Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Analysis through Hidden Curriculum of Peer Relations in Two Different Classes with Positive and Negative Classroom Climates *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Analysis through Hidden Curriculum of Peer Relations in Two Different Classes with Positive and Negative Classroom Climates *

Article excerpt

Students spend an important amount of time in classrooms during their education. A student spends approximately 4500 hours in a classroom until the end of primary school, 13,500 hours until the end of secondary school and up to18,000 hours by the end of high school. Thus the environment of their social and academic learning is based on the classroom climate. Classroom climate can be defined as the quality of the perceived classroom environment (Lee, 2005; Rowe, Kim, Baker, Kamphaus, & Horne, 2010), and can either help the students learn in a higher level or become a barrier, preventing their learning process (Lee, 2005). Penick and Bonnstetter (1993) describe classroom climate as "the conceptual image of the classroom, common for classmates."

The structure and component of the classroom climate varies according to different sources (Fraser, 1998). For example, some sources [(Science Laboratory Environment Inventory, Fisher, Henderson, & Fraser, 1997; Fraser, Giddings, & McRobbie, 1995; Fraser & McRobbie, 1995; Wong & Fraser, 1995); Constructivist Learning Environment; (Arkün & Açkar, 2010; Taylor, Dawson, & Fraser, 1995; Taylor, Fraser, & Fisher, 1997)] consider the classroom climate in its relationship with a specific field, or with a lesson; whereas others consider it separately (Rowe et al., 2010). In addition, when the focus is on the individual perception of the social climate of the classroom, four principal elements emerge: peer relations; teacher-student relations; the way that individuals considers themselves in the academic field; and the way that they get satisfaction in the classroom (Doll, Spies, LeClair, Kurien, & Foley, 2010). Peer relations in the classroom are one of the most important elements (Hinshaw, 2001; Wentzel, 1998; Wentzel, Battle, Russell, & Looney, 2010). Nevertheless, the quality of the teacher-student relations influenced the academic and social improvement of the student at every age and socio economic state (Burchinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Pianta, & Howes, 2002; Jerome, Hamre, & Pianta, 2009; Murray & Malmgren, 2005; Pianta, La Paro, Payne, Cox, & Bradley, 2002; Pianta, Nimetz, & Bennett, 1997; Pianta & Stuhman, 2004).

Another element of classroom climate-"academic competence"-concerns the perception of the students about their competence in class (Bandura, 1994). Despite the fact that this element can be a relevant and positive sign of academic success, it is in negative correlation with behavior problems in the classroom (Doll et al., 2010; Roeser, Eccles, & Sameroff, 2000). "The satisfaction of being in the classroom" can be defined as "having pleasure of joining in class activities" (Fisher & Fraser, 1981; Finn, 1989).

Because of the diverse and multidimensional aspect of classroom climate, this research focuses on the in depth analysis of peer relations, which is only one of its elements. Peer relations is one of the most important components of classroom climate. Many researchers emphasize the importance of the support between peers in the education processes (Hinshaw, 2001; Wentzel, 1998). It is observed that individuals who think that their classmates care about them get more immersed in activities at school (Wentzel et al., 2010). Conversely, for those who feel a lack of care and support from their peers, academic risk and behavior disorders are observed (Goodenow, 1992, 1993a, 1993b; Wentzel, 1994). Classmates can also support each other by giving signs of information relating to their model for academic competence (Schunk, 1987). While analyzing the relationship between social structure and classroom climate, it is seen that this notion has utmost importance for students who are disadvantaged in terms of cognitive and affective input behaviors. There is a stronger possibility that these students will not be successful within the education system and will repeat a year or leave school at an early age (Milner, 2013). …

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