Group membership and status position as they relate to educational value differentiation in overseas American community schools



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The possibility of educational value differences in the environment of the American overseas community schools is an important one. These schools are American-sponsored and administered but serve a wide and varied clientele consisting of Americans, host country citizens, and third country nationals. The questions asked in this study were whether or not Americans could be distinguished from non-Americans on the basis of educational values, whether parents, both American and non-American, could be differentiated from American and non-American teachers when educational values were used as criteria, and whether there would be an interaction of status (parent and teacher) with group (Americans and non-Americans) by using the criteria, of educational values. The Educational Values Questionnaire was administered to 168 parents and teachers associated with four Near East/South Asia. (NE/SA) American community schools. Principal components and Alpha factor analysis with varimax rotation were executed and six factors were extracted which indicated divergent value positions that were labeled as follows: 1. The school as initiator of social change (Initiation) 2. The school as facilitator of the Individual vs the school as medium for mastery of subject matter (Facilitation vs Mastery) 3. The school as mediator of perennial truth (Mediation) 4. The school as interactive socializer (Socialization) 5. The school as source of spontaneous and cooperative learning (cooperation) 6. The school as transmitter of essential subject matter (Transmission) Factor scores for each subject were derived, and a 2 X 2 fixed effects model MANOVA (with six dependent variables) was utilized. The null hypothesis of no difference between Americans and non-Americans was rejected at the .0001 alpha level as was the null hypothesis of no difference between parent and teacher. The interaction hypothesis could not be rejected. Step-down F analysis found that three factors, Mediation, Socialization, and Transmission were significant contributors in differentiating Americans from non-Americans. All six factors were significant contributors in separating parents from teachers. Because almost all educational decisions are extremely value laden, it seems important to be aware of different expectations on the part of the school community. This is especially important in the complex environment of the American community school.



American students--Foreign countries.