theory, and Oeci's (1980) self-determination theory. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) concluded that: Studies demonstrating a relationship between personality or motivational variables and school achievement have proliferated the psychological research over the past two decades. These studies are of great potential value to educators: If students' personality or motivation are more amenable to change than their ability, then achievement might be enhanced indirectly through educational practices that positively affect personality and motivational development (p.101). Stipek and Weisz (1981b) further confirmed the Coleman's Report (1966) recommendation "that attitudes 43

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such as sense of control of the environment" (p.325), an attitude not unlike perceived control/locus of control, is one motiva1:ional variable that appears to affect children's academic achievement. The findings of Stipek & Weisz (1981b) suggest an important possibility for educational research: Students who believe they have control over their behavior and environment may mediate their academic achievements and are more likely to invest the energy necessary for academic success than students who believe that their academic outcomes are uncontrollable (p.101). Nunn, Montgomery & Nunn, (1986) in their research on the relationship between locus of control and academic achievement indicate consistently moderate inverse relationships between students' level of external control and academic achievement. Keith, Pottebaum, & Eberhart (1986) used path analysis to determine the extent of the influence of self-concept and locus of control on academic achievement with 27,718 high school seniors from the National Center for Educational statistics' High School and Beyond. The longitudinal study suggests that students that have an internal orientation tend to be higher achievers. This concept is further supported by the research of Douglas and Powers (19S2), Powers and Wagner (1983), Walden and Ramey (1983), Brog (1985), 44

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Sharma (1986), Boggiano, Main and Katz (1988), Harris (1988) and Payne and Payne (1989). Powers and Wagner's (1983) study indicated that Hispanic subjects were more internally oriented than the Anglos. Conversely, Payne and Payne (1989) in their study of elementary students found no main effects for gender or race. They observed a significant main effect condition (at-risk versus not at-risk), with at-risk students being more externally oriented. Additional verification of at-risk students being predominantly externally oriented is supported by the study of Amster and Lazarus (1982). They presented normative data collected on 197 disadvantaged high school dropouts that indicated that this group appears to be externally oriented. This notion is further supported by the research of Boss & Taylor (1989), who investigated the relationships among locus of control and academic programs for 267 high school students from advanced, general and basic level programs. Their findings suggest that advanced level students were more internally oriented. 45

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Social Learning Theory Most of the research on perceptions of control is grounded in social learning theory. Julian B. Rotter (1975) stated that: Social learning theory in its earliest formulation was an attempt to integrate the two trends in American psychology -the stimulus response or reinforcement theories on one hand, and the cognitive or field theories on the other (p.2). Rotter (1954) developed the concept of "Locus of Control" (LOC) which is defined as a generalized expectancy for internal or external control of reinforcements. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) explained that: ''Internal control" refers to an individual's belief that an event or. outcome is contingent on his or her own behavior or on relatively permanent characteristics such as ability. The belief that an event is caused by factors beyond the individual's control (e.g., luck, task difficulty, powerful other) has been labeled external control" (p.102). Rotter (1966) bases his LOC construct on the proposition that reinforcement is not the only key in the processes of learning skills and knowledge. He claims that individuals must view reinforcement as contingent upon their behavior in order for the reinforcement to 46

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have any effect. He contends that if reinforcement is not seen as contingent on the individual's own behavior, then it will not increase the individual's expectancy that a particular behavior or event will be followed by reinforcement in the future. Rotter (1975) states further that: Expectancies in each situation are determined not only by specific experiences in that situation but also, to some varying extent, by experiences in other situations that the individual perceives as similar" (p.57). Stipek and Weisz (1981a; 1981b) reported that more studies on the relationship between children's perceptions of personal control have been done from a social learning perspective than from any other theoretical orientation. Most of the social learning theorists contend that students' behavior in academic achievement situations are influenced by their perceived locus of control. Rotter (1975) has elaborated on the relationship between locus of control and academic achievement. He explains that a students expectation that a particular behavior will bring a particular reinforcement is not the only predictor of the occurrence of that behavior. The value of the expected reinforcement is also important. A student who does not 47

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value a high grade, for example, may not study for a test, even though the student believes that the high grade is contingent on studying. The social learning theorists (Lefcourt, 1976; Rotter, 1966;) have always stated that situational variables can influence an individual's perception of the contingency of reinforcement. Rotter (1966) reviewed the research of fellow social learning theorists, whose research focused on the: relationship between various situations and locus of control; locus of control as a personality variable; and a variety of correlates. He concluded that not only do situations vary with regard to the degree to which they promote an internal versus external locus of control, but individuals vary in their generalized control expectancies across the same situation. In summarizing the major correlates of locus of control, he stated that individuals with an internal locus of control tend to: (a) be more alert to those aspects of the environment which provide useful information for future behavior; (b) take steps to improve his environmental condition; (c) place greater value on skill or achievement reinforcements .and be generally more concerned with his ability, particularly his failures; and (d) be resistive to subtle attempts to influence him (p.25). 48

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Rotter (1966) does clarify these statements by suggesting that extremely high internals are as dysfunctional as those who score extremely low on his 1-E scale. However, within the normal range, he views the internal locus of control as more conducive to motivated behavior. He postulated a positive relationship between internal locus of control and academic achievement. Other research in this area suggests that the relationship is mediated by personal variables such as age (Bartel, 1971: Clifford & Cleary, 1972; Kiefer, 1975; Nowicki & Strickland, 1973). Crandall, Katkovsky & Preston (1962) contend that a stronger relationship exists for boys than for girls and this was also confirmed by Nowicki & Walker (1973). However, in their review Stipek and Weisz (1981b) concluded that they found very little support for the assumptions that the relationship between locus of control and achievement is stronger for boys than for girls. The previously mentioned studies are correlational in nature and the causal direction between the variables is somewhat ambiguous. Calsyn (1973) and Stipek (1980) used path and cross lagged panel correlation analysis to determine the causal direction between locus of control and academic achievement. Both of these studies provided evidence to support the notion that locus of control 49

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caused academic success, and that increased perceived control leads to increased motivation. In the past decade control conceptualizations have merged as a result of the research emphasis on the effects of control perceptions. Nichols (1985) stated that: Though these research projects typically define control in accordance with one of the two views presented they are less concerned with the definition of control than with the consequences of having or not having it. In other words, these researchers have not necessarily been driven to refine .or expand the control concept. They have operationalized control using the various conceptualizations and focused their attention on control relevant outcomes (p.19). Despite the different ways that control has been conceptualized, altered, and synthesized it continues to be linked to motivation. In fact, the presumed relationship between control and motivation appears to be the main force behind the continued research in this area. For most researchers (e.g., Langer, 1983) control is operationalized as perceived control. This represents the position that individual's belief in control is more judicious to motivation than simply having control. 50

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Perceived Control and Motivation The perceived control research on learning infers that by providing students with choices we can increase their sense of perceived control. In a series of studies that investigated the relationship between choice and learning (Monty & Perlmuter, 1975; Monty, Rosenberg, & Perlmuter, 1973; Perlmuter & Monty, 1973; 1979) the researchers found that when students are provided with choices it increased their motivation to learn. Competence motivation (White, 1959) is central to theories of intrinsic motivation because the pleasure produced by mastery of tasks is believed to act as a reinforcer of the mastery behavior. The individual is intrinsically motivated to master tasks, and therefore finds successful mastery attempts reinforcing (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Harter (1978) contends that in order for children to experience a feeling of efficacy they must perceive themselves as responsible for their successful performance. She claims that success attributed to an external factor, such as luck, should not lead to feelings of competence as would success attributed to an internal factor such as effort or ability. Harter (1978) explicitly stated that internal perceptions of control serve as important mediators by "maintaining if not increasing the child's effectance 51

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motivation" (p.57). Her analysis is similar to Weiner's (1971) attributional approach in that perceptions of personal causality are believed to enhance the affective response to success. Regardless of which conceptualization of control that one may choose, having control is perceived to be a positive motivational force. As an example of competence theories, individuals are motivated to achieve control, and once they do, they experience feelings of efficacy, competence, an increase in self-esteem and personal effectiveness. In the case of perceived contingency (outcome-expectancy), perceiving control should precede motivated behavior. If an individual perceives a contingency between his/her behavior and reinforcements, he/she is more likely to be motivated to approach potentially successful situations. Conversely, the theories suggest that the lack of perceived control can have a negative impact on motivation (Calsyn, 1973; Stipek, 1980). Rotter (1966) and Seeman (1959) contend that lack of control precedes a sense of alienation. Similarly, deCharms (1979) suggests that individuals dislike feeling like pawns because they feel powerless. Harter (1978) speculates that failure perceived to be caused by a lack of competence could lead to anxiety in mastering situations thereby decreasing the 52

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child's mastery motivation. Oeci (1980) further suggests that when individuals perceive no relationship between their behavior and reinforcements, they experience feelings of incompetence and helplessness. Seligman and his colleagues (Overmier & Seligman, 1967; Maier & Seligman, 1976; Seligman & Miller, 1979) provided the classic research that led to the formulation of the "learned helplessness" hypothesis. Several other studies (e.g., Fosco & Geer, 1971; Gachtel & Proctor, 1976; Hiroto, 1974) provided significant support for the "learned helplessness" concept. Seligman (1975) developed a theory of depression based on the learned helplessness phenomenon. Nichols (1985) presented the following overview of Seligman's theory of depression: The perception of response-outcome non-contingency leads to cognitive, and emotional components of depression. The motivational component is a deficit in voluntary responding due to belief that a particular response will not produce a desired outcome. The cognitive component is reflected in a difficulty learning that future responses could lead to the desired outcomes. Finally, the emotional or affective component is reflected by general dysphoria (p.33). The research on learned helplessness and Seligman's subsequent theory of depression has provided support for control theorists who believe that loss of perceived 53

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control has negative motivational consequences for individuals. Sunmary of Control. Motivation and Achievement Evidence from the aforementioned major theoretical perspectives converge on one point: Success or failure per se might be less important than a child'sperceptions of the causes of the success or failure. enhances self-perceptions of competence only if the child accepts the responsibility for that success. Or, as -an attribution theorist might put it, the pride from success is undermined when attributed to external factors; the shame from failure is similarly diffused through external attributions. Thus, the effect of success or failure on children's subsequent behavior in achievement contexts depends on their perceptions of the cause of that success or failure (Stipek & Weisz, 1981b, p. 130) The message to educators should be clear. That providing successful learning situations for students is important, but as educators we have an additional responsibility of teaching students the relationship between their behavior and their performance. Performance is optimized when the 54

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responsibility for their successes, and understand that effort and persistence can overcome failures (Meyer, 1979). Social learning theorists have clearly demonstrated that perceptions of control and achievement can be enhanced by providing students with the opportunity to participate in their own-educational decisions and by giving them greater choices in th-ir academic environments. Interventions and Teaching Strategies Relevant to Students' Perceptions of Control A diversity of teaching strategies and interventions have been based on perception of control theory and research. Stipek & Weisz (1981b) reported that: Some of the most impressive and educationally relevant research examining the relationship between locus of control and achievement comes from classroom intervention studies (p. 119). Several classroom intervention studies (Matheny & Edwards, 1974; Wang a Stiles, 1976) gave students greater control over their behavior (i.e., choices of tasks and 55

