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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51394 Find in a Library
Title: HUMAN ECOLOGY OF SCHOOL CRIME - A CASE FOR SMALL SCHOOLS (FROM SCHOOL CRIME AND DISRUPTION, 1978, BY ERNST WENK AND NORA HARLOW - SEE NCJ-51386)
Author(s): J GABARINO
Corporate Author: Responsible Action
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Responsible Action
Davis, CA 95616
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL TO DEVELOP PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR IS DISCUSSED, AND THE DISADVANTAGES OF THE LARGE SCHOOL IN ACHIEVING THIS AIM AND THE ADVANTAGES OF THE SMALL SCHOOL IN SO DOING ARE CONSIDERED.
Abstract: THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES ARE INDICATED TO BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL IN DEVELOPING PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR IN STUDENTS: (1) THE CREATION OF SITUATIONAL DEMANDS FOR STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN THE OPERATION OF THE SCHOOL PROGRAM; (2) THE CREATION OF A SOCIAL CLIMATE WHICH ENCOURAGES PERSONAL OBSERVATION, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND FEEDBACK; (3) THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HETEROGENEOUS SETTINGS TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALIZATION AND INDIVIDUATION; AND (4) THE ARRANGEMENT OF CONTINGENCIES TO REINFORCE PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR. LARGE SCHOOLS ARE VIEWED AS NECESSARILY BLOCKING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THESE OBJECTIVES AS SIZE TENDS TO PROMOTE ALIENATION AMONG STUDENTS BY DEPRIVING MANY OF THEM OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICIPATION IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE VITAL IN THE PEER-ORIENTED SOCIAL SYSTEM OF ADOLESCENTS. IT IS INDICATED THAT THIS ALIENATION IS MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR WITH MARGINAL STUDENTS, WHO LACK ACADEMIC AND OTHER SKILLS GENERALLY PROMOTED IN SCHOOLS. IN LARGE SCHOOLS, BOTH STUDENTS AND STAFF ARE BELIEVED TO BE ALIENATED ALSO BY THE IMPERSONAL QUALITY OF RELATIONSHIPS AND THE BUREAUCRATIC, INFLEXIBLE NATURE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION. THE DEVELOPMENT OF LARGE SCHOOLS IS SHOWN TO BE BASED UPON FLAWED CONCEPTS OF THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION AND THE FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN MEASURING THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL SIZE. SMALL SCHOOLS ARE VIEWED AS OFFERING GREATER POSSIBILITIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY FOR THE STUDENT BY PROVIDING OPPORTUNITY FOR AND INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE TO STUDENT PERFORMANCE AT MANY LEVELS IN A VARIETY OF CIRCUMSTANCES. GREATER OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT SELF-GOVERNMENT, HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, GREATER FLEXIBILITY IN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION IN RESPONSE TO STUDENT NEEDS, AND GREATER EASE AND SPEED IN EFFECTING CHANGE ARE MENTIONED AS THE ADVANTAGES OF THE SMALL SCHOOL IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR AMONG STUDENTS. A STUDY IS QUOTED TO INDICATE THAT THE SIZE OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL SHOULD NOT EXCEED 1,000 STUDENTS IF IT IS EXPECTED TO FULFILL ITS RESPONSIBILITIES TO STUDENTS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Elementary school education; Environmental design; High school education; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Milieu therapy
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51394

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