Title of Abstract

Adult’s Perceptions and Lack of Knowledge of Different Learning Environments

Submitting Student(s)

Joslynn Luto

Session Title

Additional Projects

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.; Donna Nelson, Ph.D.; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Despite the changing landscape of education, misunderstandings and stereotypes may underlie parents’ decision-making process. We examined adults’ perceptions and knowledge of different learning environments. Adults (n=95) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions describing a specific type of learning environment for a second-grade school child. The conditions were: structured public, unstructured/flexible public, structured homeschool, and unstructured/flexible homeschool. Participants predicted the child’s likely outcome and provided information about their own educational experience and preferences, followed by a knowledge quiz about educational options. Adults perceived homeschool as encouraging creativity in children but providing a poor academic environment with little opportunity for social skill development. These perceptions may reflect stereotyped thinking rather than reality, as participants had limited factual knowledge about both public- and home- schools. Adults also ranked public school as the best option for all children. White adults and men felt the most positively about public school. Although adults believed that public school is the best option for most children, they disagreed that public school set them up for success.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Adult’s Perceptions and Lack of Knowledge of Different Learning Environments

Despite the changing landscape of education, misunderstandings and stereotypes may underlie parents’ decision-making process. We examined adults’ perceptions and knowledge of different learning environments. Adults (n=95) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions describing a specific type of learning environment for a second-grade school child. The conditions were: structured public, unstructured/flexible public, structured homeschool, and unstructured/flexible homeschool. Participants predicted the child’s likely outcome and provided information about their own educational experience and preferences, followed by a knowledge quiz about educational options. Adults perceived homeschool as encouraging creativity in children but providing a poor academic environment with little opportunity for social skill development. These perceptions may reflect stereotyped thinking rather than reality, as participants had limited factual knowledge about both public- and home- schools. Adults also ranked public school as the best option for all children. White adults and men felt the most positively about public school. Although adults believed that public school is the best option for most children, they disagreed that public school set them up for success.