Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Tink, Albert K.||Miller, Elwyn R. (Professor of education)

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

College of Education


Education; Secondary; Junior high schools--Illinois


The purpose of this study was to examine the practices in the junior high schools in northern Illinois in the light of the recommendations of James B. Conant, Answers to the following questions have been sought: Have Conant's recommendations been independently paralleled or followed in the junior high schools included in the study? Were his recommendations being independently paralleled or followed prior to 1963, the year of publication? Since this has been a status study, it has been limited to what is and in no way has attempted to determine what ought to be. A questionnaire based on Conant's recommendations was sent to 168 junior high school principals in the northern twenty-five counties in Illinois in March, 1966. One hundred six principals responded arid returned completed questionnaires, Nowhere in the questionnaire was any reference made to Conant. This omission was deliberate. It was hoped that personal opinions and feelings about Conant would be diminished and preferably avoided entirely if his name were not used. The recommendations of Dr. Conant were rearranged into four broad areas: (1) staff and organization, (2) physical facilities, (3) meeting individual needs, and (4) subject natter areas, staff and organization specified what grades were included, pupil enrollment, size of staff, teacher-pupil load, and district-wide coordination or supervision. Physical facilities included the library, science labs, home economics and industrial .arts rooms, gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, and the adequacy or inadequacy of the building as a whole. Meeting Individual needs included orientation, extra-class activities, ungraded program, ability grouping, self-contained classrooms, homework, marking and grades, retention and promotion, and achievement levels in reading and arithmetic. Subject matter areas included required and elective subjects in all grades, block-time and departmentalization, and space to indicate the emphasis in specific subjects. In each of these four areas, respondents were asked to indicate whether the practice existed prior to 1960 or had been initiated or changed since 1960. The results indicated an average degree of agreement of almost seventy per cent between Conant's 1960 recommendations and the 1966 practices in the junior high schools sampled. Also revealed were 270 changes in practices which the responding principals deemed, significant and worthy of mention. Since no reference was made to Conant, this does not prove a cause and effect relationship. An average degree of compliance equaling seventy per cent or wore-was found in required and elective subjects, foreign language instruction, extra-class activities, flexibility, ability grouping, homework, grading, physical facilities, coordination, professional staff and size of schools. The highest degree of disagreement was found in interscholastic athletics, guidance, teacher load, and the ratio of clerks to pupil enrollment.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 64 pages




Northern Illinois University

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