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A study of the school attitudes of grades 4-6 Indian students in the schools of northwestern Saskatchewan



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The intent of this study was to compare the attitudes toward school of elementary Indian and non-Indian students living in Northwestern Saskatchewan as these attitudes related to grade, school location, race and gender differences. The literature was reviewed with two main themes, that of the history of Indian education and the development of Indian control of education and the relationship of academic self-concept to performance of children in an academic atmosphere. To assess the differences in attitudes, the Student Attitude Measure developed by Dolan and Enos with the scales including motivation for schooling, academic selfconcept performance based, academic self-concept reference based, sense of control over performance, and instructional mastery were used. This instrument was administered to 1443 grades four, five and six students. All the data from the questionnaires identified as Indian (N=610) were used, but only a matched random sample of non-Indian (N=176) questionnaires were used from the students located in provincial schools. The various group mean scores were analyzed statistically by one-way analysis of variance and a Student Newman-Keuls multiple comparison was used to determine significant differences among group responses. The Canadian Test of Basic Skills was obtained for the reserve attending students and the composite score was correlated with the various measures of the Student Attitude Measure. The results of the study were that: 1. Non-Indian students had significantly higher scores on all five measures of the Student Attitude Measure. 2. Differences by grade level were minimal with the Indian students scoring higher at the grade six level than the grade four, whereas, with the non-Indian student the grade six students scored significantly lower on one measure- that of self-concept performance based. 3. Gender differences for Indian students were minimal with females having higher motivation for school scores and males having higher self-concept performance based scores. With the non-Indian students, the females scored significantly higher on motivation, self-concept reference based and control over performance. 4. For the Indian students, the location of the school did make a difference. Students located in the Band controlled or rural provincial schools scored significantly higher on most SAM measures as compared to the Federal or city attending Indian students. Students in the city schools had the lowest scores. 5. For the non-Indian student, school location did not produce significantly different scores on the SAM. 6. There was a significant correlation between the Canadian Test of Basic Skills and the scales measuring motivation, self-concept reference based, sense of control over performance and instructional mastery.



academic self-concept, indian students, attitudes toward school



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Administration


Educational Administration



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