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Changes in School Attendance In 1900, approx. 10% of teens attended secondary school In 1930, approx 50% of teens attended Currently, almost all teens.

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Presentation on theme: "Changes in School Attendance In 1900, approx. 10% of teens attended secondary school In 1930, approx 50% of teens attended Currently, almost all teens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changes in School Attendance In 1900, approx. 10% of teens attended secondary school In 1930, approx 50% of teens attended Currently, almost all teens attend school Why the changes? Families no longer need children to work Child labor laws Industrialization: need for skilled workers Compulsory education laws

2 Changes in Schooling 19 th Century: only upper class attended –Focus on liberal arts education Early 20 th C: immigration lead to schools’ focus on citizenship & practical info (reading, arithmetic) Mid 20 th Century: Non-practical (e.g., arts) classes added back to curriculum 1970’s: Relevance/real-world non-traditional curriculum (i.e., vocational, internships, ‘family life’) 1980’s – 90’s: Declining scores on reading, math, science in 70’s & 80’s  “Back to basics” –The upper range of US students perform worse than average students in other industrialized countries

3 Characteristics of Schools That Impact Achievement and Adjustment of Adolescents

4 School Size “Big School, Small School” (Barker & Gump, 1964) Advantages of Big Schools –Offer more diverse range of classes –Offer wider range of extracurricular activities Advantages of Small Schools –Twice as many students participate in extracurricular activities. Greater chance of rising to leadership, which builds confidence. –Students better known by teachers –Smaller class size, so weaker students less likely to fall through cracks

5 Middle School vs. Junior High Early 1900’s, most schools were k-8 and 9-12 –Junior high schools later inserted, and more recently middle school (6th-8 th ) –Research: Middle schools superior to junior high, if they use team approach. Greater focus on team teaching rather than departments Teachers work with one grade only, get to know students Students take classes only with members of their own team, less overwhelming

6 Negative Aspects of School Transitions Some research shows that school transitions are stressful no matter when they occur. K-8 may be better (Simmons & Blyth, 1987). –Transition to junior high associated with decreased academic motivation, and decreased self-concept, especially in girls Why? Coincidence of puberty and school transitions Poor person-environment fit (Eccles et al).

7 Person-Environment Fit Junior Highs—especially without team teaching—may be less optimal environments for teens (Eccles et al.) Less one-on-one time with teachers, less personal relationship with teacher More emphasis on teacher control and discipline, few opportunities for student choice, self-control just at the time that they seek more autonomy Teachers rely more on whole-class instruction, rather than small groups Teachers use higher standards, so grades drop Middle school teachers feel less effective as teachers

8 Individual, Family, and Peer Influences on School Achievement

9 Case Study Latino lower middle-class family, 45 year-old mother, and 16 year-old son come to your office. Problem: -Mother very worried, concerned, because son Roberto doesn’t seem to care about school. She feels he is bored, maybe depressed, though not when he’s around his girlfriend, Maria. Maria is a very good student and wants Roberto to study harder. Mother clearly loves Roberto,but fears he will flunk, or at least not be prepared for good jobs and success in life. -Roberto denies being depressed (and doesn’t meet criterion). He feels that his mother is disappointed in him, and wishes she would get off his back about school work. He insists he will do well enough to pass, and that is all he cares about. He thinks he is smart, but doesn’t work hard because he just doesn’t feel like it. His poor grades have at times kept him off sports teams. -Father is more distant and uninvolved. -His sister, Margarita, 1 year older, is extremely successful student, popular, athletic, etc.

10 Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation: strive to achieve because enjoy learning –Correlated with parents rewarding success with positive attention and affection Extrinsic motivation: Does does not enjoy learning. If he/she strives to achieve it is because of rewards for doing well, and/or punishment for doing poorly. –Correlated with parents who give tangible rewards for good grades, punish for bad ones How does this construct fit Roberto?

11 Mutability of Intelligence Teens who believe that intelligence is mutable, and can be improved, are more concerned with learning than with performance (i.e., tests, grades) –They tend to exert effort, seek challenges, and to believe achievement is a function of effort. If they do not do well it just means they need to learn, not that they are stupid or incompetent Teens who believe intelligence is fixed behave in one of two ways: –If they are self-confident, they work hard, seek challenge –If not confident, they give up quickly How does this fit Roberto?

12 Parental Factors Related to Achievement Parental encouragement and positive expectations for success Structuring the home environment to support school –Structured work times, organized work area Parental involvement –Monitor, express interest, attend school programs These 3 qualities describe authoritative parents –Indifferent: children with lowest academic success –Drop-out rates highest for permissive/indulgent parents How does this construct fit Roberto?

13 Peer Influences on Achievement Having higher achieving friends is associated with academic success Having lower achieving friends, or friends who dislike school, associated with poorer achievement By 8th grade, many teens do not want peers to know that they work hard –Those whose self-image is heavily influenced by peers tend to have lower achievement How does this relate to Roberto?

14 Gender Differences Girls overall have higher achievement than boys Girls less likely to have learning disabilities Girls less likely to drop out Girls more likely to attend and finish college Girls enjoy classroom experiences more: –More likely to feel teachers listen to them –More likely to feel teachers care about them Although boys more likely to take math and science in high school and pursue science careers, the gap is lessening. How does this apply to Roberto?

15 Ethnic Differences in Achievement Asian Americans highest academic achiev., followed by Whites; Latino and African-American lower. Why? Social class Asian-American parents attribute success/failure to effort, less likely to attribute it to ability than other parents. Thus, they insist their children try harder. Discrimination: African American and Latino adolescents more likely to believe their future opportunities are limited. White & Asian teens more likely to believe poorer achievement will translate into future lack of success. (Go to next slide…)

16 High School Drop-Outs

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