- Purpose: This investigation was conducted to determine
whether or not teachers and students perceive the environmental press
of a secondary school differently, and whether or not teacher groups
and student groups vary in their perceptions.
Conceptual Framework: "Press" i s a construct which expresses
the assumption of elements in the environment which generate forces
that are perceived by individuals and which affect their behavior.
Press is of two types: Alpha press, which corresponds to the explicit
or intended goals of the institution's major participants; and beta
press, which corresponds to the implicit or actual goals manifested
in the behavior of the major participants.
Hypotheses: 1) teachers perceive the school's press differently
than do students. 2) teachers' perception of explicit press
is a function of various teacher characteristics. These are sex, age,
teaching experience, academic preparation, and marital status.
3) students' perceptions of implicit press is a function of various student
characteristics. These are grade level, sex, academic achievement,
future educational plans, and parents' level of educational
Procedure: The Stern High School Characteristics Index (HSCI)
was administered to 270 randomly selected students, and to the entire
faculty of 86 teachers in a senior high school in the Pacific Northwest.
The assumptions were that 1) teachers' responses to the HSCI items
represented their perceptions of explicit press, 2) students'
responses represented their perceptions of implicit press. Teacher
and student questionnaires identified the independent variables in
Hypotheses Two and Three respectively. A 't' test was used for the
first Hypothesis in comparing the mean scores of teachers and students
on each of the 30 HSCI scales. Analysis of variance was applied
to test the second and third Hypotheses. The criterion of significance
was the .05 level of confidence.
Major Findings: Hypothesis One: Significant differences were
found between teachers and students on 17 HSCI scales. These were
conjunctivity, deference, ego achievement, energy, harm avoidance,
humanities, nurturance, objectivity, reflectiveness, science,
sensuality, succorance, understanding, abasement, adaptability,
change, and dominance. Teachers obtained higher scores than students
on all but the latter four.
Hypothesis Two: Perception of explicit press by teachers was
found to be a function of sex, age and academic preparation. Differences
were found between males and females on eight HSCI scales.
Men perceived higher scores than women on all eight. Teachers under
30 years of age differed from those over 29 on seven scales. Teachers
who taught subjects conventionally considered academic differed from
teachers in non-academic areas on five scales.
Hypothesis Three: Perceptions of implicit press by students
was found to be a function of grade level, sex, and academic achievement.
Differences were found between sophomores, juniors, and
seniors on eight HSCI scales. Sophomores received the highest scores
on all eight. Differences were found between males and females on
nine scales. Females received the highest scores on eight. "A and
B" students differed from "C and D" students on five scales. "C and
D" students received the highest scores on four.
Implications: 1) Secondary teachers perceive the institutional
press differently than students within the same environment. 2)
Teachers' perception of institutional press is a function of sex, age,
and academic preparation. 3) Students' perception of the educational
environment is a function of sex, grade level, and academic achievement.