Student quality of primary school life: Some relationships

Year: 2002

Author: Leonard, Carl, Bourke, Sid

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents the results of a study incorporating a multilevel analysis of the impact of a stress management, a self-development and a relaxation technique on student quality of school life differences between four primary schools and four classes within each of these schools, in the Lower Hunter Valley, NSW. The Quality of School Life scales (Ainley & Bourke, 1992) were administered to 448 Year 5 and 6 students in the last weeks of Terms 2 and 3 in 2000. A causal model linking all components, namely the student and teacher background information, the general QSL scales, the specific QSL scales, and student absence was hypothesised and developed for testing.

Results indicated that student perception of the quality of their school life in Term 2, student absence in Term 3, and to a lesser extent Term 2, provided the bulk of the explanation of variance in student quality of school life in Term 3. At the classroom level, student quality of school life in Term 3 was significantly related to class streaming, teacher years teaching, and Term 3 teacher absence. At the school level, significant school differences were evident for various aspects of quality of school life, and absence. Possible explanations of these relationships 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.