Student Quality of School Life Differences Within and Between Primary Schools

Year: 2001

Author: Leonard, Carl, Bourke, Sid, Schofield, Neville

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents the results of a study to assess the impact of a stress management, a self-development and a relaxation technique on the quality of school life and rates of absenteeism of 448 Year 5 and 6 students in 16 classes at 4 Lower Hunter Valley primary schools in the state of New South Wales, Australia in the year 2000. The Quality of School Life questionnaire (Ainley & Bourke, 1992) scales were used as indicators of students’ perceptions of aspects of their school life including stressful and satisfying elements. Various student, teacher, and class contextual variables were also collected and investigated.

Significant school and class differences on almost all scales were evident. But overall, students tended to perceive a higher quality of school life in Term 2 than in Term 3. Possible explanations of school and class and intervention differences and the decline in quality of school life in Term 3 are discussed while implications including the apparent importance of positive peer relationships and an exciting and enjoyable curriculum in ensuring students have a high quality of school life are described. Finally, the need for the provision of support services to students who indicated a high level of dissatisfaction with their school life is suggested.