PCI Form

Conceptualization of Pupil Control Ideology

Pupil control ideology is conceptualized along a continuum from custodial at one extreme to humanism at the other.

The rigidly traditional school serves as a model for the custodial orientation. This kind of organization provides a highly controlled setting concerned primarily with the maintenance of order. Students are stereotyped in terms of their appearance, behavior, and parents' social status. Teachers do not attempt to understand student misbehavior; in fact, they view misbehavior as bad and believe that irresponsible and undisciplined persons should me controlled through punitive sanctions. Watchful mistrust and autocratic control are the critical aspects of a custodial perspective.

The model for the humanistic orientation is the school conceived of as an educational community in which members learn through interaction and experience. Student learning and behavior are viewed in psychological and sociological terms rather than moralistic ones. The withdrawn student is seen just as much of a problem as the troublesome one. Teachers believe that students can learn to be responsible and self-regulating individuals. Moreover, the humanistic teacher is optimistic about the student and has open and friendly relations with students. A humanistic orientation leads teachers to desire a democratic classroom climate with its attendant flexibility in status and rules, open channels of two-way communication, and increased self-determination. Teachers and students are willing to act on their own volition and accept responsibility for their actions.

Reliability and Validity of PCI Form

The PCI Form is a 20-item Likert-type scale that measures the degree to which an individual's pupil control ideology is custodial; the higher the score, the more custodial the ideology and conversely, the lower the score, the more humanistic the attitude. The reliability of the scale is consistently high--usually .80-.91 (Packard, 1988; Willower, Eidell, & Hoy, 1967). The construct validity of the scale has been supported in a number of studies (for example, see Packard, 1988; Willower, Eidell, & Hoy, 1967).

Scoring Key

Items are scored 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 corresponding to the extent of agreement, with strongly agree=5, agree=4, undecided=3, disagree=2, or strongly disagree=1 with each statement. Items 5 and 13 are reversed scored, that is, strongly agree=1, agree=2, undecided=3, disagree=4, or strongly disagree=5. The higher the cumulative score on the scale, the more custodial the perspective is judged to be.

Suggested Readings

Hoy, W. K. (2001). The pupil control studies: A historical, theoretical, and empirical analysis. Journal of Educational Administration, 39, 424-44.

Packard, J. S. (1988). The pupil control studies. In N. J. Boyan (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational administration (pp. 185-207). New York: Longman.

Willower, D. J., Eidell, T. L., & Hoy, W. K. (1967). The school and pupil control. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.

Ohio State School of Education
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