A comparison of the attitudes of three groups toward released time for religious instruction in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vx021k21f

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  • Objectives of the Study: On June 30, 1977, Oregon passed a law authorizing five hours per week of released time for religious instruction on the high school level. The purpose of this study was to seek answers to five general questions: (1) What was the level of awareness of released-time programs? (2) What level of interest existed for the establishment of extended programs of released time for religious instruction? (3) What might be the impact of extended released time on the public high school? (4) What might be the impact of establishing extended released- time programs on churches? (5) What impact might released-time programs have on church-school interaction? Research Procedures: Three groups selected from Polk and Marion counties were administered a questionnaire which was developed for this research. The three groups were: citizens, public high school teachers, and church leaders. Of the 1,978 questionnaires distributed, 830 useable returns were received. This was a response rate of 43.4 percent. Because of this low response rate, generalizations beyond the actual respondents should be made with extreme care. The one-way analysis of variance statistic (F test) was used to determine significant differences among the responses of the three groups to the questionnaire.* The Least Significant Difference (LSD) statistic was used to identify where these differences occurred. An analysis of variance according to selected demographic data was also conducted. The demographic areas were: sex, age, marital status, annual income, highest education level completed, personal enrollment in released time programs, enrollment of children in released time programs, religious preference, and extent of church activity. For teachers, an analysis was conducted based on size of faculty at the high school where they were teaching. Conclusions: All five of the null hypotheses were rejected at the .05 level of significance. There were significant differences among the three groups for each of the five areas of this study. Specifically this study found: 1. Teachers are less in favor of released time than are citizens or church leaders. 2. Church leaders are more in favor of released time than are teachers or citizens. 3. There was a general lack of awareness of released time programs. 4. There was considerable interest expressed toward the implementation of released time programs. 5. Males were more favorable toward released time programs than were females. 6. Those with children currently enrolled in released time programs were more favorable toward these programs than those who did not have children currently enrolled in released time programs. 7. Latter-Day Saints were more favorable toward released time programs than were other religious groups. 8. Respondents who were very active in their churches were more favorable toward released time programs than were those who were moderately active, slightly active, or inactive. 9. There were no differences in the responses of teachers toward released time programs based on the size of the faculty where they taught. * The .05 level was used as the level of significance.
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