The effects of students' perceptions of classroom social climate in middle school social studies classes on academic self-concept

John Luther Byer

Abstract

A review of the literature provided evidence that positive relationships have existed between students' perceptions of classroom environment and academic self-concept. However, there has been a lack of research at the middle school level into the relationship between students' perceptions of classroom social climate and academic self-concept. The central purpose of this research study was to measure the relationship between middle school students' perceptions of classroom social climate and their academic self-concept. The subjects were 185 eighth-grade students who were enrolled in U.S. history classes at a middle school located in western Mississippi. The subjects completed the classroom involvement dimension subscale and the classroom affiliation dimension subscale of the Classroom Environment Scale (CES). Subjects' responses to the CES measured their perceptions of classroom social climate. The subjects also completed the Academic Self Description Questionnaire II (ASDQ II). The subjects' academic self-concepts were measured by ASDQ II. Multiple correlation revealed a statistically significant (p <.05) positive relationship between the independent variable of students' perceptions of classroom social climate and the dependent variable of academic self-concept. A Pearson r test revealed a statistically significant (p <.05) positive relationship between students' perceptions of classroom involvement and academic self-concept. A Pearson r test revealed a statistically significant (p <.05) relationship between students' perceptions of classroom affiliation and academic self-concept. Semipartial correlation revealed that controlling for students' parents' education did not increase the variance in academic self-concept explained by students' perceptions of classroom social climate. The results of this study indicated that a significant relationship existed between stud perceptions of classroom social climate and academic self-concept. Further research was recommended in order to investigate the relationships between students' perceptions of classroom environment and academic self-concept.