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Assessing the Personal and Emotional Developmental Outcomes of High-School Students

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2012

Amanda G. Mergler*
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology, Australia. a.mergler@qut.edu.au
Rebecca Spooner-Lane
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
*
*Address for Correspondence: Dr Amanda Mergler School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology – Kelvin Grove, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Queensland Australia 4059
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Abstract

An examination of recent education policy and research demonstrates that the development of personal and emotional competence amongst Australian school students is a national priority (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005; Lewis & Frydenberg, 2002; Reid, 2006). In an attempt to determine whether high-schools are indeed supporting the personal and emotional development of young people, the present study investigated personal responsibility, emotional intelligence and self-esteem among a sample of year 11 public (n = 274) and private (n = 124) school students. The study found that all participants demonstrated high levels of personal responsibility and emotional intelligence, with no significant differences between the public and private school. Public and private school participants significantly differed on self-esteem, with private school participants reporting high levels of self-esteem (M = 30.36) and public school participants (M = 26.92) reporting moderate levels of self-esteem. It is sometimes assumed that private schools facilitate better developmental outcomes among students than public schools. Whilst findings are limited to results obtained from one public and one private school, the current study did not find evidence to support that the personal and emotional development of students is hindered in a public school environment.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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