Cognitive style and behaviour in secondary school pupils in Kuwait
The behaviours of 207 (92 male and 115 female) 15-18-year-old Kuwaiti secondary school pupils were assessed, together with a rating of their home educational background and cognitive style. The teachers of Arabic and of mathematics independently rated the behaviour of their pupils on a 31-item pupil behaviour questionnaire, and home educational background was rated by the Social Officer in each school. The position of pupils on the Wholist-Analytic and Verbal-Imagery dimensions of cognitive style was assessed by means of the Arabic version of the computer-presented Cognitive Styles Analysis. A factor analysis of the questionnaire items indicated four factors: conduct behaviour, learning behaviour, stability and physical well-being. With conduct and learning behaviour, the overall level was higher for females than males and also improved as parents' educational level increased. While conduct behaviour did not vary much with style, learning behaviour was significantly lower for the Analytics than the Wholists, and for the Imagers than the Verbalizers. For stability and physical well-being, there was a significant interaction between the educational level of parents and style in their effect on overall rating, with the greatest style effect when the parental educational level was low. The results are discussed in terms of their practical implications and the nature of the educational system within Kuwait.
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