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more responsibility for their own learning) and enhanced their perceptions of control of outcomes. The intervention studies do demonstrate that an educational environment that encourages students to take responsibility for their learning can positively influence learning. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) have concluded that: These classroom intervention studies two characteristics we believe to be critically important for future research: naturalistic, real-life settings and attempts to alter the variables under investigation (p. 132). Andrews & Debus (1978), Chapin & Dyck (1976), deCharms (1976), and Dweck (1975) have further demonstrated that children's cognition about the causes of success and failure can be altered through explicit teaching strategies. In 1976 deCharms investigated the effects on children's achievement of intervention programs designed to provide children with greater responsibility and control in their classroom by training elementary teachers in inner city schools to teach children to perceive themselves as the "locus of causality (internal control)" rather than being the instruments of an outside source (external control). 56

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He found that: ... the usual increasing discrepancy between performance by black innercity school children and the national norms for achievement tests had been arrested for children who had participated in the personal causation training. In contrast, achievement score for the control group were increasingly behind the national norms, as is typically seen in innercity schools (Stipek & Weisz, p.128). DeCharms {1979) also found that over the course of four years, the academic achievement of these students increased significantly more than the control group. Nichols (1985) reports that: ... deCharms (1979} found no increase in locus of control as a result of the training, nor did he find locus of control to be related to academic achievement. In a long term follow-up, it was found that students who received the training in elementary school were more likely to graduate from high school than students in the comparison group (p.49). Attribution theorists have provided intervention studies that focus on locus of control and the related attributions for the causes of success and failure. Dweck {1975) claims that the task behavior following failure can be changed by altering children' attributions of failure. She identified students who exhibited "helpless" behavior in response to failure and randomly assigned 57

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them to two treatment groups; half of the students received attribution training which emphasized an attribution of failure to lack of effort rather than ability. The other treatment group received only success experiences. At the end of the 25 daily sessions of trying to solve math problems they were retested for the effects of failure on their performance. The Dweck intervention study found that while there was no improvement shown by the success-only group, all the students in the attribution-training group were significantly more willing to attribute failure to lack of effort and completed more problems correctly after a failure. Additional evidence that students can be trained to perceive effort attributions for failure and improve their performance has been provided by Andrews & Debus (1978) and Chapin & Dyck (1976). Students participation in psycho-educational decision making process has been extensively researched by Adelman and his colleagues (Adelman, Kaser-Boyd, & Taylor, 1984; Taylor, Adelman, a Kaser-Boyd, 1983; 1985). In the Taylor et al. (1983) study, students who had learning and behavior problems were given the opportunity to participate in decisions relating to their educational plan for the up-coming year. They were provided with a choice of six potential areas in which they could 58

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participate in the decision making process. The result indicated that these students followed through on their decisions and perceived themselves as effective participants in the decision making process. These results seem to further confirm the aforementioned findings of other perceived control psychologists (i.e., Monty & Perlmuter, 1975; Perlmuter & Monty, 1973; 1979; Monty, Rosenberg, & Perlmuter, 1973). Adelman et al. (1984) suggested that when students are not given the opportunity to participate in the psycho-educational decision making process, they are unlikely to demonstrate motivational readiness for treatment. He further contended that low motivational readiness is likely to impede positive treatment adjustment and outcomes. His results seem to further confirm the "learned helplessness" hypothesis of Seligman (1975) and the lack of perceived control constructs of Calsyn (1973) and Stipek (1980). Summary of Strategies and Interventions In designing an intervention to enhance students' perception of control and to improve their motivation one 59

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should take into consideration all of the previously mentioned research and the review of interventions prior to attempting this task. Several control interventions were presented to enhance perceived control and the researchers have emphasized that students be given the opportunity to accept responsibility for their own lives (destiny), provide students with choices and decision making power to their psychoeducational programs, and reinforce effort attributions for student failures. These strategies and interventions have preceded improved satisfaction within the immediate psychoeducational environment and improved student performance. Several of the investigations reported higher perceptions of control, however, other studies did not measure for perceived control. In two of the studies (deCharms, 1976; Wang & Stiles, 1976) the locus of control did not change as a result of control enhancing interventions. However, the implied general consensus appears to be that perceived control enhancing strategies and interventions have a positive effect when applied to practical psychoeducational situations and that perceived control of events is one motivational variable that appears to affect student's academic achievement. 60

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Review of Perceived Control Instrumentation The earliest experiments which investigated the concept of expectancies was conducted by Rotter and James (1958), using 80 college freshman enrolled in an introductory psychology course. In the early research conducted by Phares and Rotter the skill condition represented what Rotter (1966) later defined as an internal locus of control. Conversely, the chance condition was considered the external locus of control. The construct of locus of control (perceived control) was developed to explain different rates of response when individuals perceive that reinforcement has a cause and effect relationship between behavior and reinforcement as compared to the perception that reinforcement is The construct of locus of control (perceived control) has been supported by the results of numerous, aforementioned, studies. Several scales (see Stipek & Weisz, 1981b, for a comprehensive review of 13 scales) have been developed since Rotter's (1966) original 1-E scale was published. What most of these scales have in common is that their statements and questions are based on Rotter's social learning theory of either an internal or external belief. 61

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Most of these scales attempt to assess the relationship between children's scores on a questionnaire that is designed to measure locus of control and scores on some global measure of achievement, although, a few studies have attempted to examine causal direction of the relationship between locus of control and achievement. Stipek and Weisz (1981b) present the following summary of the characteristics of the most commonly used locus of control questionnaire measures for children: The measures have essentially three kinds of formats: agree-disagree, choice of attribution, and open-ended, which are best described by example. The Children's Locus of Control Scale (Bialer, 1961) exemplifies the agree-disagree format . children are presented with a series of belief statements with which they are asked to agree or disagree (e.g., "When somebody gets mad at you, do you usually feel that there is nothing you can do about it?"). The Intellectual Achievement Responsibility (IAR) Questionnaire (Crandall, Katovsky, & Crandall, 1965) is the most widely. used questionnaire measure with the choice of attribution format. Children respond to statements describing hypothetical outcomes by endorsing one of two causes for the outcome (e.g., "When you have trouble understanding something at school, is it usually ... (a) because the teacher didn't explain it clearly, or (b) because you didn't listen carefully?"). The open-ended format is exemplified by the Stephens-Delys Reinforcement Contingency Interview (Stephen & Delys, 1973). Children are asked to reply to open-ended question such as "What makes mothers smile?" (p.103) 62

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Adelman et al.(1986), contend that the bulk of the perce;ved control research that has been completed has focused on adults and has approached the concept from three different focal points: (1) perceived control in relation to stress and health (e.g., the benefits of increased perceived control (see-Langer, 1983), (2) Psychological reactance, seen as a major psychological consequence of loss of perceived control (e.g., psychological reactance as a motivator for reactions to restore perceived control/freedom & Brehm, 1981), (3) the relationship between perceived control (seen as a motivational or personality variable) and specific functioning such as school achievement (e.g.,' see Stipek & Weisz, 1981). This third focus, including work by social learning, attribution, and intrinsic motivation theorists, has involved child samples more than others (p.1006). Adelman et al. (1986), suggest that all three lines of research are relevant to studies of school performance. However, they point out that the available instruments that measure locus of control, attributions, perceived competence, and self-efficacy provide indirect data on perceptions of control over school events and outcomes. Numerous, aforementioned theorists have stressed the importance of independently considering an individual's (a) perceptions about processes necessary to accomplish a specific outcome, (b) expectations about the degree to 63

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which one can control processes, and (c) expectations about accomplishing outcomes (Adelman et al., 1986). Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1986) at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a scale to aid in the investigation of students' perceived control at school. They have developed two related scales (1) the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) and (2) the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PICSS). They present the following rationale: In measuring perceived control, we distinguish between the ability to understand contingencies and the belief one has control over contingencies. We also focus on decision making and approach perceived control as a generalized expectancy with regard to specific types of situations (including processes and outcomes). More specifically, we view perceived control as the degrees of freedom one expects to have over processes that one believes must be pursued to accomplish specific outcomes (including decision making processes and outcomes). In looking at how such perceptions affect behavior, we distinguish the degree of valuing one places on having control over a specific process or outcome. We also recognize that individuals' behavior can be influenced by the degree to which they perceive external control of processes or outcomes (or both) as an intrusive or hostile act (pp.1006-1007). 64

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Conclusions Several themes appear to emerge from this review of the literature. Research findings have supported many (not all) of the theoretical constructs presented by psychologists (i.e., Adelman, Bandura, deCharms, Deci, Lefcourt, Phares, Rotter, Taylor, and White), and many of the studies found a positive relationship between perceived control and academic achievement (see Findley & Cooper, 1983, for a quantitative review of 802 studies, and Stipek & Weisz, 1981b, for a comprehensive review). There have been several intervention studies based on these theories that have demonstrated successful outcomes (e.g., Arlin & Whitley, 1978: deCharms, 1976: Matheny & Edwards, 1974; Wang & Stiles, 1976). Therefore, the construct of perceived control in relation to academic achievement should be considered an important factor in determining students' attitudes, behavior, affect, and motivation at school. 65

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH PROCEDURES Methodology and Design This exploratory study was designed to permit examination of the relationships between: (1) at-risk high school students' perceptions of control at school in varying educational environments (traditional and alternative, SWAP) compared to academically successful high school students; (2) at-risk high school students' perception of the importance of having control at school in varying educational environments (traditional and alternative, SWAP) compared to academically successful high school students; and, (3) at-risk high school students' academic achievement and their perceptions of control at school in varying educational environments (traditional and alternative, SWAP); This study used the survey method to examine the previously mentioned relationships of students perceptions of control. Three groups of students were surveyed from the general population at each of four school sites: (1) at-risk students in the alternative

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educational environment (treatment) group, SWAP, (2) at-risk students in the traditional educational environment (no treatment), and {3) academically successful students in the traditional educational environment. Each of the three groups consisted of 15 students randomly selected from the general population sample pool of students at each of the four participating high school sites. There were a total of 45 subjects at each school site for a grand total of 180 subjects that participated in the study. The subjects were surveyed with the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) and the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PlOSS) to identify how they perceived their sense of control in their respective academic environments. An additional eight items were asked of each student about life and school satisfaction. The nine school sites were selected jointly by the Colorado Alliance of Business and this researcher because each school hosts an in-school alternative program (SWAP). The schools that participated in this study were selected because they indicated that they would cooperate with the researcher, several schools indicated that they 67

