Change in a Pre-Teacher Education Group for Democratic Maturity during College and Graduate Education

Article excerpt

The present study sought to assess change in the development of "Democratic Maturity" and "Self-fulfillment" during the five years of a pre-teacher training program at a number of college and universities in the United States over the past five years. It seeks to examine in some detail the nature of the "democratic soul" of teachers in a democracy, and much more important, the role of the university in developing "democratic maturity for our teachers." Love of one's country, not unlike the love for one's parents and family, must be associated with the basic elements for success in one's chosen endeavor, and "democratic maturity' must be associated directly with such patriotism. How could it be different?

Group Involved

The group included 1,452 pre-teacher education students in the freshman through graduate year of studies in universities in California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. They ranged in age from 18 through 43 years with a mean age of 21.23 years, and with a standard deviation of 4.76 years. There were 982 females ranging in age from 18 to 43 years, with a mean age of 22.20 years, and with a standard deviation of 5.28 years. Four hundred and seventy were males ranging in age from 18 to 38 years, with a mean age of 19.19 years, and with a standard deviation of 2.36 years. There were 768 freshman ranging in age from 18 to 38 years, and with a mean age of 18.39 years. There were 82 sophomores ranging in age from 19 to 24 years, with a mean age of 21.20 years, and with a standard deviation of 1.70 years. There were 334 juniors ranging in age from 20 through 27 years, with a mean age of 22.53 years, and with a standard deviation of 2.37 years. There were 168 seniors ranging in age from 22 to 35 years, with a mean of 25.10 years, and with a standard deviation of 4.31 years. One hundred and 20 of them were graduate students ranging in age from 23 to 43 years, with a mean of 31 years, and with a standard deviation of 6.93 years.

Tests Used

Two newly being developed psychological test considered to be in final stages of standardization prior to marketing were used in the study. Each one of the tests contains 200 true/false type items that are distributed in eight part scores, with 25 items in each. The tests are designed to run in a PC AT like computer using the Microsoft DOS operating system. In a sense the tests seeks to assess major elements associated with patriotism in a democracy, and which characterizes the psychological structure of a democracy. As John Dewey and others have insisted repeatedly "a democracy is the interdependence of independent individuals." The first portion of the DEMO test Personal Maturity is associated directly with "independence," while the second part, Social Integration, is directly associated with "interdependence."

Findings

Clearly the teachers from the three states included in the data contained in Table 1 below show a fervent zeal to acquire the kind of personal patriotism associated with "democratic Maturity" as defined and used in The Democratic Maturity Test (DEMO). Every single one of the 11 different scores on the DEMO test proudly displays a statistically significant gain over the five year program at the 0.000 level of confidence.

Table 1
Use of Analysis of Variance to Assess College Grade Differences
(N=1452)

               (N=768)       (N-82)       (N=334)       (N-148)
Scores         13th Gr.      14th Gr.     15th Gr.      16th Gr.

1. Self-esteem - EST:
M              70.68         81.85         77.68         76.00
SD              7.55          7.55          7.05          8.08

2. Coping Skills - COP:
M              74.29         81.27         81.99         82.16
SD             13.14         10.42          7.89         10.42

3. Assertiveness - ASS:
M              61.53         62.73         69.63         65.24
SD             12.68          9.04         13.14          9.00

4. Locus of Control - LOC:
M              68. …