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

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Chapter 10 school

Chapter 10: School

Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D.

The Department of Psychology

The University of West Florida

Patterns of schooling usa
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

Patterns of schooling in usa
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.

Patterns of schooling a global perspective
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

Patterns of schooling a global perspective1
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    • Textbooks typically outdated and shared by multiple students

Effective schools for adolescents
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

School climate belongingness
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

School climate belongingness1
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

School climate academic achievement
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

School climate academic achievement1
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

School climate
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

School climate1
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????

Teacher attitudes that foster positive school climate
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

Attribution for success failure1
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)

      • (Dickhauser & Wulf-Uwe, 2006)

Attribution for success failure2
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.

Motivation orientation and engagement
Motivation Orientation and Engagement

Dweck’s Motivation Orientation

  • task/mastery orientation—

    • thecompletion of the task and learning the material or mastering the skill is key

    • Tends to have a more intrinsic motivational set

Motivation orientation and engagement1
Motivation Orientation and Engagement

  • Dweck’s Motivation Orientation

    • performance/ability orientation—

      • Focusis on external evaluation; getting the grade

      • Tends to have more extrinsic motivational set

    • Schooling typically requires both!!!

Beyond school climate student engagement
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?

Peers friends school
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

Work leisure school
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)

Ethnic differences in schooling engagement and achievement
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

Gender differences
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)

Academic achievement
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

Academic achievement1
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)


  • 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

School dropouts school leavers
School Dropouts/School Leavers

  • School Dropouts:

    • 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

School dropouts school leavers1
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

School dropouts school leavers2
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)

Chapter 10 school

Education during emerging adulthood the college years
Education during Emerging Adulthood: The College Years prepare for our discussion. Do not spend too much time but make some notes for yourself for our discussion on School and Adolescence.

  • 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?