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could not participate. The following schools volunteered to participate in this study: (1) Montbello High School, Denver Public School District; (2) Elizabeth High School, Elizabeth School District; (3) Wasson High School, Colorado Springs School District and (4) Sierra High School, Harrison School District (Colorado Springs). Description and Selection of Subjects By design, three groups of students were surveyed: (1) at-risk students in the intervention (SWAP) program (students had to be enrolled a minimal of four months) (2) at-risk students in traditional educational environments (no treatment), and (3) academically successful students in traditional educational environments. The SWAP (treatment) sample was selected first, and in the process of selecting subjects from the pool of SWAP (treatment) students there was an attempt to select a representative sample that reflected the age, grade, gender, ethnicity and GPA's of the total population of SWAP. Once the SWAP random sample was completed there was an attempt to match the two other sample groups, at-risk 68

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students in traditional educational environments and academically successful students in traditional educational environments, to reflect similar characteristics of age, grade, gender and ethnicity of the SWAP sample. The potential at-risk students were identified by teachers, counselors and administrators from their respective schools, using the following criteria suggested by Morley and Clay (1983): they were failing one or more class; low GPA's (less than 1.5); low levels of reading or math; and, a high rate of absenteeism. There was a large enough at-risk population identified that they were randomly assigned as at-risk students in traditional environment (no treatment) and alternative education intervention (treatment) groups, SWAP. Furthermore, an academically successful (GPA of 2.5 or better for the previous three terms) with none of the at-risk student characteristics described by Morley and Clay group of students that were enrolled .in a traditional educational environment, were identified and randomly selected to complete the surveys for a comparison to the two at-risk groups. The schools that participated would not reveal information about individual student academic performance as a result of the students' rights of privacy laws. 69

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However, with the assistance of directors of the SWAP programs and the state representative from the Colorado Alliance of Business they were able to provide the end of term report which included data on the SWAP groups GPA's and attendance percentages, for the three student populations that participated in the study. For example: the at-risk sample reflected a unimproved GPA of 1.5 or less, the pre-SWAP sample reflected a' GPA of 1.37, the post-SWAP sample reflected a GPA of 1.93 and the academically successful sample reflected a maintained GPA of 2.5+. Instrumentation This section describes the development the Perceived Control at School Scale and the parallel instrument designed to measure the degree to which a student values control, the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale, which was developed by Adelman, Smith, Nelson, Taylor, and Phares (1986) at the University of California, Los Angeles. 70

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Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) Adelman et al. (1986) described the PCSS development: At first, twelve items were constructed to tap five control areas in which schools vary: (1) decision making with regard to school socialization processes and outcomes (e.g., focus on learning, rules and consequences for rule violations), (2) reactions of significant others at school to a student's efforts to act autonomously, (3) availability of options and choices, (4) fairness of the rationale for imposed limits, and (5) ability of a student to counter the control efforts of others at school (p.1007). They made efforts to reverse the wording of four items to use the item pairs as a reliability check. When precise opposites were not clear, items were added primarily to determine if positive and negative wordings produced different responses (Adelman et al., 1986). The Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) items: At school, how much of the time do you feel ....... 1. you have a say in deciding about what the rules should be? 2. people don't let you be yourself and act the way you really are? 3. you have a say in deciding about what should happen to you if you break a rule? 71

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4. you can't influence what is happening to you? (opposite created for item 8) 5. people want you to be yourself and to act the way you really are? (opposite created for item 2) 6. people don't let you make decisions? 7. you have a choice about what you are doing or learning? 8. you can influence what is happening to you? 9. the rules make you do things you don't agree with? 10 no matter what you do you probably won't get what you want? 11. you have little choice about what you are doing or learning? 12. you are able to change something if you don't like it? 13. others make your decisions for you? 14. you get to do things in the way you think is right for you? 15. people want you to take part in making decisions? (opposite created for item 6) 16. people don't treat you fairly? (Adelman et al., 1986) In rating the PCSS items, Adelman et al. (1986) used a Likert six-point scale to which students respond with: 1 = never, 2 =not very often, 3 = slightly less than half the time, 4 = slightly more than half the time, 5 = very often, and 6 = always. To counter response sets they let a rating of 6 indicate high perceived control on half 72

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the items and on the other half 6 indicates low perceived control. In computing a total score, ratings on the latter items are reversed to make all ratings comparable; thus total perceived control scores can range from a low of 16 to a high of 96 (Taylor et al., 1989). Taylor et al. (1989) reported that the: Internal consistency of the scale was assessed using Cronbach's (1951) coefficient alpha. For special education samples (combined), alpha=.SO; for the regular education samples (combined), alpha=.69 ............ separate factor analyses of the PCSS data on special and regular education students indicate three common factors that we have labeled (a) personal power/decision making, {b) self-determination, and (c) others' interference with autonomy (p.440). As a direct test of response consistency and as a potential validity index, they recommended the use of several school attitude items {i.e., "How often do you feel like you want to go to school?"). This question was placed at the beginning {item 1a); a negatively worded version was placed at the end (item 1b). Neither was scored as a PCSS item. Items 1 -16 represent the original 16 PCSS items. Taylor's recommendations were incorporated into the rating system that was used in this study. Additional items were recommended by Smith et al. (1987), to further assess student attitudes and affect at 73

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school and life in general, in conjunction with the PCSS. That is, whereas the PCSS measures how much the individual perceives having control at school, these items focus on the respondents' satisfaction with opportunities to make their own decisions and satisfaction with the amount of control they have over their lives in general (p.170). The following items reflect Smith et al. (1987) suggested additions to assess the students' satisfaction with the amount of control they have over their lives in general to be administered in conjunction with the PCSS: Life Satisfaction Items: HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEL 1. that the teacher likes you? 2. that you are being taught in a way that helps with your learning? 3. that what you are being taught is not improving your skills? 4. that you like your teachers? 5. satisfied with the goals .you have set for your education? 6. satisfied with the goals you have set for your future? 7. happy? 8. satisfied with your life? 74

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Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PlOSS) Adelman et al. (1986) report that: The Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale, was developed to elicit student ratings about the degree to which a student values control. This scale excludes the four similar (reversed) items and thus consists of the matters described by the 12 major PCSS items (e.g., At school, how important is it for you .. to take part in deciding about rules? .... to have a choice about what you will be doing or learning?) (p.1008). The PlOSS has been found to have comparable reliability to the PCSS, and the ability of the PCSS to detect group differences is seen as that the PlOSS is sensitive to detecting differences when they exist (Taylor et al., 1989, p.440). In an effort to maintain consistency and facilitate computation of discrepancy scores based on students responses the authors, Smith et al. (1987), suggest to use a similar six-point Likert scale where: 1 =very unimportant to me, 2 = somewhat unimportant to me, 3 = slightly unimportant to me, 4 =slightly important to me, 5 = somewhat important to me, and 6 = very important to me. The aforementioned suggestions were incorporated into the rating .system that was used in this study. 75

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Reliability and Validity of the PCSS and the PICSS Adelman et al. (1986) claim that the: Data on the reliability, validity and factor structure of the PCSS and the PICSS indicate its usefulness as a measure of perceived control at school. With regard to the sets of negative and positively paired perceived control items, the data indicate that, especially for special samples and younger children, these items are not responded to as opposites and load on separate factors. Therefore, we recommend maintaining all 16 items on the PCSS in investigating group and individual differences and relationships between perceived control (e.g., PCSS factors) and other variables (p.1015). Smith et a1.(1987) provided additional evidence to support the use of the PCSS: The index has been validated with both special and regular education samples. Internal consistency (alpha) coefficients (Cronbach, 1951) range from .69 to .80; test-retest reliabilities for special and regular education samples were .80 and .55, respectively Smith and his colleagues (1987) in their current research of students' perceptions of control at school stated that: ... the findings are encouraging not only methodologically, but also in indicating both the positive relationship between perceptions of control at school and attitudes, affect, and 76

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behavior and as an initial validation of the experimental programs. In respect to the research on this type of intervention our experience, combined with the present findings, suggests to us the value of a sequential evaluation strategy, since it appears that enhancement of perceived control comes first and changes in attitude, affect, and behavior gradually follow. In sum, the findirigs the importance of studying the relationship of perceptions of control at school to school attitudes, affect, and behavior and of doing so in both regular and experimental programs. In addition to cross-validating the present findings, future studies will want (a) to use larger samples so that adequate analysis of sex, age, and ethnic differences can be made and (b) to make more highly controlled comparisons among school settings that vary in the degree of student control (p.174). Procedures Careful procedures were followed to assure sincere and careful completion of the instruments by each group. In each case the individuals were assured of anonymity. This was handled by assigning a number to each set of surveys. Further instructions for each instrument clearly described the intent of data collection and the way in which each answer was to be completed (see Appendix A & B). Procedures for the administration were standardized and attention was given to provide consistency and objectivity by the administrator for completion and return of all data. 77

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The problem of non-English-speaking students was addressed and arrangements were made for an interpreter to be present if this situation presented itself. To avoid problems associated with group administration, students were provided with a copy and invited to follow along as each item was read aloud by the researcher. To aid and assist understanding of the ratings and to encourage attention, the rating alternatives were printed below each question and read aloud after each question. The students circled each response. The PICSS was administered first. Average administration time was 15 minutes for each scale. The scale administrator read the following general instructions: We are concerned about knowing what you like and dislike at school and what you think is important and what you don't think is important. We know that not all students see things the same way. We've written down some things that may be important or may not be important to some students; they may or may not be important to you. What we'll do is read these things to you, and then you can tell us how important or unimportant they are to you. After reading the instructions for the PICSS, a sample item was used to ensure that the students understood the directions. In moving from the PICSS to the PCSS, the student was told, "Now, let's talk about how things are for you here at school." ia

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Data Collection Student respondents were asked to mark their appropriate responses on the PCSS and the PICSS. The response sheets were coded for school site, type of academic environment, and type of respondent group information. Data Analysis The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data. Hypotheses testing was accomplished by using the mean scores of the three sample populations. The ANOVA procedure was applied to the total mean scores from the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) and the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PlOSS). A post hoc analysis using a multiple comparison test, Least Significant Differences, was used to further verify the findings of the ANOVA procedure. 79

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CHAPTERS 4 FINDINGS OF THE STUDY Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to report the findings as they relate to the major problems to be studied: (1) Determine how at-risk high school students, in traditional schools, perceive their sense of control at school as compared to at-risk students in an alternative educational environment and academically successful students in traditional high school environments; and, (2) determine if there is a relationship between academic achievement and students' perception of control at school. The study sought to answer five research questions, which led to the development and testing of four hypotheses regarding students' perceived sense of control at school, their perceived value of having control at school and the relationship between academic. achievement and students' perceptions of control at school.

