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Title: Parents’ perceived value of Church school education in Malta
Authors: Said Camilleri, Marthese
Keywords: Repertory grid technique
Church schools -- Malta
Parents -- Malta -- Attitudes
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Said Camilleri, M. (2018). Parents’ perceived value of Church school education in Malta (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Literature about schooling in developed countries suggests that economic and academic performance factors as well as the schools’ values, ethos and teaching portfolio constitute the key characteristics parents consider when choosing schooling for their children. However, the Maltese context seems to suggest otherwise in explaining why demand for Church schools has, over the past years, consistently outstripped supply. One potential observation is that other factors, besides those observed in developed economies, may have a role in parents’ choice of school in Malta. Parents’ choices are likely to relate to perceived value as offered by the different schools. However, a review of marketing theory literature on perceived value provokes some thoughts but does not offer a realistic explanation for the phenomenon as observed in Malta. Intent on elucidating the nature of the perceived value factors as well as their structure, this study adopts a repertory grid approach that involves a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches in both data collection and analysis. Drawing from the outcomes of eleven repertory grid interviews and the generation of a considerable number of constructs, through a series of data reduction steps, the study proposes eight value dimensions on which parents distinguish between schools. Maltese parents value the leadership characteristics of the school, followed by aspects of promised peace of mind and school’s image. Perceptions about assured child development and the children’s attire follow suit in terms of importance, leaving perceptions about child resilience, pupil heterogeneity and comfort as the least important dimensions of value. These findings offer an alternative explanation to how parents perceive value as offered by Church schools. While being consistent with previous literature in finding that schools’ academic performance and school’s value and ethos matter among parents when choosing between schools, this study finds that economic considerations do not feature among the higher priority themes among Maltese parents. Beyond these observations, this study finds new and previously unreported dimensions of perceived value like peace of mind, a perception of assured child development, pupil heterogeneity and comfort.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacThe - 2018

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