The Impact of Multiple Educational Options on Students' Self and Social Perceptions

by Tora K. Bikson

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Multiple options in education were experimentally introduced in a multicultural school district. Effects of the experimental learning environments on students' perceptions of themselves and significant others were evaluated using a nonverbal self-social constructs test. Data were collected from 4000 subjects representing experimental and traditional elementary schools. Analyses of variance employing school type, grade, ethnicity, and sex as independent factors supported the following conclusions. Students in the multiple option system perceive themselves as closer to their teachers, more attached to their peers, and more generally included in the domain of social influence; yet they retain a stronger sense of individuality.

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