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Research Questions 1. How do at-risk high school students in traditional school environments and in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of control at school? 2. How do at-risk high school students in traditional school environments and in alternative educational environment (SWAP) perceive their sense of control compared to academically successful students in traditional school environments? 3. How do at-risk high school students in the traditional school environment and in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of importance of control at school? 4. How do at-risk high school students in traditional school environments and in alternative educational environment (SWAP) rate their sense of importance of control compared to academically successful students in traditional school environments? 5. Is there a relationship between academic achievement and high school students' perceptions of control at school? 81

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Hypotheses It was hypothesized that there is a relationship between academic achievement and a perceived sense of control at school, specifically: 1. At-risk high school students (no intervention) in a traditional environment wi 11 report :a lower sense of perceived control at school than (a) at-risk high school students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP and (b) academically successful high school students in a traditional environment. 2. There will be a significant difference in how atrisk high school students will report sense of control in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school students in the traditional educational environment. 3. successful high school students in a traditional environment will report a higher sense of importance of perceived control at school than (a) atrisk high school students (no intervention) in a traditional environment and (b) at-risk high school 82

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students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP. 4. There will be a significant difference in the academic achievement of at-risk high school students in the alternative education environment (SWAP) in contrast to the academic achievement of at-risk high school students (no intervention) in the traditional environment for the period of time. Hypotheses Testing To test Hypothesis 1. and 2 the ANOVA procedure was applied to the data of the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) using the total mean scores of the three sample populations. This procedure revealed that there were significant differences for the overall perceptions of control at school among the three groups, F = 6.71, (see Table 1). Table 1 indicated that the SWAP group's total mean scores (M=57.80, SO =11.06) and the academically successful _group's total mean scores (M=59.45, SD=11.43) were significantly higher than the at-risk group's total mean scores (M=52.25, SD=10.31). There was no 83

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Comparison of Group Means for Item Ratings and Total Mean Scores on the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS) Item At school, how much of the time do you feel .. you take part in deciding about rules people let you be yourself (reversed) you have a say in deciding what happens if you break rules you can influence what happens to you (reversed) people want you to be yourself people let you take part in making decisions (reversed) you have a choice about what you do and learn you can influence what happens to you you agree with the rules (reversed) you can get what you want (reversed) you have little choice about what you do or learn (reversed) you are able to change something if you don't like it you make decisions for yourself (reversed) you get to do things the way that is right for you people want you to take part in making decisions people don't treat you fairly (reversed) Total Mean Scores At-Risk SWAP Academic Successful MEAN MEAN (SD) (SD) MEAN F (SD) ratio 2.08 3.10 ( 1 24) ( 1. 54) 3.62 4.32 ( 1. 78) ( 1. 61} 2.33 (1.04) 4.62 (1.21) 2.12 2.35 2.07 (1.17) (1.19) (1.23) 4. 12 ( 1. 25) 3.27 ( 1. 67) 4.03 ( 1. 34) 2.85 ( 1. 52) 3.65 ( 1. 38) 2.95 ( 1. 55) 3.57 ( 1. 53) 4.20 (1.47) 3.93 ( 1. 60) 3.88 ( 1.44) 3.58 ( 1. 64) 4.32 ( 1. 36) 2.87 ( 1. 36) 3.40 ( 1. 40) 4.45 (1.11) 4.30 ( 1. 43) 4.03 (1.16) 3.17 ( 1. 46) 4.32 ( 1. 36) 3.85 ( 1.45) 4. 15 ( 1. 26) 3.58 3.63 3.72 (1.37) (1.29) (1.22) 2.50 ( 1. 32) 4.70 ( 1. 62) 2.92 (1.50) 3.83 ( 1. 53) 2.78 ( 1. 80) 3.98 ( 1. 57) 3.33 3.83 3.98 (1.36) (1.30) (1.10) 3.22 3.68 3.52 (1.43) (1.40) (1.28) 3.50 3.80 3.52 (1.38) (1.42) (1.25) 52.45 57.80 59.45 (10.31)(11.06) (11.43) 10.16** 6.57** 0.96 1.42 6.68** 0.26 3.42* 5.25* 8.46** 4.72** 0. 17 1.51 0.09 4.54** 1. 79 3.58** 6.71** = 2<.05; ** = 2<.01 level 84

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significant difference between the SWAP group's total mean score and the academically successful group's total mean scores. The post hoc, Least Significant Difference, procedure further verified the ANOVA findings at the .05 level. The probability of a Type I error is one in ten thousand with alpha being .05. The Least Significant Difference test was selected since it is a liberal measure (the Least Significant Difference, Significant Difference and the Scheffe procedures were explored with similar results). The obtained F ratio (6.71) is significantly larger than the critical value of L (at Q<.0016) and two of the sample means, academically successful group and SWAP group differ from the sample means of the at-risk (no intervention) group. Hypothesis 1. At-risk high school students (no intervention) in a traditional environment will report a lower sense of perceived control at school than (a) atrisk high school students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP and (b) academically successful high school students in a traditional environment. The at-risk (no intervention) group's total mean score on the Perceived Control at School Scale (see Table 1) was the lowest of the three groups and significantly 85

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lower than the SWAP group and the academically successful group. The academically successful groups total mean score on the Perceived Control at School Scale (see Table 1) was the highest of the three groups and significantly higher than the mean score of the at-risk group in the traditional educational environment. The ANOVA procedure revealed that there were significant differences among the three groups (see Table 2). The post hoc, Least Significant Difference procedure further verified the ANOVA findings at the .OS level, thereby allowing the acceptance of this hypothesis. An analysis of the PCSS items (Table 1) further revealed that the at-risk group (no intervention) in the traditional educational environment scored the lowest on all sixteen items and that the academically successful group scored highest on nine of the sixteen items. These findings provided additional support for this hypothesis: the at-risk (no intervention) students were significantly different from the academically successful students and the at-risk students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP. Hvpothesis 2. There will be a significant difference in how at-risk high school students will report their sense of control in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high 86

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school students in the traditional educational environment. The at-risk high school students receiving intervention in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) reported a significantly higher sense of control at school when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school students in the traditional educational environment (see Table 1). The ANOVA procedure revealed that there were significant differences among the two groups (see Table 2). The post hoc, Least Significant Difference procedure further verified the ANOVA findings at the .05 level, thus allowing the acceptance of this hypothesis. Table 2 ANOVA of PCSS Total Mean Scores At-risk SWAP Academically F ratio Successful Mean 52.45 57.80 59.45 6.71** SD (10.31) (11.06) (11.43) ** = J;t(.01 level In the analysis of the items of the PCSS (Table 1), nine items were significantly different between the SWAP group in the alternative educational environment and the at-risk (no intervention) group in the traditional educational environment. In fact, the SWAP group scored 87

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higher on six items than did the academically successful group. These items were: you take part in decisions about rules; you have influence over what happens to you; you have a choice about what you learn; people treat you fairly; people want you to take part in making decisions; and, you are able to change things. These findings provided additional support of Hypothesis 2 by the indication that there were significant differences between the two at-risk groups. The SWAP students reported that they perceived having more control over their decision making processes and indicated that they were more involved in the participation (choices) of the educational process at school, than the at-risk students in the traditional environment reported perceiving. In fact, the SWAP students' responses on the PCSS (see Table 1) were very similar to the reported perceptions of the academically successful students responses. To test Hypothesis 3 the ANOVA procedure was applied to the data of the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (PICSS). Total scores of the three population samples revealed that there were significant differences (F= 4.43, when compared to the 88

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academically successful group's total mean score (M = 66.57, SO= 3.84) and the other two groups' total mean scores, at-risk with no intervention ( M = 64.07, SO= 5.61) and SWAP (M = 64.63, SO= 7.47). The post hoc, Least Significant Difference procedure further verified the significant ANOVA findings at the .05 level. Based on these findings that the mean of the academically successful group was significantly different from the two at-risk groups, hypotheses 3 can be accepted (see Table 3). Table 3 ANOVA of PICSS Total Mean Scores At-risk Mean 64.07 so 5.61 SWAP 64.63 7.47 Academically Successful 66.57 3.84 F ratio 4.43 Hypothesis 3. Academically successful high school students in a traditional environment will report a higher sense of importance of perceived control at school than (a) at-risk high school students (no intervention) in a traditional environment and (b) at-risk high school.

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students receiving intervention in the alternative environment, SWAP. The academically successful 9roup's total mean score on the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale was the highest of the three groups (see Table 3) and significantly higher than the total mean score of the atrisk (no intervention) group in the traditional educational environment and the total mean score of the at-risk in the alternative educational environment, SWAP. The ANOVA procedure revealed that there were significant differences between one group, the academically successful students and the two at-risk groups (see Table 3). The post hoc, Least Significant Difference procedure further verified the ANOVA findings at the .05 level, thereby allowing the acceptance of this hypothesis. The at-risk students (no intervention) in the traditional educational environment and the at-risk students in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) groups' total mean scores on the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale were very similar and significantly lower than the academically successful group's total mean score (see Table 3). The findings provided additional support for this hypothesis. Although there was a significant difference between the academically successful group and the at-risk group (no intervention) in the traditional environment, the 90

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analysis of the items of the PICSS responses revealed that the group differences were negligible and that all three of the student sample populations highly valued the importance of having control at school. For example, significant differences were found only on a total of three items for the three groups sampled. Since the item responses, by group, were negligible, the mean ratings for the total combined sample on each item are presented in rank order in Table 4 to demonstrate how the total student sample rated the importance of having control at school. As can be seen, the overall means range from 4.76 to 5.94 (on a 6-point scale). The highest ranked items, while not statistically significant, were those related to: control over one's life; being treated fairly; making decisions for oneself; feeling that one's efforts are effective; and being able to be oneself. The means of all thirteen items (see Table 4) were on the high, positive side of the scale (i.e., 4.0 or higher). The lowest ranked items all had to do with control related to rules at school: rules that keep one from doing things; rule changes; deciding rules and discussion of school improvements. 91

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Table 4 Rank-ordered Means Ratinss for the Total Sample Responses to the Perceived Importance of Control at School Scale (P ICSS). Item At school, how important is it to you ......... to have control over your life to have people treat you fairly able to get what you want to make your own decisions to be yourself to do things in a way you think is right for you to make plans to get what you want to influence what happens to you that others do not make decisions for you able to change something you don't like to seriously discuss suggestions for improvements to have influence over what happens to you not to have rules that keep you from doing things Total Score Total Sample (N =180) Mean so 5.94 0.27 5.69 0.64 5.69 0.61 5.69 0.60 5.61 0.66 5.57 0.64 5.56 0.66 5.50 0.60 5.42 1. 12 5.25 1.05 5.02 1. 20 5.01 1.06 4.76 1.25 64.76 5.94

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These findings provided additional support for hypotheses 3 and in addition revealed that all the atrisk students and academically successful students value the importance of having control at school and have expressed a desire to have input on decisions that affect them on a day to day basis at school, as well as choices and decisions that affect their educational endeavors and their personal lives. To test Hypothesis 4 which states that: There will be a significant difference in the academic achievement of at-risk high school students in the alternative education environment (SWAP) in contrast to the academic achievement of at-risk high school students (no intervention) in the traditional environment for the same period of time. This researcher had to rely on the data provided by each school. The schools that participated would not reveal information about individual student academic performance (based on the students' rights of privacy laws). Therefore the statistical analysis of the fifth hypothesis could not be performed and the hypothesis could not be accepted or rejected. However, with the assistance of the directors of the SWAP programs at the school level and the 93

