09 SES 03 A, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Relating Achievement and Attitudes to Variables on Individual, Class/School and System Levels
In the presented paper we discuss the interrelation between math self-concept, achievement and school prestige. It is well-known that school status and school climate do have significant impact on students’ achievement and attitudes. H.Marsh with colleagues has discovered so-called “reflected glory effect”: the schools which are known as the best and most prestigious ones add to students’ self-concept in certain domains (e.g., math, literacy). The problem is that one can examine this effect only on the data containing questions about parental and children’s views of their school standing. It seems to be impossible when working with such datasets as TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS.
School prestige does not necessarily imply high average achievement. School may be prestigious due to its story and past merits, its geographic position or certain programs. The official status of the school (e.g., Gymnasium vs. Hauptschule in Germany) may also be not the best indicator of school prestige: the group of Gymnasiums is huge, as well as the variability inside this group. This assumption was confirmed by Trautwein et.al., who found that the relationship between self-concept and school track is explained by the grading system (Trautwein et.al., 2006). Nevertheless, in the TIMSS study the best proxy for school prestige would be achievement as such.
It is obvious that prestigious schools can be found in any educational system with no regard to its stratification. The USA gives a good example. Educational system is known to be non-stratified, but there are certain schools (e.g., private preparatory schools), which are evidently “glorious”. Still, one cannot find them in completely anonymous TIMSS or PISA sample. The anonymity makes it impossible to take into consideration some obvious features of “glorious” schools.
The aim of our research is to study “reflected glory effect” and the role of school prestige for math self-concept. We hypothesize that (1) school glory measured as either average achievement or prestige positively affects math self-concept; (2) this effect is especially strong for low achievers; (3) school public prestige is a better predictor of “glory effect”, than school achievement.
1. Liu, W. C., Wang, C. K. J., & Parkins, E. J. (2005). A longitudinal study of students’ academic self-concept in a streamed setting: The Singapore context. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(4), 567–586. doi:10.1348/000709905X42239 2. Marsh, H. W. (1991). Failure of High-Ability High Schools to Deliver Academic Benefits Commensurate With Their Students’ Ability Levels. American Educational Research Journal, 28(2), 445–480. doi:10.3102/00028312028002445 3. Marsh, Herbert W., Kong, C.-K., & Hau, K.-T. (2000). Longitudinal multilevel models of the big-fish-little-pond effect on academic self-concept: Counterbalancing contrast and reflected-glory effects in Hong Kong schools. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 337–349. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.527 4. Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Marsh, H. W., Köller, O., & Baumert, J. (2006). Tracking, grading, and student motivation: Using group composition and status to predict self-concept and interest in ninth-grade mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(4), 788–806. doi:10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2068 5. Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Marsh, H. W., & Nagy, G. (2009). Within-school social comparison: How students perceive the standing of their class predicts academic self-concept. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(4), 853–866. doi:10.1037/a0016306
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