Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Second Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Third Advisor

Elvin S. Gabriel

Abstract

Problem. The Ministry of Education on the Caribbean Island of Grenada has been seeking to find ways to improve students' academic performance. The Ministry's emphasis has been on finding ways to make students more responsible for their education and at the same time trying to examine the level of educator support and parental support students receive. This emphasis on the level of educator and parental support that students receive was due in part to the findings of Hinds et al. (1999) that students in the Eastern Caribbean rate the support from parents and educators as being very important to their educational life.

This study examined the impact of student diligence on student academic performance in Grenada's high schools. On a secondary level, the study examined impact of student support systems on student diligence and investigated demographic differences in diligence.

Method. Four hundred and forty-eight students, 348 parents, and 34 educators participated in the study. Of these, 310 students were matched to their parents. Factor analysis was done to ensure that the instrument was robust enough to be used in the Grenadian culture. Correlational and multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between diligence and academic performance, and parental diligence support and student diligence. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine demographic differences in diligence among students.

Results. Factor analysis led to the revision of the Diligence Inventory that was used in Grenada. Diligence was operationalized through four dimensions and 33 items. The four scales were: Motivation, Concentration and Assimilation, Conformity and Responsibility and Discipline.

The major findings indicate that there is a significant but modest correlation between diligence and academic performance (r = .248). However, the correlation between diligence and academic performance for females ( r = .258), 15-year-olds (r = .427), and students of 'other' descent (r = .300) are stronger than that of general population. Also, there is a significant relationship between parental support and student diligence (r = .279). Educators (M = 140.05, SD = 12.22) are more supportive of their students' diligence than are parents (M = 133.79, SD = 19.92, p < .001).

The study found that females tended to be more diligent than males ( p < .05), and that younger students were more diligent ( p < .01) and tend to have significantly higher academic performance levels than older students (p < .001).

Conclusion. This study has implications for educating students in Grenada and other Caribbean countries With similar cultures. It may help educators become more sensitized to the differences students bring to the classroom, and may help thedifferent Ministries of Education in their intervention measures to improve students' academic performance.

Subject Area

High school students--Grenada, Counseling in secondary education

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