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representative from the Colorado Alliance of Business, data about the group GPA's of the three student populations that participated in this study were obtained. For example: the at-risk group and the preSWAP group reflected a GPA of 1.37; the SWAP group reflected an improved GPA of 1.83 over the previous two terms, and the academically successful group reflected a maintained GPA of 2.56. The GPA of the SWAP sample populations indicated an academic achievement improvement by the SWAP group over their previous semesters' academic performance (see Table 5). Table 5 Mean GPA's of At-Risk/Pre-SWAP and SWAP bv School and by Year (At-risk) (At-risk) School Pre-SWAP SWAP Pre-SWAP SWAP (1989-90) (1989-90) (1990-91) ( 1990-91) El habeth 1. 25 1.90 N.A. 1. 70 Montbello 1. 60 2.00 1.49 2.23 Sierra 1. 20 2.09 1.08 1. 19 Wasson 1.44 1. 72 1. 54 2.20 Mean GPA"s 1.37 1.93 1.37 1.83 The Colorado Alliance for Business in the annual SWAP 1989-90 and 1990-91 Evaluation Summaries (see Appendix D), provided additional corroboration from the

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data collected from the four SWAP programs. The 1989-90 report revealed that the SWAP students improved their GPA's from 1.43 to 1.91, a increase, in all classes and from 1.46 to 2.25, an increase of for the SWAP classes. The SWAP groups Mean GPA improved from 1.37 to 1.93, an increase of 41,. The 1990-91 report revealed a smaller increase in improvement from the previous years Mean GPA from 1.37 to 1.83, an increase of (see Table 5). The SWAP students improved their attendance in all classes to (1989-90) and to 84.5% (1990-91). The average at-risk and Pre-SWAP attendance rate was This represents an increase of for 1989-90 academic year and a increase for 1990-91 academic year (see Tab 1 e 6). Table 6 Comparison of At-risk/Pre-SWAP and SWAP Students Attendance (At-risk) School Pre-SWAP SWAP SWAP (1989-90) (1989-90) ( 1990-91) Elizabeth 81, 95, 79% Montbello 70, 89, Sierra no pre SWAP data 79, Wasson Mean 86.5%

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The aforementioned data was further supported by interviewing teachers and counselors at each school site. They reported that students in the SWAP programs had improved attitudes toward school which was reflected in the SWAP students improved GPA's (see Table 5) and attendance (see Table 6) when compared to their previous semesters' performance. This improved attitude toward school could be further verified by the significant findings found on the analysis of the items of the SWAP students' reported perceptions that "the teacher likes you" and.that "you are being taught in a way that helps you with your learning" when compared to the at-risk students (no intervention) groups' mean responses (see Table 7). Table 7 ANOVA of Attitude Toward School Items Item At-risk SWAP Academic successful How often do you Mean Mean Mean F fee 1 (SO) (SO) (SO) ratio that the teacher 3.60 4.08 4.20 3.94** likes you ( 1. 24) (1.28) ( 1. 20) that you are being taught in a way that helps with 3.45 3.90 4. 18 5.32** your learning ( 1. 27) ( 1. 35) ( 1 08) = .e.<.OS; = .e.<. 01 level

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Summary of Findings Hypothesis 1: At-risk high students reported a significantly lower sense of perceived control at school than the academically successful and the SWAP high school students reported. Academically successful high school students reported a significantly higher sense of perceived control at school than the at-risk (no intervention) high school students reported. When the academically successful students were compared with the SWAP students perceptions of control they were very similar. Hypothesis 2: The at-risk high school students receiving intervention in the alternative educational environment (SWAP) reported a significantly higher sense of control at school when compared to at-risk (no intervention) high school students in the traditional educational environment. Hypothesis 3: Academically successful high school students reported a significantly higher sense of importance of perceived control at school than (a) atrisk (no intervention) high school students and (b) SWAP high school students reported. When the at-risk (no intervention) high school students were compar .ed to the SWAP (intervention) students, their sense of importance of control was very similar. 97 /

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Hypothesis 4: Although statistical analysis could not be performed on the sample populations, there was adequate data to discern an improvement in the academic achievement of the students that participated in the alternative education program. The academic performance of the at-risk/pre-SWAP students with a GPA of 1.37 in the traditional environment, when compared to the academic performance of the SWAP students with an improved GPA of 1.83 after two terms in the alternative education environment, SWAP. Background and Demographic Data The four schools that participated in this study all indicated that they had a large portion of their total student population identified as potential at-risk students. Three of these schools appeared to be located in middle to lower middle socio-economic communities that were multi-ethnic. The fourth school was in a rural community that is considered to be a bedroom community of Denver, with a very small ethnic representation. All of these schools volunteered to participate in the School-to-Work Action Program (SWAP), which would indicate the schools' needs for assistance with their at risk students. 98

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The demographic data were collected to further define the sample of students. An exploratory ANOVA on these data indicated no significant statistical difference in relation to item content on the PCSS or the PICSS. Taylor et al., (1989) suggested that the small sample size would impede satisfactory analyses of age, sex and ethnic differences, which is consistent with the findings of this study and the current research of Taylor et al .. The following frequency of responses and percents as indicated, in Tables 8 -12, are presented only to further describe the composition of the sample population. Table 8 Gender Composition Sex Male Female Number of Respondents 100 80 99 Percent 55.0 45.0

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Table 9 Ethnic Composition Ethnicity American Indian Asian Hispanic Black Caucasian Table 10 Number of Respondents 1 9 38 52 80 Grade Level in School Grade 9 10 11 12 Table 11 Age of Respondents Years of Age 14 15 16 17 18 19 Number of Respondents 25 59 65 37 Number of Respondents 18 33 62 46 18 3 100 Percent 0.6 5.0 21.1 28.9 44.4 Percent 13.9 32.8 36.1 17. 2 Percent 10.0 18.3 30.4 25.6 10.0 1.7

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Table 12 Years in School Number of Years Respondents Percent 9 6 3.3 10 17 9.3 1 1 59 32.8 12 69 38.3 13 26 14.4 14 1 0.6 101

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary of Study During the past 30 years, much has been written about school reform, and many research efforts have been undertaken in an effort to more fully identify, clarify and understand the nature and extent of the school's influence on its students. Chance (1988) reported that more than 275 education task forces reports had been generated, and at least 18 book-length national reports intending to improve schools were published during the 1980's, not to mention all the professional texts. Yet, at the same time there has been a gradual increase in the percentage of students dropping out of school prior to graduation (Digest of Educational Statistics. 1988 & 1990). During this same period of time the concept of perceived control had been a populr area of research, specifically in relation to its impact on achievement,

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productivity and satisfaction in the schools (e.g., Rotter, 1966; 1979; Stipek & Weisz, 1981b; Findley & Cooper, 1983; Weisz, Rothbaum, & Blackburn, 1984; Chapman & Skinner, 1985; Rothbaum & Weisz, 1989). James Coleman et al., (1966) in his research on student achievement provided the initial impetus to the concept of perceived control to Congress in 1966. He suggested that: ... a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have stronger relationship to achievement than do all the 'school' factors together,is the extent to which an individual feels that he has control over his destiny (p.23). In addition to the literature on perceived control, there is an enormous body of literature on alternative approaches to education which emphasize the importance of providing students with the opportunity to participate in the decision making process and to provide students with choices that affect their educational and life goals. Benjamin (1979); Boyer (1988); Butchart (1986); Chance (1988); Duke & Muzio (1978); Glasser (1986); Kyle et al. {1986); Morley & Clay {1983); Raywid {1984; 1989) and Smith, Gregory and Pugh (1981) contend that alternative approaches to educating students have provided educators with a remarkable, sound foundation of educational models that benefit the student. Students in these programs

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have demonstrated improvements in attitude toward school and the learning process, in attendance, in achievement, and in behavior patterns. Most, if not all, of the alternative approaches have clearly provided students with the choice of rather than the assignment to enter their programs. They are participatory in nature and encourage students to make decisions for themselves. The alternative educational approaches have, in most cases, been applying the fundamental constructs of perceived control theory with their students. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between academic achievement and at-risk high school student's perceived importance of control at school and perceptions of control at school in varying educational environments. Specifically, at-risk students in alternative educational environments (treatment\SWAP) were compared to at-risk students in traditional educational environments and academically successful students in traditional educational environments. In the past 30 years there has been considerable evidence supporting the construct of perceived control 104

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and its relationship to attitudes and behavior. The human potential movement of the 1960s led by educators and psychologists (Combs & Snygg, 1959; Glasser, 1969; 1986; Maslow, 1962; and Rogers, 1969; 1977) addressed the importance of freedom of choice as an integral part of the education process. The business and industrial psychologists ( Argyris, 1960; 1962; 1964; Benne et al., 1962; Blake et al., 1964; Bennis, 1963; 1966; Gardner, 1963; McGregor, 1960) were dealing with corporate change and organizational development. They were stressing the importance of employee participation in the decision making process if corporations were to make effective changes and increase productivity in their companies. Over the past decade perceived control psychologists (Baum & Singer, 1980; Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Cole & Sapp, 1988; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek & Weisz, 1981b) have made similar suggestions to educators in relation to the need to increase teacher and student participation in the decision making processes in schools. In relation to this study the definition of Perceived Control (outlined in greater detail in Chapter 3) was accepted as presented by Adelman et al. (1986) and Taylor et al. (1983; 1985; 1989) which was: 105

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... the degree of freedom one expects to have over the processes that one believes must be pursued in order to accomplish particular outcomes. More specifically, we distinguish between the ability to understand contingencies and the belief that one has control over contingencies; we include a focus on decision making; and we approach perceived control as a generalized expectancy with regard to specific types of situations (including processes and outcomes) (Adelman et al., 1986, p.1006). In examining how such perceptions affect behavior, Adelman et al. (1986) distinguish the degree of valuing that students place on having control over a specific process or outcome. They also recognize that individuals' behavior can be influenced by the degree to which they perceive external control of processes or outcomes (or both) as an intrusive or hostile act. In a recent study of students' perceptions on control Taylor et al. (1989) concluded that their indicated that students: ... differ significantly in their perceptions of control related to areas of functioning at school, such youngsters are quite comparable in the areas over which they value having control. Their responses indicate that they value control at school quite highly (p.442). The overall findings of this study corroborate and support the current research of Adelman et al. Smith et al. (1987), and Taylor et al. (1983; 1985; 1989). 106

