A. Defining Targets
for Attitude Assessments
"Students who have positive attitudes about
the things they are learning, and feel a sense of internal control
of their own academic well-being are more likely to achieve at high
levels than those who are negative, lack desire, and see themselves
as victims of a hostile school world" (Stiggins, 2001, p. 340).
Although one cannot expect a classroom survey to prevent a tragedy
similar to Columbine, a survey can serve as a starting point toward
helping teachers to understand and motivate students.
Appropriate targets for assessing attitudes
are aspects that are directly related to the classroom and the content
area. For example, your goal may be to determine if students feel
they benefit by working in a group; which subject area is their
favorite; or if they enjoy working on the computer.
Inappropriate targets include issues that
go beyond school -- questions about their home life, religion, or
personal self-concepts. These issues are best left for parents,
counselors, and psychologists. If you're not sure whether or not
a specific question or domain is appropriate, ask your principal
before surveying the students.