The effects of classroom environment and teacher influences on student self-concept in an ESEA, Title I program
This study was conducted to investigate whether or not there were differences in self-concept between elementary grade students participating in the ESEA, Title I resource program and students not participating in this program in Loudoun County, Virginia. Possible differences in student self-concept were identified through the use of the total self-concept score and related subscores produced from a factor analysis conducted on the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. These subscores were self-appreciation, self-assuredness, social adaptability, adequacy in school, and personal adequacy. Further relationships between self-concept and types of classrooms were investigated through analyzing student data according to these personal characteristics: sex, race, grade, and socio-economic status.
This study also investigated factors in the school setting to determine which factors contributed most significantly to the student's self-concept. Factors investigated were classroom environment and teacher influences. Variables relating to classroom environment included (1) individualization, and (2) variety of materials and activities. Variables relating to teacher influences included (1) warmth, (2) provision for freedom, and (3) feedback.
Students selected for the sample in this study were third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade educationally disadvantaged students enrolled in eight elementary schools in Loudoun County, Virginia. The resource or experimental group of students had participated in the ESEA, Title I resource program for at least one year, while the non-resource or control group participated only in the regular county educational program.
The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI) was used to assess student self-concept. The McDaniel Observer Rating Scales were used to assess classroom environment and teacher influences.
Significant differences (p<.05) were observed through the use of ANOVA and t-Tests. Results indicated that the self-concept of resource students was significantly more positive on the subscore’s self-assuredness and adequacy in school; on the other hand, the self-concept of non-resource students was significantly more positive on the subscore’s self-appreciation and personal adequacy. In addition, the self-concept subscore’s self-assuredness and adequacy in school were significant only in classrooms rated high in individualization, wide in variety, and high in teacher warmth; the subscores self-appreciation and personal adequacy were significant only in classrooms rated low in individualization and teacher warmth and feedback.