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- school and classroom size, different approaches to age grouping, tracking or the grouping of students in classes according to their academic abilities, the ethnic composition of school, and public versus private schools
- larger school= more varied curriculum but the bigger is NOT better
- student performance and interest in schools improve when their schools are made less bureaucratic and more intimate
- better with cohesive sense of community
- >400 students attachment to school is weaker
- Contrary to widespread opinion, there is no evidence that rates of student victimization are higher in larger schools, although victimization is less likely in schools where the student-teacher ratio is lower, perhaps because it is easier for schools to establish and enforce norms about how to behave
- Some of the most interesting findings of research on school size concern participation in extracurricular activities rather than classroom achievement. You might expect that, in addition to providing a more varied curriculum, large schools are able to offer more diverse extracurricular activities to their students—and indeed they do. Large schools can support more athletic teams, after-school clubs, and student organizations. But because large schools also contain so many more students, actual rates of participation in different activities are only half as high in large schools as in smaller ones. As a result, in larger schools, students tend more often to be observers than participants in school activities. For instance, during the fall, a small school and a large school might each field teams in football, soccer, and cross-country running, together requiring a total of 100 students. An individual's chances of being 1 of those 100 students are greater in a school that has only 500 students than in a school with an enrollment of 4,000.
- Because students in small schools are more likely than students in large schools to be active in a wider range of activities, they are more likely to report doing things that help them develop their skills and abilities, allow them to work closely with others, and make them feel needed and important. In a small school, chances are, sooner or later, most students will find themselves on a team, in the student government, or in an extracurricular organization. Students in small schools also are more likely to be placed in positions of leadership and responsibility, and they more often report having done things that made them feel confident and diligent. School size especially affects the participation of students whose grades are not very good. In large schools, academically marginal students often feel like outsiders and rarely get involved in school activities. In small schools, however, these students feel a sense of involvement and obligation equal to that of more academically successful students. The ideal size of a high school is between 600 and 900 students
- In short, although large schools may be able to offer more diverse curricula and provide greater material resources to their students, the toll that school size may take on student learning and engagement appears to exceed the benefits of being bigger (V. Lee & Smith, 1995). Evidence also suggests that there is more inequality in students' educational experiences in larger schools, where students may be sorted into tracks of differing quality. In small schools, in contrast, it is more likely that all students are exposed to the same curriculum, if only because the school cannot afford to offer more than one
- In some schools, students with different academic abilities and interests do not attend classes together. Some classes are designated as more challenging and more rigorous, and are reserved for students identified as especially capable. Other classes in the same subject area are designated as average classes and are taken by most students. Still others are designated as remedial classes and are reserved for students having academic difficulties. The process of separating students into different levels of classes within the same school is called ability grouping, or tracking. Not all high schools track students. In some schools, students with different abilities take all their classes together
- Even among schools that use tracking, there are important differences in how tracking is done, Some schools are more inclusive in their tracking, permitting a relatively high proportion of students into the highest track (including some students whose abilities do not warrant such placement). Other schools are more exclusive, limiting the places in the highest track to a privileged few (even if this means placing some high-ability students in the lower tracks). And still other schools are "meritocratic," placing students in tracks that accurately match their abilities
- Educators have debated the pros and cons of tracking for years, but research provides no definitive answers about its overall effects. Proponents of tracking note that ability grouping allows teachers to design class lessons that are more finely tuned to students' abilities. Tracking may be especially useful in high school, where students must master certain basic skills before they can learn such specialized subjects as science, math, or foreign languages. Critics of tracking point out, however, that students in the remedial track receive not just a different education, but one that's worse than that provided to those in more advanced tracks. Moreover, the effects of tracking are not limited to academic outcomes. Schools play an important role in influencing adolescents' friendship choices. When students are tracked, they tend to socialize only with peers from the same academic group. Tracking can polarize the student body into different subcultures that are often hostile toward each other
