An attitude is defined as an expression of favour or disfavour toward a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object). Values have major influence on a person’s behaviour and attitude and serve as a defining pointer in the situations exhibiting the said behaviour / attitude.
The purpose of an attitude test is to help a child to look at his own present state of attitude and values. This understanding of his own attitude helps him to look at himself objectively. (Once he is able to look at his present self-image he can plan strategies in order to build his values and attitude aiming at a higher level.)Attitude tests are used only as a method in order to bring this self-disposition.
Attitude tests can be used with respect to any value we would like to inculcate. Let us take the case of honesty as a value. An attitude test on honesty presents the child with a few concrete situations in his life where he is or is not applying the principle of honesty. Thinking about these situations and choosing the present way of behaving in these situations enables the child to see how he is in real life.(This is an objective study of self) When he discusses with others about the behaviour pattern of his age group in similar situations he also compares himself with the values existing in and around him. Again during the discussion on what should be the proper behaviour in each of these situations, he has a direction in which he ought to move in order to attain self-fulfilment.
This method has got three important components helping the child to grow:
- Self-awareness by studying his own behaviour patterns in different situations
- Getting clarity about the real growth he needs.
- The method automatically gives a self-suggestion (Self-motivation) to the
child for higher level behaviour.
The method can be used with any value. Therefore it is not possible to form a syllabus for attitude test. But it is possible to decide in what direction we want to develop attitudes in a child and prepare an attitude test for each of these values.
[Adapted from: Usha Nanda,Teachers’ Handbook for the course in human values-SSS Balvikas education trust, PN]
DIFFERENT KINDS OF ATTITUDE TESTS
TYPE I: Choose your answer and explain
A Situation is given to the students. Different choices of conduct / behaviour are also put forth. The students are asked to pick one of the choices and explain why they would do so? Few illustrative examples are given below:
- You are waiting in a long queue. You want to leave the place early, as you have some other urgent work.
- Will you give false excuses and go to the first place?
- Will you explain your urgency and try to go earlier?
- Will you wait patiently for your turn?
- You go to a sweet shop to buy a candy. The shop-keeper is away. Will you:
- Wait for the shop-keeper to come, pay the money and get the candy?
- Make sure that nobody is watching you and then take a candy, put it fast into your mouth and go away?
- Will you simply tell yourself, “Taking away a single sweet from such a big shop, will not affect the shopkeeper in a big way” and take the candy and leave the place?
- You happened to accidentally break a beautiful flower vase when your mother was away. When she comes back and asks you:
- Will you say that you found the vase broken when you entered the room?
- Will you say that your little brother or servant maid’s little daughter had done it?
- Will you say that you did it by mistake and apologize for it?
TYPE II: Action-Reaction
Here, only the situation is given to the students; choices of behaviour/ conduct are not spelt out. The students are asked to spell out how they would react in the given situation and also explain the reasons for their behaviour.
- While giving you change, the shop-keeper has given you Rs.10 extra. What will you do? Why?
- You find some of your friends taking away chalk pieces from the school. What will you do? Why?
TYPE III: Action-Reaction
Here, some self-assessment questions are put forth to the students and the students are asked to assess their responses for themselves. The Guru does not ask the students to explain the answers or give reasons for their choices. A short silent sitting session immediately after this session helps the students analyse their choices of behavior and seek guidance from within to make a correction in their attitudes wherever necessary.
TYPE IV: Empathy Test (To put yourselves in another person’s shoes)
Giving direct advice to students can be replaced by this type of attitude test. For example, instead of saying: “Don’t quarrel or fight with your friends. And if for some reason, you happen to do so, don’t hesitate to apologize”, here we ask the student to visualise a reversal of the above situation and elicit the student’s responses. By doing so, the student will learn to look at situations from both sides instead of looking at it only from his / her own point of view.
- 1. Your friend picked-up a quarrel with you and after that he has not been talking to you.
- Will you wait for him to apologize to you – why? OR
- Will you come forward to mend the situation with a friendly conversation – why?
- 2. You had a tiff with your friend. You knew that you were on the wrong side and so you have apologized to your friend. However, even after your apology, your friend is not talking to you.
- How would you feel?
- What do you think is the right course of action in such a situation and explain why?
TYPE V: Say Ok or Not Ok
Some real-life situations are placed before the students. The students are asked to tick whether these are okay or not okay and explain the reasons therefor.
- Trimming your finger nails at least once a week.
- Talking with your friend in class when the teacher is writing notes on the blackboard in the classroom.
- Your friend has not brought lunch/pen. You will share your lunch/pen.
- Your father is talking to someone on phone. You are trying to catch his attention by shouting in a loud voice: “Daddy! Don’t talk. Let us go to the Fun City. “
- Keeping your books, bags, toys etc in their proper places.
- You are hungry but you find your mom talking to the guests at home – would you pester her to come immediately and serve you food.
TYPE VI: Data Collection Tests
These are spin-offs from the Empathy tests. Here again, instead of a direct lesson such as: “You must pay your respects to parents, teachers and elders when you see them / meet them; you must thank all those who are responsible for your welfare in any which way; you need to apologise when you have wronged anyone.”etc, questions as listed below are put forth to the students. Through this test, the students are goaded to think of situations and circumstances where they need to exhibit etiquette/good conduct / manners etc.
To whom and on what occasions would you:
- Wish “Good – morning/afternoon/night” and why?
- Say “Thank You” and why?
- Say “Sorry” and why?
It must be noted that in such tests, the Balvikas Guru must avoid being judgemental or overtly critical/ patronizing. The Guru has to bear in mind that he or she should remain a facilitator and gently guide the children towards analysing the situation on their own and help them arrive at the right decisions, without imposing his or her own value on the children.
Benefits of Attitude Tests:
- Able to introspect and analyse
- Helps in studying one’s own strengths and weaknesses
- Helps in overcoming pre-conceived notions, fears, threats, convictions etc
- Ability to choose well/discriminate