Student Perceptions Of A Sixth Form College: A Case Study Of Yale College, Wrexham.

Pritchard, Keith (1984). Student Perceptions Of A Sixth Form College: A Case Study Of Yale College, Wrexham. MPhil thesis The Open University.



Research focusses upon an institution (Yale College, Wrexham) catering exclusively for Sixth Form students in the 16-19 age group. Content is based upon information collected from the selected student cohort, (240) over a two year attendance period. (1979-81).

Its basic aims are: to identify student perception of the learning milieu; to monitor the consistency of attitudes over time and to examine the relative influences of internal (school based) or external (non-school based) factors.

Only limited evidence was found of other sociological investigations exclusive to Sixth Form institutions and the nearest parallels were provided by research into Social processes within Secondary schools of the selective and non-selective variety. Research design seeks to establish whether identical processes, e.g. Differentiation and Polarisation, operate within a mixed. Comprehensive Sixth Form College, drawing its clientele primarily from seven contributory 11-16 schools.

An attempt has been made to synthesise the Functionalist and Interactionist approaches to the study of Organisations.

Objective measures of institutional attitudes were obtained from two separate essays written by each student at the 'entry' and 'departure' stage. These values indicated the spread of opinion within the pro/anti spectrum.

Interviews with a selected sample,(32) post dated each essay and provided further subjective information, which added an illuminative dimension.

Comprehensive student profiles, containing academic, socio-economic and other information, compiled from student record cards, formed the final raw data element.

Finally, at the analytical stage, a mixture of interpretive and statistical techniques were employed to; describe the attitude and distribution pattern at each stage; assess the uniformity of results or pinpoint significant changes; clarify the role of contributory factors, and maintain the rigour and consistency of analysis.

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