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The findings of this study clearly support Hypotheses 1 and 2 and are an indication that there is a positive relationship between high school students' perceived control at school and academic success. The research from this study indicated that there were significant differences between the two at-risk groups. The at-risk SWAP students' responses were consistently higher on 75' of the items on the Perceived Control at School Scale (PCSS). The total mean score also reflected this statistical sisnificant higher response pattern (F ratio= 6.71; at 2<.0016). In fact, the SWAP group's total mean score was more closely related to the academically successful group's total mean score. The at-risk SWAP students in the alternative educational environment reported a greater sense of control at school than did the at-risk students in the traditional educational environment. The academically successful students in the traditional educational environment reported the highest sense of control at school, yet the SWAP students' sense of control was very similar. The at-risk SWAP students reported the highest sense of control on several items on the PCSS: you have influence over what happens to you; people treat you fairly; and, you have input into the decision making processes. 107

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The degree to which students believe they have control over choice and action as it relates to school performance has been studied by McGhee & Crandall (1968), Kail (1975), Arlin & Whitley (1978), Kanifer & Grimm (1978), deCharms (1979), Stipek (1980), Stipek & Weisz (1981a; 1981b), Weisz & Stipek (1982), Adelman & Taylor (1982), Dweck & Elliott (1983), Findley & Cooper (1983), Skinner & Chapman (1983), Taylor et al. (1983; 1985; 1989), Adelman et al. (1984; 1986), Smith et a1. (1987), Cole & Sapp (1988), and Rothbaum & Weisz (1989). The aforementioned researchers have emphasized that the construct of perceived control encompasses the belief that one is able to choose from various courses of action and affect outcomes. Langer (1983) further notes that what is important is that individuals believe they have control, not whether specific outcomes occur. The findings of this research corroborate and supported by the current literature (Adelman & Taylor, 1989; Boggiano et a1., 1988; Boss & Taylor, 1989; Colorado Alliance of Business, 1989; 1990; 1991; Glasser, 1986; Grant, 1988; Harris, 1988; Keith et al., 1986; Nunn et al., 1986; Raywid, 1989; Rothbaum & Weisz, 1989; Scott, 1985; Sharma, 1986; Smith et al., 1987; Taylor et ., 1985; 1986; 1989; Walden & Rashner, 1983; Weisz et al., 1984). Students who have a sense of perceived 108

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control at school tend to be academically successful. The research findings from this study clearly supported Hypothesis 3 which indicated that there were no significant differences between how at-risk students rate their value of importance of control in traditional school environments or alternative educational environments. When the two at-risk groups were compared to the academically successful group, the academically successful group's responses were significantly higher than those of the other two at-risk groups. This finding provided additional support Hypotheses 4 and are an indication that the academically successful students highly valued their sense of importance of control at school. However, it would be cogent to point out that all three group samples' total mean scores were high on this measure (SWAP= 63.63, at-risk= 64.07 and academically successful = 66.57), which provides us with some indication of how important perceived control at school is to all the high school students who participated in this study (see Tables 3 & 4). These results are consistent with the current research of Adelman et al. (1986), Smith et al. (1987) and Taylor et al. (1983; 1985; 1989) that has demonstrated that students can voice-clear perceptions 109

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about how important it is to have a sense of control at school. Hypothesis 4 addresses the relationship between academic achievement and high school students' perception of control at school (a comparison of the academic performance of the three groups in question: at-risk students in traditional educational environments, at-risk students in the alternative educational environment, SWAP and academically successful students in the traditional educational environment). The participating schools were able to select a random sample from the student population of the three different groups of students that participated in this study. The SWAP sample was selected first to reflecte the mean GPA of the representative SWAP population, as well as age, gender and ethnicity. Once the SWAP random sample was completed there was an attempt to match the other sample groups to be similar in demographic characteristics. Correspondingly, the academically successful sample group reflected a maintained mean GPA of 2.5+ for three previous terms and the at-risk (no intervention) sample group reflected a GPA of 1.37 (data provided by the Colorado Alliance of Business, 1991; see Appendix D). 110

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The fact that the improved mean GPA for the total SWAP population at the four schools that participated in this study was 1.93 (1990) and (1991) (see Table 5) is a clear indication of academic improvement, considering that less than six months earlier these same students academic performances (mean GPA of 1.37) and attendance performances (see Tables 5 & 6) were very similar to the students in the at-risk student (no intervention) group in the traditional educational environment. Teachers and counselors provided further confirmation that the at-risk SWAP students had improved attitudes toward school, which was reflected by improved attendance and the SWAP group"s improved mean GPA. This improved attitude toward school and learning is somewhat supported by the analysis of the attitude toward school items (see Table 7), which suggested there was a significant improvement in attitude toward school by the SWAP students responses. The alternative educational approach provided by the SWAP program is another clear indicator that providing students with choices and more responsibility for their own learning has a direct, positive correlation to student academic achievement. Stipek and (1981a, p.119) in their extensive 1 1 1

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review, reported that some of the most impressive and educationally relevant research examining the relationship between perceived control and academic achievement comes from the classroom intervention studies conducted by Matheny & Edwards (1974) and Wang & Stiles (1976). They provided their students with greater control over their behavior (i.e., choices of tasks and more responsibility for their own learning) and enhanced their perceptions of control of outcomes. The implied general consensus appears to be that perceived control enhancing strategies and interventions have a positive effect when applied to practical psychoeducational situations and that perceived control of events is one motivational variable that appears to affect students' academic achievement (Adelman et al., 1984; Adelman, Kaser-Boyd, & Taylor, 1984; Andrews & Debus, 1978; Boggiano et a1.,1988; Boss & Taylor, 1989; Brog, 1985; Chapin & Dyck, 1976; Collier et al., 1987; deCharms, 1976 & 1979; Douglas & Powers, 1982; Dweck, 1975; Findley & Cooper, 1983; Harris, 1988; Keith et al., 1986; Nunn et al., 1986; Payne & Payne, 1989; Powers & Wagner, 1983; Sharma, 1986; Walden & Ramey, 1983). 112

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Summary of Major Findings 1. The major findings of this study indicate that although at-risk high school students in traditional educational environments differ significantly (F = 6.71, p<.0016) in their perceptions of control at school from at-risk high school students in alternative educational environments (SWAP) and academically successful students in traditional educational environments, these students are very comparable in their ratings of how they value the importance of control at school. Their robust responses explicitly indicated that they greatly valued having control at school When considered as a group, high school students voice clear perceptions about their sense of control in a school setting (e.g., Taylor et al. 1983, 1985, 1989; Smith et al. 1987). 2. More specifically, the finding that the at-risk, SWAP group in the alternative educational environment had comparable total mean scores on the PCSS with the academically successful students in the traditional educational environment suggests that at-risk, SWAP students perceive themselves as having more control at school than the at-risk students in the traditional educational environment. The at-risk students in the traditional educational environment reported that they 1 13

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perceive themselves as having the least amount of control at schoo 1. 3. More significant is finding the SWAP (at-risk with treatment) group's higher sense of perceived control at school in the alternative educational environment. The fact that less than six months earlier these students' responses might have been similar to the atrisk groups' sense of control at school suggests that such perceptions can be changed and improved. This finding further confirms the earlier research of deCharms (1976), Wang & Stiles (1976) on the effectiveness of programs designed to strengthen such perceptions and the quantitative reviews of research investigating the relationship between perceived control and academic achievement presented by Stipek & Weisz (1981b) and Findley & Cooper (1983). The current research of Adelman et al. (1986); Smith et al. (1987); Taylor et al. (1989) provide further corroboration of these findings. 4. The participating schools' teachers and counselors confirmed that the SWAP students had improved attitudes toward school, which was reflected by improved attendance and the Groups GPA (1.93), thus lending support to the hypothesis that the students in the alternative educational program (SWAP) did 114

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demonstrate improved academic achievement. Based on the data and findings of this study, the. SWAP groups treatment (alternative educational environment) appeared to make a significant difference in the final outcome of the SWAP students perceptions of control at school and their academic performance. There is a clear indication that the SWAP students perceive that they are participating in the educational processes and that they feel that they have choices that influence what happens to them. 5. The research findings from this study support the value of examining the relationship between perceived control at school and attitudes toward school, students' behavior in the context of alternative or experimental educational interventions (e.g., see Smith et a1.,1987 and Taylor et al., 1985; 1989). Conclusion Based on the findings of this study it appears that the alternative educational environment of SWAP, which encourages student participation in the decision making 115

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processes and offers students an increased opportunity for choice and responsibility for their decisions and behavior, has had a significant impact on at-risk high school students' perception of control at school. The SWAP students' perception of control was very similar to that of the academically successful student. This improved sense of control is also reflected in the SWAP students' attitude toward school and their improved academic performance. The findings of this study suggest that there is a positive relationship between a perceived sense of control at school and academic achievement. Students' perceptions of control appears to have a direct relationship to academic performance. These findings further confirm the recommendations suggested by the Coleman Report (1966): ...... the fact that attitudes such as a sense of control of the environment [at school], or a belief in the responsiveness of the environment [at school], are extremely highly related to academic achievement (p.325). The student's perceived loss or lack of control at school has implications for all educators, especially for those who tend to use greater external control in the management of student problem behavior. It may be counterproductive and in many cases lead to increases in negative behavior (Adelman et al., 1986; Taylor et al., 1989). The research of Deci & Ryan (1985) on intrinsic 116

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motivation suggests that external control over students may undermine motivation to change and learn. Based on this study, it seems imperative to consider alternative intervention strategies/environments which hold the promise of augmenting intrinsic motivation, with emphasis on self determination and enhancing perceptions of control, for overcoming negative patterns of student attitudes toward school, behavior and affect. The message to educators is that providing successful learning environments for students is important (Sergiovanni, 1987), but as educators we have an additional responsibility of teaching students the relationship between their behavior and their performance (outcomes). Performance can be optimized when students accept the responsibility for successes, and understand that effort and persistence can overcome failures (Meyer, 1979). The findings of this study have clearly demonstrated that perceptions of control and achievement can be enhanced, in a relatively short period of time, by providing students with the opportunity to participate in their own educational decisions and by furnishing them with a greater range of choices than what is currently provided in traditional educational environments. Research observations of this study include: The four schools that participated in this study volunteered 117

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to participate in the School-to-Work Action Program (SWAP). All four schools had a completely different alternative educational curriculum, their student management systems were different, their grading systems were different, their scheduling of classes was different. What was consistent in all of the alternative educational SWAP programs was the key to their success, the ability to incorporate the following components (which were considered as the intervention/treatment of the at-risk students): 1. Voluntary participation of teachers corrmitted to work as a team and committed to teach students the learning how to learn process. 2. Teachers committed to the philosophy of alternative education as outlined by Boyer (1988), Futrell (1989), Glasser (1986), Goodlad (1984), Raywid (1984; 1989) and Orlich (1989) in a naturalistic setting. 3. The development of an interdisciplinary curr i cu 1 um based on we 11-def i ned va 1 ues, outcomes and goals. 4. Block scheduling of classes for students and teachers that allows for alternative teaching strategies to accomplish educational objectives and goals. 118

