Measuring Attitudes of Vietnamese Parents and Students to Schooling

Year: 2003

Author: Cuc, Nguyen Thi Kim, Griffin, Patrick

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The attitudes of parents and students towards schooling are often considered to be important factors associated with students’ educational outcomes. To evaluate the extent to which attitudes influenced students’ outcomes, it was important to have appropriate measures of attitudes. Up to date in Vietnam, parents and students’ attitudes have generally been assessed by one item asking how they felt about school. This paper presents the process of constructing and calibrating two scales to measure the attitudes of students and parents, and then linking these two scales to compare the two groups.

Previous research in Vietnam supported the proposition that development and opportunity were important aspects that parents and young people valued and expected from education. Therefore, to measure attitudes to schooling, a set of items which covered both development and opportunity aspects of education was designed. After the items were trialled, a final version of the 13 items was compiled. The two scales were shown to have logical, face, content and construct validity. Parents and students surveyed can be grouped into five levels of attitudes: “negative”, “development”, “strong belief in development”, “opportunities” and “positive”. The proportions of parents and students included in each level were different, but these differences were minor. The similarity in response to each item added weight to the argument that the two constructed scales were valid.