Variables motivating parents to choose a specific type of private school

Roberta Jane Krueger Taylor, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the reasons associated with parents' choices of specific types of private schools. The researcher hoped to determine if there were any significant differences in the reasons parents reported for enrolling their child in a specific private school. Studies in the past have explored why parents choose private schools. This study focused on why parents chose a specific type of private school, what were the variables involved, and were there any significant differences in the motivation of parents with children enrolled in different types of private schools. The study gathered data using a survey instrument which centered on 14 variables generally associated with the choice of private schools. The survey asked parents to rate the variables using a Likert type scale. The Likert rating was used because it does not require respondents to choose between variables. The general areas of emphasis were (a) academics, (b) religion and values/morals, (c) nurturing educational environment, and (d) proximity and convenience of the school. The survey also gather qualitative data in the form of comments volunteered by over a third of the respondents. The survey was mailed to 560 randomly selected families from 30 private high schools in a 50 mile radius of Miami, Florida. The 10 high schools, represented five types of private schools, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Independent, Jewish, and Fundamentalist Christian. After four mailings a total of 401 surveys were returned for a rate 72%. Significant differences appeared as the data was analyzed using ANOVA and Tukey's HSD pairwise analysis. The variables showing significant differences between types of schools were (a) quality of instruction, (b) commitment of teachers, (c) emphasis on religion, (d) small class size, (e) well-defined academic goals, (f) proximity of the school's location, (g) preparation for desired secondary schools/colleges, and (h) convenience of school's operating schedule. Parents appeared to have specific reasons for choosing a particular private school. They appeared to look for a school that would satisfy the special needs of their child and would be compatible with their own values, morals, and personal philosophy.

Subject Area

School administration|Curricula|Teaching|Religious education|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Taylor, Roberta Jane Krueger, "Variables motivating parents to choose a specific type of private school" (1996). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9635748.