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Chapter 10: School Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D.

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1 Chapter 10: School Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D.
The Department of Psychology The University of West Florida

2 Patterns of Schooling: USA
USA: Mandatory attendance ages based on states law(FL: students may drop out of school with parent’s permission at 16 years) Organization of school systems based on state and school district political systems Curriculum is state or local decision National requirements based on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) but dependent on state level assessment

3 Patterns of Schooling in USA
Elementary School—kindergarten through 5th or 6th grade Middle School—6th grade through 8th grade Junior High School—7th grade through 9th grade High School—9th or 10th grade through 12th grade Alternative plan: Primary (K-8) & Secondary (9-12)—tends to be more adaptive.

4 Patterns of Schooling: A Global Perspective
Globally the compulsory age varies by country. Frequently attendance is required through basic school which goes through 8th or 9th grade. Assessments frequently determine the type of post basic education (gymnasium=college prep; professional=technical career; vocational=trade or guild) Decisions about profession and type of school made quite early

5 Patterns of Schooling: A Global Perspective
Education in Post Conflict Regions Low Numbers of Trained Teachers Universities and Teacher Training Centers lack trained faculty Dependent upon foreign trainers and faculty Number of females in secondary schools significantly lower than males Textbooks typically outdated and shared by multiple students



8 Effective Schools for Adolescents
Two dimensions for consideration: School climate & belongingness: the degree to which adolescents feel part of the social fabric of the school Adolescents’ sense of support and care from peers, faculty, and administration Academic achievement Level of academic performance Test scores Class levels (advanced, basic, remedial) Class grades

9 School climate & Belongingness
School Size: 500 students is likely optimal Above 1000 students isolation of shy, neglected students more frequent School-within-a-school Within larger schools, students and teachers form smaller learning communities Teacher as Advisor Each teacher is assigned a small group of students to maintain contact across the middle or high school years

10 School climate & Belongingness
Transition from Primary to Secondary School: Teacher expectations generally negative re: adolescents (Eccles and associates) Multiple teachers across subjects Broader range of peer groups Age at transition less important than school, peer, & parental factors

11 School Climate & Academic Achievement
Factors predicting academic achievement (Stewart, 2007/2008): School Attachment: the extent to which students care about and have positive feelings for school. School Commitment: students’ perceptions that education is important to themselves

12 School Climate & Academic Achievement
Factors predicting academic achievement (Stewart, 2007/2008): Positive Peer Affiliations: values peers who have high academic aspirations and prosocial behaviors Parent-Child Discussions: parents who engage in conversations with their children about school and school-related topics in the home

13 School Climate Norms of Secondary Education:
Greater teacher control of the teaching/learning process More negative stereotype about adolescents in general Low expectations for most students Less individualized attention than in primary schools

14 School Climate Creating Positive School Climates High Demandingness
High and appropriate expectations of all students High Responsiveness Provide necessary and appropriate support for student needs to meet or exceed expectations. Create a safe and warm atmosphere Sound familiar????

15 Teacher Attitudes that Foster Positive School Climate
All students are capable of learning Expectations are high for all students Teachers value free and positive interactions with all students Teacher student relationship reflects authoritative style Teachers freely provide and receive feedback that is encouraging & informative

16 Attribution for Success & Failure
Internal Attribution External Attribution Stable Factor Ability Luck, Fate Variable Factor Effort; Strategy Selection Task Difficulty Other’s Bias

17 Attribution for Success & Failure
Middle & High School: Females Tend to attribute success in science or math to luck or task (easy) Tend to attribute failure in science or math to ability (Dickhauser & Wulf-Uwe, 2006) Males Tend to attribute success in science or math to ability Tend to attribute failure in science or math to luck or lack of effort (self-handicapping)

18 Attribution for Success & Failure
College students: females more than males indicated lack of ability for failure and effort for success (males attributed success to ability) (Beyer ,1998) Attributions of internal and variable factors for success and failure linked to greater perception of control.

19 Motivation Orientation and Engagement
Dweck’s Motivation Orientation task/mastery orientation— the completion of the task and learning the material or mastering the skill is key Tends to have a more intrinsic motivational set

20 Motivation Orientation and Engagement
Dweck’s Motivation Orientation performance/ability orientation— Focus is on external evaluation; getting the grade Tends to have more extrinsic motivational set Schooling typically requires both!!!

21 Beyond School Climate: Student Engagement
Family factors in Student Engagement: Parental expressions of value of educational attainment (e.g. Stewart, 2007/2008) Parental monitoring of students’ homework and academic progress Parental models for literacy Parents provide a text rich environment Authoritative parenting related to higher engagement regardless of social class. How might a parent with low skills and little financial resources accomplish this?

22 Peers, Friends, & School Friends typically share similar levels of engagement and achievement Larger peer groups (e.g. crowds) can influence social comparisons Selective schools/programs can have differential impacts on peer status

23 Work, Leisure, & School Broad issue is linked to competing priorities
Work of greater than 10 hours/wk linked to: reduced engagement in school, lower academic performance, increased psychological difficulties, and over all poorer outcomes Students from lower SES families tend to work to provide partial family income Others tend to work for disposable income (e.g. car)

24 Ethnic Differences in Schooling: Engagement and Achievement
Cautionary Notes: Ethnic differences are confounded by economic factors As much intragroup variability exists as intergroup variability When economic, prejudice, and peer influences are considered, little difference in engagement and academic achievement exist

25 Gender Differences Cautionary Notes
Differences in academic achievement related to social support from peers, teachers, and families Overall females achieve higher than males Domain specific differences (e.g. science & math) likely due to socialization (Nosak’s work)

26 Academic Achievement What are factors that impact one’s level of academic achievement? Educational history Parenting factors Individual motivation Peers and friends Psychological/Learning disabilities Teacher expectations

27 Academic Achievement Accommodations for Differences
Special needs programs (Exceptional Student Education) within schools Different schools (Charter Schools) Individual interventions (e.g. medication, therapy, tutoring) Tracking (grouping by achievement levels)

28 Tracking Research on tracking
Snow (1986) with tracking "low" kids tend to be alienated from school Gamoran & Mare (1989) When achievement is held constant, tracking predicts drop out better than scores on achievement tests. Page (1990) kids in low tracks tend to think that luck and guessing is more fruitful than hard work and skills

29 School Dropouts/School Leavers
Old-for-grade (retained one or more grades) Disengagement from social fabric of the school Relevant peer groups outside of school Disengagement from the process of learning Repeated failure with no sense of possibility of recovery Behavioral Problems Rejected peer group

30 School Dropouts/School Leavers
Family Factors: Competing priorities in the home Need for additional income Need for child care or care for ill parent Neglectful Parenting Little parental monitoring Little encouragement to succeed in school

31 School Dropouts/School Leavers
Prevention School within a school Active learning strategies Models/Mentors Cooperative learning with mixed ability groups Family involvement programs Alternative programs/Pathways Adult High School (Pensacola Junior College) Cooperative Education (.5 day academics/.5 day work placement)

32 On the next slide are some questions I’d like you to prepare for our discussion. Do not spend too much time but make some notes for yourself for our discussion on School and Adolescence.

33 Education during Emerging Adulthood: The College Years
Think about your first year in college. How would you describe your peer group? How has it changed since that year? How would you describe your own educational experience to date in your college tenure? In what ways have you as a person changed during your college years? What other priorities have you had to handle during your college years?

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