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5. A curriculum that incorporates many learning styles and teaching approaches/strategies that emphasize connectedness and integration of content materials and activities. 6. Voluntary participation by students committed to improve themselves (educationally). Recommendations Based on the findings of this exploratory study the construct of perceived control in relation to students academic achievement should be considered an important factor in influencing students' attitudes, behavior, affect and motivation at school. When planning to design an intervention to enhance students' perception of control and to improve their motivation one should take into consideration the extensive reviews of the literature (Findley & Cooper, 1983; Stipek & Weisz, 1981b) and the current research (Adelman et a1.,1986; Nunn et al., 1986; Smith et al., 1987; Taylor et al., 1985; 1989) and the writings of Boyer (1988), Futrell (1989), Glasser (1986), Goodlad (1984), Raywid (1984; 1989), Rogers (1969; 1977) and Orlich (1989) prior to attempting this task. The general 119

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consensus is that to provide interventions that enhance perceived control one must emphasize that students be given the opportunity to accept responsibility for their own lives/destiny (i.e., Coleman et al., 1966), provide students with choices and decision making power relevant to their psycho-educational programs, and reinforce attributions for student failures. Recommendations for school administrators: Before an a 1 ternat i ve education a 1 program, as descr i bed in this study, can be implemented, administrators must be aware that the process of change requires leadership that can provide dynamic role models for teachers. In addition, the change process requires the understanding of human behavior and the knowledge of how to motivate teachers and students. As educators we must understand the learning how to learn process and be willing to take the time and make the effort to plan and provide this opportunity for our students. We must take the risk of giving up control over students and even consider the concept that they might know what is better for themselves. Finally, we must change the role of teachers from that of an information giver to that of a learning facilitator. The final recommendations of this study are simply: 1) to allow high school students to experience their 120

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constitutional rights as citizens of this great country, 2) to practice what we as teachers have been teaching (preaching) to our students for &ight years prior to their entry into high school, citizenship, 3) to plan, guide and facilitate students to have the experience of control of their destiny and the responsibility that comes with it, 4) to help them become fully functioning adults. Recommendations for Further Study 1. Additional studies in the area of perceived control at school should be undertaken to provide a larger data base for this research and should include larger samples in order to develop satisfactory analyses of age, sex, ethnic and socio-economic status differences. 2. Another area for future investigation was suggested by the current research of Smith et al., (1987) and Taylor et al., (1985; 1989) which raises the question about those students who highly value the importance of control at school but are not experiencing it in traditional educational environments. 121

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In terms of individual differences, we hypothesize that those students who perceive little sense of control in relation to several areas they greatly value are likely to manifest in antisocial or aggressive behavior (such as truancy, fighting, and other negative behavior at school) (Taylor et al., 1989, p.442). The findings of this study clearly indicate that, as a group, at-risk students in traditional educational environments can be expected to experience considerable frustration in this regard. 3. The perceived control instruments (PCSS & PICSS) that were developed by Adelman et al. (1986) and used in this study could very well be adapted to be used in schools to provide teachers and administrator with an indication of how students perceive their level of control in their school environment. These instruments could also be used in different schools in the same district as an additional source of input for curriculum planners and for the assessment of student needs. 122

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APPENDIX A PERCEIVED CONTROL AT SCHOOL SCALE (PCSS)

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STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE CPCSS> Date __________________________________ __ Student Number
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I 4. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL that you can't influence what is happening to you? never' not too slightly less slightly more very always often than half the than half the often time time S. AT SCHOOL, HOW.MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL people want you to be yourself and to act the way you really feel? never not too often slightly 1 ess than half the time slightly more than half the time 6. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU rEEL very always often people don't let you take part in making decisions? never not too often slightly less than half tlie time slightly more than half the time 7. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL very always often that you have a choice about what you are doing or learning? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 8. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL very always often that you can influence what is happening to you? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 9. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF" THE TIME DO YOU FEEL very always often that the rules make you do things you don't agree with? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 10. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL very always often that no matter what you do, you won't get what you want? never not too often slightly 1 ess than half the time 125 slightly more than half the time very always often

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11. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL that you have very little choice about what you are doing or learning? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 12. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL very always often you are able to change something if you don't like it? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 13. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL other people make your dec:isions for you? never not too often slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time 14, AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU rEEL very always often very always often you get to do things in a way that you think is right for you? never not too often slightly less than half the time s_l i ght 1 y more than half the time very always often 15. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL people want you to take part in making decisions? never not too slightly less slightly more often than half the than half the time time 16. AT SCHOOL, HOW MUCH OF THE TIME DO YOU FEEL never 1 B. never people don't not too often HOW OFTEN DO like you just not too often treat you fairly? slightly less than half the time YOU FEEL don't want to slightly less than half the time slightly more than half the time go to school? slightly more than half the time 126 very always often very always often very always often

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ITE"S: 1. HOW OrTEN DO YOU rEEl never that the techer likes you? not too often slightly less than half the time 2. HOW OrTEN DO YOU rEEl slightly more than half the time very always often that you are being taught in way that helps with your learning? never not too often slightly less than half the time 3. HOW OrTEN DO YOU slightly more than half the time very always often that what you being taught is not improving skills? never not too often slightly less than half the time 4. HOW OrTEN DO YOU rEEL that you like your never not too often slightly less than half the time 5. HOW Do YOU satisfied with the goals you never not too slightly less often than half the time 6. HOW OrTEN DO YOU satisfied with the goals you never not too slightly less often than half the time 7. HOW OrTEN DO YOU happy? never not too slightly less often than half the time e. HOW OrTEN DO YOU satisfied about your life? never not too slightly less often than half the time 127 slightly more than half the time slightly more than hal f the time have' set for your slightly more than half the time have set for your slightly more than half the time slightly more than half the time slightly more than half the time very always often very always often education? very always often future? very always often very always often very always often

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APPENDIX B PERCEIVED IMPORTANCE OF CONTROL AT SCHOOL SCALE (PICSS)

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STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE Student Number
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6. AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU to have people treat you fairly? very somewhat unimportant unimporant sl igl'lt 1 y unimportant slightly important 7. AT SCHOOL HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU . somewhat important very important not to have rules which are meant to keep you from doing things you think you should be allowed to do? very unimportant somewhat unimporant slightly unimportant slightly important 8. AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU somewhat important that others do not make most of your decisions for you? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slightly unimportant slightly important AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU somewhat important to be able to change something if you don't like it? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slightly unimportant slightly important 10. AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU somewhat important to be able to get what you want if you make the effort? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slightly unimportant slightly important 1!. AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU that you make the most of your decisions? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slightly unimportant slightly important 12. AT SCHOOL, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU somewhat important somewhat important very important very important very important very important very important that any suggestions you might make about how to make improvements in,school would be discussed seriously? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slightly unimportant 129 slightly important somewhat important very important

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13. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU to have control over your destiny Clife)? very somewhat unimportant unimporant slight 1 y unimportant 130 slightly important somewht important very important

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APPENDIX C FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTIONS FOR PCSS AND PICSS

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PCSSSUM Count 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 s 4 2 4 6 2 6 7 10 4 13 6 21 4 19 1 12 5 8 5 7 4 4 2 2 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 SPSS/PC+ Midpoint 21.0 22.5 24 .. 0 : 25.5 : 27.0 : :)( 28.5 : 30.0 :. 31.5 :x: 33.0 :x: 34.5 :xx:x 36.0 : 37.5 :xxxx:xxxxx 39.0 xxxxx:xx 40.5 xxxx 42.0 'l(XXXXXX: 43.5 xxxxxxxxx:xx 45.0 xxxx 46.5 xxxxxxxxxxxx. 48.0 xxxxxxxxxxxxx: 49.5 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxx 51.0 ,xxxxxxxx 52.5 :xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxx 54.0 :xxxxxxxxxxxx 55.5 :xxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 57.0 :xxxxxxxx 58.5 :xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 60.0 .'XX 61.5 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxx 63.0 xxxxxxxxxx 64.5 xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:x 66.0 xxxxxxxxxx 67.5 xxxxxxxxxxx:xx 69.0 xxxxxxxx 70.5 xxxxxxxx. 72.0 xxxx 73.5 xxxx 75.0 XX 76.5 xxx:xx 78.0 XX. 79.5 x:xx 81.0 x: 82.5 :x 84.0 :x 85.5 87.0 88.5 XX 90.0 ,XX 91.5 93.0 94.5 96.0 I I I I I I I I I .... + I .... + . I .... + I .... + .. I .... + .... I 0 5 10 15 20 25 Histogram 132

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PICSSSUM COUNT Mean Mode 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 7 5 3 El 10 12 13 12 10 14 18 16 16 12 9 Kurtosis s E Skew Maximum Valid Cases VALUE XX xxxxx :xxxxxx x: XX. XX xxxxx. XX XX SPSS/PC+ xxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx XXX XXX X xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxx 34.00 35.00 36.00 37.00 38.00 39.00 40.00 41.00 42.00 f 43.00 44.00 45.00 46.00 47.00 48.00 49.00 50.00 51.00 52.00 53.00 54.00 55.00 56.00 57.00 58.00 59.00 60.00 61.00 62.00 63.00 64.00 65.00 66.00 67.00 68.00 69.00 70.00 71.00 72.00 ,xxxxxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxx I ......... I ......... I ........ I ......... I ......... I 0 4 8 12 16 20 Histogram Frequency 64.756 Std Err .443 Median 66.000 68.000 Std Oev 5.940 Variance 35.281 4.540 s E Kurt .360 Skewness -1.686 .181 Range 38.000 Minimum 34.000 72.000 Sum 11656.000 180 Missing Cases 0 133

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APPENDIX D COLORADO ALLIANCE OF BUSINESS SWAP ANNUAL END OF YEAR REPORTS

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EVALUATION DATA FOR: Rontbello B!gh ScboolL DPS For SWAP Program __ :_ School Yea=r___,f_o_r """"'Graae-(SJ-2=1."[;-!Un: ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All _____ !!1 =lt:J ___ !!l _______ !!1 GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All ____ !!l DROPOUT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 87-88 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 88-89 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 89/0 Yr: 89/0 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 -------------1 i7r6S ; _____ Ni ________ Ni-school: 5.5% 6.0 ClOth) = Grade 9: 4. 9% 4. 8 Cllth) 32.65% Grade 10: 5.8% Grade 11: 5.3 6.7 Cl2th) Program Start Date: 1989-90 AT'l'ENDANCE SUMMARY: Pr eSWAP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr: 89-90 Yr: 89-90 Yr 90-91 Yr: 91-92 --,n -------------NA-----------__ __ GPA SUMMARY: Pr eSWAP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr: 89-90 Yr: 89-90 --Yr: 22-=U _________ !!l ____ ----NA NA DROPOUT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 89-90 CDE Yr: 89-90 Off. f n.O./Total Yr: SWAP 90/1 Yr: 90/1 CDE Yr: SWAP 91/2 Yr: 91/2 _____________ J served = D.O. Rate I67Iof ; _______ Ni-------Ni---School: 5.9, Grade 9: 6.3 Grade 10: 6.0 Grade 11: 4. 8 Program Start Date: 1990-91 (New program began and 50 students were identified for evaluation purposes) AT'l'ENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All ____ !!1 _______ __ GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP *SWAP All All All ______ !!1 91-92 Yr: 1. 49 2. 23 ---NA-------NA DROPOUT RAT SUMMARY: CDE Rate 9-lAP Yr: CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr : Off. t D. 0./Total Yr : Yr: Yr : Yr: t served = D.O. Rate ---------------o/55 ; oi--------------NA _______ NA--------Nx--------Ni __ School: NA Grade : all Media Pride grades were not available c:e v a l f rm. swp 135

