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Title:Children's friendship choice and classroom dimensionality
Author(s):Sekita, Kazuhiko
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Tozer, Steven E.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sociology of
Education, Educational Psychology
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:Ability perception formation theory argues that classroom organization affects students' conception of (academic) ability. This study examines whether classroom organization affects peer relationships. Thirty two classrooms in four elementary schools were categorized into uni- and multi-dimensional classrooms by Rosenholtz and Simpson's (1984) classification. Then, the effects of classroom dimensionality differences were investigated in relation to children's perceptions of their peers' "smartness," troublesomeness, self-image related to school, and estimated teacher's expectation. Also, the relationships between these indices and children's choices of best friends, playmate, and work-partners were explored. The sample of 826 students (408 boys and 418 girls) was selected from first to sixth grade classrooms (16 unidimensional and 16 multidimensional classes) in four elementary schools located in a metropolitan area of Tennessee.
The major findings were: (a) peers' smartness status is important for children's social relationships, regardless of their classroom organization, (b) girls less likely chose troublesome classmates as their friends, play- and work-mates, (c) perceived teacher's expectation is a powerful measure for children's friendship choice, especially among girls, and more likely in multidimensional than in unidimensional classes, (d) children's friendship choices overlap with about 75% of their playmate choices in both dimensional settings, but with about 50% and 40% of their workmate choices in multidimensional and in unidimensional settings, respectively.
Sex differences were often observed in the effects of classroom dimensionality. Future research directions related to sex differences were discussed. As a chief implication, the importance of understanding classroom organization effects on children's social relationships was discussed in terms of responses to socially less-skilled children's problems and in terms of an essential element of classroom knowledge for prospective teachers. Overall, the application of classroom dimensionality categorization successfully revealed teachers' unintended instructional effects on children's peer relationships.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Sekita, Kazuhiko
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210984
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210984

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