Die invloed van groter studievryheid op die skoolprestasie van koshuisleerlinge
Herbst, Sidney Horatio
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The aim of this research was to determine: * whether independent study as a method of study has any influence on the achievement of hostel pupils; * if there is a meaningful difference between the achievements of a voluntary - and a formal study group; * if pupils who differ on the bases of intelligence, sex, method of studying and standard, perform differently. The literary survey which was undertaken, consisted of the following sections: 1. The hostel as educational institution: A hostel is seen as an institution for the broad education of the child and should provide the opportunity for studying. The contribution of the housemaster receives special mentioning and is discussed in full. To create a heal thy atmosphere of studying in a hostel depends mainly on contributions made by the staff as well as the pupils. The contributions of pupils are determined by the influence of peer groups that reveal themselves in two aspects namely: the hostel group and the room group. It is especially the room group that exerts the bigger influence on study as a whole. The influence exerted, can either be positive or negative. To promote positive influence through the peer group should be the main concern of all housemasters involved. In modern times the conventional study hall is still considered as the only place in which studying can be done. The study hall as an ideal place of studying is looked at critically. The presumption that the achievement of pupils in hostel are weaker than that of day scholars is furthermore investigated and reasons for this assumption are mentioned. More and more boarders are restricted and subjected to rules of which the most are unnecessary. 2. Independent studying principles: A brief survey of the historical background of independent studying is given, wherein it was determined that independent studying was introduced as a learning method (at the University of Oxford) as early as 1624. Motivation for the use of independent studying is deferred from the fact that the secondary pupil in a hostel is more and more subjected to consistency. Independent studying as a learn- and work method takes into consideration the fact that as the child grows to adulthood greater responsibility must be accepted. The aims of independent studying are circumstantially discussed. Special attention was devoted to the following: individual freedom and differences, individual responsibility, stronger focus on the aims of instruction and the place of the teacher and housemaster. 3. Independent studying: implementation: Reasons for the implementation of independent study as learn- and work method are point-wise summarised. The organisation of independent studying is discussed and the different forms in which independent studying can be implemented are indicated. Practical suggestions are given to be put in practice whenever the implementation of independent studying as a method of work is considered in a hostel. Independent study makes provision for the gifted pupil to develop his talent to the best of his ability. It is furthermore indicated that independent study as a learn- and work method makes provision for the talented-, average- as well as the less talented pupil. A precondition for the successful implementation of an independent studying program, is that special attention should be given to the environment of learning. The implementation of a hostel-library is highly recommended. All innovations are subjected to problems and independent study as learn- and work method is not free from this. The problems are failures of independent studying are discussed. Homework must be complementary to school work and this principle; is acknowledged by independent studying as work-method. The aims of homework are discussed and how independent studying as work-method will make provision for it. When independent studying as learn- and work-method is initially implemented, a certain degree of disruption of pupils take place. Supervised independent studying is recommended as a forerunner to independent study as learn- and work-method. The difference between independent studying and conventional education takes us to the problem of evaluation. Here, as in conventional education, the evaluation of personality remains a problem, and will remain so, till such time as objective tests can be devised. The results of the research work on independent studying revealed the following: (a) positive results, (b) negative results, (c) those with no significant difference at all. Although negative results were found during the course of the literary revue, no writer has rejected independent studying as innovative nonsense. The second part of the study involved the method of research. This research 1vas aimed at determining empirically what the influence of wider freedom of studying has on the hostel pupils' scholastic performance. The subjects tested consisted of hostel pupils (boys and girls) of a rural secondary school. The population of hostel pupils was divided into experimental and control groups by means of a random sampling table. The experimental group was allowed to study independently and given the opportunity of a free choice of time and space for studying, for one term. No other hostel rules were changed. The control group continued with the arrangement for studying, according to existing rules. The experimental group received no tuition as far as the principles of independent studying are concerned and no extra-ordinary measures of punishment were taken. The data collected consisted of: * Scholastic achievements which were derived from the term's schedules of marks; * the S.S.H.B.-questionnaire by moans of which the study methods of the subjects were determined; * the I.Q.-readings of subjects, according to the Ed. lab. card of every subject; * the standard into which subjects are divided, according to the school's class registers. Here-after all these data were processed by moans of the following statistical techniques: 1. simple analysis of variance, by means of which it is determined whether there was a marked difference between the average scholastic performance of the experimental and control groups, during the term, or not; 2. two-way analysis of variance, to determine the interact ion between the type of study and intelligence, sex, study method and standard; 3. the t-test for correlated data, by moans of which it is determined whether there is a significant difference between the scholastic performance of the subjects, during the experimental term and the rest of the year, for the experimental group. The conclusions to which these experiments have led can be summarised as follows: 1. No significant difference has been found (p>0,25) between the experimental and control group with regards to performance in the experimental term. The main hypothesis cannot be rejected. There was no difference in the school-achievement of the experimental group achievement therefore was not adversely influenced by the experimental variable. 2. No interaction between the type of studying and intelligence, sex, and standard could be found (p >0,25). On the 5 percent level of significance, interaction could be noticed between the type of study and study method. 3. A significant difference (p< 0,005) was found in the average performance of the individual subjects tested in the experimental group, with regard to the performance during the experimental term and the other three terms. Recommendations: 1. According to the results of this experiment it is clear that independent study as work method should be implemented in hostels. 2. Guidance and tuition in the principles of independent studying should be a prerequisite to success. 3. The implementation of unrestricted studying in the hostel is absolutely dependent on the correct disposition of the parents. The parents should be acquainted with the principles of independent studying in order to eliminate positive negativeness from their side. 4. When the option of time of studying and space is totally implemented, the pupil does not progress satisfactorily, should be transferred to restricted study in order to comply with certain predetermined requirements. 5. Unrestricted studying could commence by initially only allowing those pupils who have complied with the stipulated requirements. This method of action, will motivate those who were debarred from this privilege to aspire to it, and to those who are allowed, to endeavour to stay in it. In order to create or enhance a better study-environment, the study hall should be converted into a “learning centre” by means of the provision of a hostel library and separate cubicles for study. All hostel-pupils should have the privilege to organise, or rig their own bedrooms out as studies. Ultimate remarks: Very little value can be attached to restricted study. This research has indicated that unrestricted study has no detrimental influence on scholastic performance. It has probably a positive effect on various other aspects of the developing child. The most important is that the hostel scholar learns to accept responsibility. If he has the (limited) opportunity to make decisions, it could possibly lead to a greater sense of responsibility, motivation and self-discipline. The question arises however: why must hostel pupils be absolutely restricted to a compulsory time of study and space, if the same and better results could be achieved by free choice of time and space for study.
- Education