Reaching the surveyed

In a study dear to any Community Educator, Donna Graves Weisenborn of Montana State University conducted a study on the best way to collect data. While now dated, still it contains some data we can relate to:

A plan for identifying community attitudes toward the community education philosophy by Donna Graves Weisenborn

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

Montana State University

© Copyright by Donna Graves Weisenborn (1979)


Weisenborn, Donna Graves. Unpublished Doctor of Education Dissertation, Montana State University, 1978.

The problem investigated in this study was to try to determine which of several methods would be most effective in collecting data that would identify community attitudes about the six basic tenets of community education. Five phases, along with alternative methods within each phase, were tested in the Bozeman School District in Bozeman, Montana.

Briefly, it was found that: 1. No one population registry included names of everyone residing in the community. The Bozeman county telephone directory provided the highest number of returns followed by the tax rolls.

  1. The Community Education Philosophy Instrument (Modified) received the highest number of returns over the three selected alternative instruments.
  2. The mailed questionnaire received the highest number of returns cost the most and took the least amount of time than the personal or telephone interview.

Four different groups were tested for possible differences in their attitudes toward the philosophy of community education: 1) four age groups, 2) men and women, 3) school community and community-at-large, 4) respondents with children and without children currently enrolled in school.

The results of the Bozeman Field Test indicated that the youngest age group (25 and under) responded the most positively toward the total philosophy of community education, the oldest age group responded the least positively. All four identified groups rated the six tenets of community education from most to least positive in the same order. The three tenets receiving the highest overall agreement by all four groups included: 1) K-12 traditional school program; 2) community involvement; 3) extended use of facilities.

Complete study here: