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A study of the evaluation of student work habits in British Columbia public schools Temple, Roy Henry

Abstract

The public schools of British Columbia are required to evaluate and report work habits on the Pupil Report Cards. The schools have been left to devise their own methods. This thesis is a study of how the schools carry out this requirement. Its particular concern is to determine whether the schools are reporting work habits, what they believe they are assessing as work habits, what evaluating methods they are using and how much time and energy is devoted to this task. The study includes an outline of the development of work habit reporting in the U. S. as part of a trend towards more comprehensive reporting. Such reporting was found to be widespread and reasons for this are offered. Significant features in the development of such reporting in B.C. are noted. Some conclusions relating to this trend include the fact that most B.C. schools are attempting to report work habits, they are seeking to develop methods of assessment and there is need for them to be guided in these efforts for much of it is wasted. How B. C. schools define work habits is reported and each definition is examined. The study suggests a definition that might be acceptable to all schools. Responding principals found the task of defining work habits to be difficult. The items found in these definitions are studied and a list that might be used by all schools is suggested. How U.S. schools have selected work habit items and some reasons for t heir selection are reported. It was found that many B.C. schools are reporting items that cannot be considered as work habits. The evaluating methods used by schools are examined. These included! the method of comparing scholastic ability and present subject achievement; the method of comparing present subject achievement and past subject achievement; the method of comparing present subject achievement and subject ability as shown by standardized achievement tests; the method of using a check list; and the method of subjective evaluation. The merit of each is examined. Because the first three of these methods fail to reveal the work habits that could affect achievement and should be reported to parents, and because schools reported using these in unnecessary combinations with other methods, the study concludes that much time and energy now being expended in this direction is of doubtful value. The check list was found to be the most popular method. Its adoption by all s chools is suggested. The study examines the provisions for nark habit reporting on the B.C. Pupil Report Cards. Each card is criticized as an instrument for reporting these habits. The conclusion is that the present intermediate and secondary cards should be amended in order that work habit reporting may be properly done. The study suggests that the academic achievement of B.C. school children might be improved if actual work habits could be reported, and that they could be reported if a check list of habits was a part of the report.

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