|Abstract or Summary
- Purpose of the Study
This investigation was an attempt to determine the relative suitability
of four physical seating arrangements, conventional, crescent,
circular, and non-seating, in terms of their positive attitudinal and
interactional impacts on four senior high school social studies classes
who are enrolled with the same teacher during different periods of the
day. Five null hypotheses and four alternative hypotheses were formulated
for testing the suitability in terms of positive attitudinal and
interactional impacts on the four classes.
Three types of data were collected: observable data, attitudinal
data, and teacher opinion. The,observable data consisted of the verbal
responses or lack of verbal responses as measured by the Flanders
Interaction Analysis System. The attitudinal data consisted of general
student sentiment as measured by the School Sentiment Index. The
teacher opinions consisted of recorded teacher statements regarding
the various treatments.
In all, 57 Flanders were administered over a 12-week period
with at least one Flanders being given each week to each group. The
attitudinal measure was administered at the end of each three week
period and consisted of two modified halves of the School Sentiment
Index. Statistical treatments were applied to group mean scores
rather than individual scores.
The following conclusions were derived as a direct result of this
1. Group verbal interaction does not significantly vary under
the four seating arrangements.
2. Individual group responses of sentiment significantly vary
under the four seating arrangements.
3. Responses of sentiment are not uniform for all groups to
the different seating arrangements. Groups I and III
favored the conventional arrangements, Group II favored the crescent arrangement, and Group IV favored the non-seating
4. Responses of sentiment were significantly different for
these groups under the conventional and crescent arrangements,
but not uniformly different.
5. Responses of sentiment for combined groups did significantly
vary under the four seating arrangements.
6. Responses of sentiment for combined groups significantly
favor the conventional arrangement and disfavor the circular
7. The teacher expressly favors the circular arrangement and
disfavors the conventional arrangement.
1. That a similar study be conducted which focuses on smaller
groups, preferably ten students or less.
2. That a similar study be conducted on a class that utilizes a
teaching technique other than discussion the majority of
3. That a variety of studies be conducted that focus upon preferred
student distances in many classroom situations.
4. That a variety of studies be conducted that focus upon the
effects of learning under various distances and within various
This study and other related empirical studies in the fields of
psychology, sociology, anthropology, and education indicate that the
factors of territoriality, personal space, individual distance have an
effect on group ecology. The literature indicates that factors of group
size do have a bearing on group distance. It has been demonstrated
that individual distances and the positioning of individuals within
groups has an effect on the behavior of group members. The full extent
of these relationships is not presently known. It is of importance
to know and understand these relationships and the bearing they may
have on learning or attitudinal factors of group members. Further
studies are needed to help uncover the answers.