A STUDY OF THE RELIGIOUS ATMOSPHERE OF CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS

LOUIS JOHN BAMONTE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the responses of teachers and students in Catholic secondary schools in order to determine whether a relationship existed between the religious atmosphere of the school and (1) the religiosity of the faculty, (2) the religiosity of students, (3) leadership behavior of the principal, (4) selected demographic variables associated with faculty, namely, their age, their years teaching, their level of education, and their level of extracurricular involvement, and (5) selected demographic variables associated with students, namely, their academic average, their elementary school background, and their level of extra-curricular involvement.^ This study also operationalized the religious atmosphere of Catholic secondary schools in terms of its component parts--school climate and religious ethos. School climate was studied using the School Climate Profile (Fox, 1973). Religious ethos was studied using the Religious Ethos Questionnaire, an instrument developed by the researcher from Giving Form to the Vision (National Catholic Education Association, 1974). The leadership behavior of the principal was studied using the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (Halpin, 1966). Religiosity was studied using the Church Involvement Questionnaire (King and Hunt, 1972).^ The subjects in this study were 1076 students and 171 teachers from eight randomly selected Catholic secondary schools. The statistical techniques employed in the analysis of data included means, standard deviations, analysis of variance, chi-square test, Pearson product-moment correlation and the Scheffe' test for post-hoc analysis.^ In addition to operationalizing religious atmosphere and affording school administrators and researchers instrumentation for further study of the religious atmosphere of Catholic schools, this study also reported the following findings: (1) There was a significant relationship for both faculty and students between their perceptions of religious atmosphere and their total relgiosity score as well as their scores on each of the ten subscales of religiosity. (2) There was a significant relationship between student perceptions of religious atmosphere and their level of extra-curricular activity and academic average. (3) There was no significant difference between students who came from Catholic elementary schools and those who had attended public schools with respect to their perceptions of religious atmosphere. (4) There was no significant relationship between the religious atmosphere scores of all faculty and their level of extracurricular activity, or their level of education. There was a significant relationship between the religious atmosphere scores of all faculty and their age and their years teaching. (5) There was a significant relationship between the religious atmosphere scores and faculty perceptions of the initiating structure and consideration of the principal. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

BAMONTE, LOUIS JOHN, "A STUDY OF THE RELIGIOUS ATMOSPHERE OF CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8326160.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8326160

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