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AT'l'ENDANCE in Attendance r.ates improved for the first year students of the 1988-89 program from 80% pre-St-1AP to 84% for SWAP and 81.9% for all classes. Attendance rates decreased to a 78.4 the second year. in Attendance rates improved from pre-SWAP of 70% to 81.2% in SWAP classes and 77.5% in all classes. !b2 in Attendance improved from a 86.9% pre-SWAP to 89\ in Media Pride classes (mainstream attendance was not tracked). GPA !b2 in GPAs improved for the first year of the program begun in 1988-89. Pre-St-1AP gpa was 1. 73 and gpa for all classes was 1. 91. During the second year, gpa improved to a 2.1. !b2 in !!!!=!rr For the program begun in 1989-90, the gpa in SWAP classes improved from a 1.6 pre-SWAP to 2.0 in SWAP. In all classes the gpa dropped to a 1. 4. !b2 in GPA improved from a 1.49 pre-SWAP to a 2.23 in Media Pride classes. Mainstream gpa was not tracked. c:statsl.swp 136

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EVALUATION DATA FOR: High Colgrado E!ing __ For SWAP Program begun 1n oo1 Year tor GradelsT !Q!DL !!.l;n __ ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-5WAP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr: 88-89 Yr: 88-89 Yr 89-90 Yr: 9n-91 88.(12) GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr: 88-89 Yr: 88-89 Yr: 89-90 Yr: 90-91 ---r:4o_________ ----r:3o_______ ----r:so_____ ----r:74_________ DRoPouT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 87-88 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 88-89 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 89/0 Yr: 89/0 Yr: 90/l Yr: 90/1 :_ ___________ = S/80 = 6.3, 3. 7 (S) 5/39 NA 0/15 = 0\ School: Grade 10: Grade 4.8, 7.2 4., Cll) = 14 Graduates 12.8% 1 GED ==============c============================================================ Program Start Date: 1989-90 ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All _____ ______ !!l =2R-!l __ !lji1-----GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All =2Q _______ !!1 !=2Q _____ 2Q=91 _________ !!1 1. 4 4 NA 1. 7 2 2. 0 6 NA DROPOUT RAT SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 89-90 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 89-90 Off. I n.O./Total Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 91/2 Yr: 91/2 t served = D.O. Rate -----------------47si ;-7:8i--------Nx---------2727-;-7:4i--Nx-----NA ___ School: 3. 71 Grade 10: 4.5 Grade =========================================================================== Program Start Date: 1990-91 A"l"l'ENDARCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All _____ !!1 2Q=2!JI:Ji __ !!l GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All 2Q=2l _____ !!l 2Q.=2l ___ _______________ !!1----------l. 54 2 2 2. 2 6 NA DROPOUT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 90-91 Off. I D.O./Total Yr: Yr: Yr: Yr: -------------1 = S/38 = 13.1% NA NA -NA School: Grade NA Grade NA c:evalfrm. swp 137

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ATTENDANCE Attendance rates improved for both SWAP and mainstream classes (from 91% to 92.51) for the first year of the program begun in however, the second year rate for mainstream classes decreased (from 92.5% to 841). !Y9fn! in Attendance rates were not available for SWAP classes for the program begun in 1989-90 for the first year but mainstream classes did show an improved rate over the PRE SWAP rate (from Rl\ to en>. !Y9fn! Pre-SWAP attendance rates were not available for the 1990-91 first year students. SWAP attendance was 91.31 and SWAP and mainstream attendance was 89%. GPA !Y9!n! 1n GPAs did not improve for SWAP classes for the first year of the program begun in but did improve f.or the first and second year mainstream classes (from pre-SWAP 1.40 to 1.50 in the first year and 1. 74 in the second year). !Y9!n! in For the program begun in 1989-90, first year mainstream gpa did improve over pre-SWAP gpa Cl.44 -1. 72) but no information was provided on SWAP only gpa. The st.udent's gpa improved to a 2.06 during the second year. !Y9!n! in For the program begun in 1990-91, gpa improved greatly from Pre-Sl.ZAP of 1.54 to only gpa of 2.2. The gpa for SWAP and mainstream improved slightly to a 2.26. c:stats1.swp 138

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EVALUATION DATA FOR: Sierra High Schoo!L Harrison School Dist. CO For SWAP Program -SDMMAR'f: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All ll=!_ ____ X!l __ GPA SUMMARY: Pr e-5l-1AP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr 88-89 Yr: 88-89 Yr: 89-90 Yr: ----r7sr---------r:o7_________ I.Je DROPOUT RATE SUMMAR!: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 87-88 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 88-89 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 89/0 Yr: 89/0 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 -------------' : Rate 6/81 = 7.4, School: Grade 9: Grade 6.5% 2. 8\ 5. 2 ClOth) = 6.8 Cllth) 33.3\ =========================================================================== Program Start Date: 1989-90 CFrosh. entering January of 1990 & tracked for one semester) ATTENDANCE SDHMAR'f: Pre-SWAP 89-90 SWAP All All All !r1 ___ X!l ____ GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP 89-90 All All All Baseline lst 89-90 Yr 89 90 Yr Yr _____ DROPOUT RATE SUMMAR!: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 89-90 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 89-90 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 91/2 Yr: 91/2 ------------- ; School: 5. 0 Grade : 4. 0 Grade : =========================================================================== Program Start Date: 1989-90 ATTENDANCE SDMMAR'f: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All _______ !!1 GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All ___ --X!1 _____ XI1 ______ !!1 DROPOOT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP 'fr: e9-90 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 89-90 Off. I D.O./Total Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 91/2 Yr: 91/2 t served = D.O. Rate ---------------4721 : School: 5.0 Grade 9: 5.2 Grade 139

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ATTENDANCE in fli attendance rates were 81.1\ for SWAP classes only compared to a pre-SWAP rate of 87\. The second year, rates moved back up to 87% and the third year were 86.9%. in Attendance rates were 84% for StlAP only and 81% for mainstream classes. No pre-SWAP data. was available. The second year (90-91) attendance improved to 90.9%. in Pre-SWAP attendance was 7P..8% and it improved slightly to 79.1\ in all classes. SWAP only attendance data was not provided. GPA GPA improved the first year from a 1.16 pre-SWAP to 1.52 SWAP only and 1.51 for all classes. The second year gpa decreased to a 1.07. During the third year students had an average gpa of 1.38 (mainstream only as there were no StiAP classes). GPA improved from Pre-SWAP of 1.20 to 2.09 in SWAP only classes and a 1.83 in mainstream classes. During the second year gpa decreased to 1.43. GPA improved from a 1.08 pre-StiAP to a 1.19 SWAP only and 1.32 in mainstream classes. Note: In 1989-90, 27 second semester freshman were brought into SWAP. Their progress was tracked only for that semester. Pre-SWAP attendance was not available. Their SWAP attendance was 81% and mainstream, 79.1%. GPA improved from .70 pre-SWAP to 1.44 (SWAP) and 1.40 (mainstream). One student dropped out for a 2.7% drop-out rate. c:statsl. swp 140

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EVALUATION DATA FOR: h For S'ilAP Program begun 1n Scnoo.L Year for Graae1s !Q..LL !!.LL H .. L ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP. All All All Baseline Yr: 88-89 Yr: 88-89 Yr: 89-90 Yr 90-91 GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All Baseline Yr: 88-89 Yr: 88-89 Yr: 89-90 Yr: 2Q.=2! ____ ---2:o __________ ----2:29------_____ ----r:9o_________ 1.so DROPOUT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SWAP Yr: 87-88 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 88-89 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 89/0 Yr: 89/0 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 9011 ----------: Rate 2/44 = 4.5, ---------2:r-csr---272o ___ Not _______ School: 4.6% 7 0 2% 5.6 Cll) = Available (5 Graduated) Grade 10: 10% Grade ====================================================================== Program Start Date: 1989-90 ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All __ XI1 _______ XI1 GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All All All ______ _!Il 89-90 Yr: 90-91 Yr: 1 2 5 NA ----179____ DROPOUT RATE SUMMARY: CDE Rate SHAP Yr: 89-90 CDE SWAP CDE SWAP Yr: 89-90 Off. t D.O./Total Yr: 90/1 Yr: 90/1 Yr: 91/2 Yr: 91/2 ___________ _! served = Rate --3718 ; I6:7,---------Not ______ s712-;-42i ________________ School: 2.1% Available Grade 10: 9 Grade Program Start Date: 1990-91 ATTENDARCE SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All Baseline Yr 90-91 Yr GPA SUMMARY: Pre-SWAP SWAP All Baseline Yr Yr Not-Proviaea--Not Proviaea----i.5 DROPOUT RATE SUMRARY: All Yr All Yr _____ .... All _________ !!.! All ______ __xu CDE Rate SWAP Yr: CDE CDE SWAP rr: Off. t D.O./Total Yr: Yr: Yr: Yr: ____________ _j = School:Not Available 2/16 = 12.5% 10:Not Available :;rade 141 c: ev al frm. swp

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ATTENDANCE in Attendance rates for SWAP classes during the first year remained the same as the PRE SWAP rate. The rate for mainstream classes dropped by 1%. The second year of the 88-89 program showed improved attendance rates to 95%. The third year showed attendance rates of 86.3. in For the prograrn begun in 1989-90, no information was provided on the SWAP classes; however, mainstream classes improved from a PRE of 81\ to 95' for mainstream. Second year attendance dipped to 79% in both SWAP and mainstream classes. in For the program begun in 1990-91, no PRE-SWAP attendance data was provided. The attendance rate for both SWAP and mainstream was 83%. GPA in GPAs improved from the pre-St-7AP GPA of 2.0 to 2.29 for SWAP classes and to 2.02 for mainstream classes in 1988-89. The second year of this program shows a decrease in mainstream GPA to 1.90. The third year shows gpa of 1.50. in For the program begun in 1989-90 no SWAP GPA is provided. The mainstream GPA increased to 1. 9 from the PRE St7AP GPA of 1. 25. The second year shows a gpa of 1. 7. in l!!Q=!l For the program begun in 1990-91, no pre-SWAP gpa's were provided. The gpa for both SWAP and mainstream was 1.5. c: stat sl. swp 142

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