RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM GOALS, SCHOOL CLIMATE AND RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE LEVEL IN CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

LESLIE AUSTIN COLACO, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the responses of parents, students, and teachers in the most and the least achieving schools with respect to their perceptions of the extent of the existence of the goals of message, community, and service of the religious education program and the dimensions of respect, trust, high morale, opportunity for input, continuous academic and social growth, cohesiveness, school renewal, caring, and the overall score of school climate. In addition, this study attempted to determine whether interrelationships existed among these perceptions of the participants in the most and the least achieving schools. Finally, this study sought to ascertain the relationships between these perceptions and selected variables of the respondents.^ The subjects of this study consisted of 160 parents, 160 students, 160 teachers, or one hundred percent of the invited sample.^ The instruments used to collect data for this investigation were the Imperatives for Catholic Elementary Schools (National Catholic Educational Association, 1974), the School Climate Profile: Part A (Fox et al., 1973), the Religious Education Outcomes Inventory (National Forum of Religious Educators, 1976), and a Background Information Data Sheet.^ The statistical techniques employed included frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, two-way classification of analysis of variance for independent samples, Scheffe method of comparing means two at a time, and the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. The minimal level of statistical significance accepted in this study was .05.^ The major findings of this study were: (1)there were no significant differences between the perceptions of the participants in the most and the least achieving schools with respect to the extent of the existence of the three goals of the religious education program and the eight dimensions of school climate; (2)there were significant differences among the perceptions of parents, students, and teachers; (3)generally speaking, the parents, students, and teachers in the most and the least achieving schools perceived that the goals of the religious education program and the dimensions of school climate were frequently in existence; (4)there seemed to be significant interrelationships among all the dimensions of the religious education program and school climate, one with another; and (5)the variables which most affected the perceptions of the teachers were age and years of teaching experience in a Catholic school.^ The major conclusions of this study were: (1)both in the most and the least achieving schools, the goals of the religious education program and the dimensions of school climate existed to almost the same extent; (2)the parents perceived that the goals of the religious education program and the dimensions of school climate existed to a greater extent than did the students; the teachers perceived that the goals of message and community and the dimensions of school climate existed to a greater extent than did the students; and the parents perceived that the dimensions of message and cohesiveness existed to a greater extent than did the teachers; (3)the religious education program was frequently fulfilling its goals, and the school climate was frequently open; (4)the existence of the goals of the religious education program had an influence on the openness of the school climate; and (5)the teachers who were older and who had taught for a great number of years in a Catholic school perceived that the goals of the religious education program and the dimensions of school climate existed to a greater extent than did their younger counterparts and those who had taught for a fewer number of years in a Catholic school. ^

Subject Area

Education, Religious

Recommended Citation

COLACO, LESLIE AUSTIN, "RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM GOALS, SCHOOL CLIMATE AND RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE LEVEL IN CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS" (1981). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8119764.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8119764

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