- Critics of tracking also point out that decisions about track placements often discriminate against poor and ethnic minority students and may hinder rather than enhance their academic progress (Oakes, 1995). Some school counselors may assume that ethnic minority or poor youngsters are not capable of handling the work in advanced classes and may automatically assign them to average or remedial classes, where less material is covered and the work is less challenging. One analysis of national data found that Black students were especially likely to be enrolled in lower-track math classes in schools in which Blacks are in the minority, even after taking into account students' qualifications
- Hundreds of studies have looked at the impact of tracking on student achievement. Unfortunately, this research suggests both positive and negative effects and, more importantly, different effects on students in different tracks. Tracking has positive effects on the achievement of high-track students, negative effects on low-track students, and negligible effects on students in the middle. Because of this, decisions about whether to implement tracking in nontracked schools, or whether to "detrack" schools that use tracking, are often controversial. Parents of students in the higher tracks favor the practice, while parents of students in the lower tracks oppose it
- Even in schools that do not have formal tracking, teachers may group students within the same class into ability groups. In such an arrangement, students may have a wider range of peers with whom to compare themselves than they would in separate tracks, since their classes are more diverse in composition. The impact of this comparison on both students and teachers is quite interesting. For high-ability students, within-classroom ability grouping raises their expectations for achievement and raises their teachers' evaluations of them; for low-ability students, the opposite is true: They have lowered expectations and get worse grades from their teachers. In classes with mixed ability groups, the high-ability students look better, and the low-ability students look worse, than they would in a conventionally tracked school or in a school in which ability grouping is not used. As is the case with tracking, within-classroom ability grouping also exposes students in different groups to different levels of educational quality, with students in the high-ability groups receiving more challenging instruction and more engaging learning experiences
- Adolescents who score 130 or higher on an intelligence test are considered gifted. Adolescents with a learning disability are those whose actual performance is significantly poorer than their expected performance (based on intelligence or aptitude tests, for example) and whose difficulty with academic tasks cannot be traced to an emotional problem, such as coping with a parental divorce, or a sensory dysfunction, such as a visual or hearing impairment
- Educators have debated whether gifted students and those with learning disabilities are best served by instruction in separate classes (for example, in enriched classes for gifted students or in special education classes for students with a learning disability) or by mainstreaming, the integration of all students with special needs into regular classrooms. Pros and cons of each approach have been identified. On the one hand, separate special education programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of students and can target educational and professional resources in a cost-effective way. On the other hand, segregating students on the basis of academic ability may foster social isolation and stigmatization—either for being "stupid" or for being a "brainiac."
- Following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954, 1955), in which the Court found that it was unconstitutional to maintain separate schools for children on the basis of race, many school districts adopted measures designed to make schools more diverse. They did this either by assigning students to schools in a way that would create ethnic diversity or by encouraging voluntary desegregation, through measures like having "magnet" schools that would create diversity by drawing students from different neighborhoods (for instance, by having citywide schools specializing in the performing arts). Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that school districts may no longer use race as a factor in deciding how to assign students to schools, efforts to create ethnic and racial diversity through voluntary measures are still in use in many cities
- short term effects have been mixed
- deseg. has little impact on the achievement levels
- minority kids self esteem is high when they attend schools in which they are in the majority
- in schools that mix low and high income, the low income students do worse when they attend schools that are less socioeconomically divers
- Consistent with this, students who have been bused to school out of their neighborhood report weaker feelings of attachment to their school than do students whose schools draw directly from the local community. Students' attachment to school also is higher when they attend schools where relatively more of their classmates are from the same ethnic group
- In general, though, research suggests that being in the minority in one's school is hard on students
- Male and female students from ethnic minority groups often have different experiences with peers when they attend schools in which they are a small minority. Cross-ethnic friendships are more common among male than female students, in part because males are more likely to be involved in athletics, which provides opportunities for White and minority students to interact. In addition, in suburban schools to which inner-city students are bussed, the view that Black boys are cool and tough leads them to be admired by White boys and included in social activities, whereas the stereotypes of Black girls as loud and assertive are off-putting to White girls, who aren't interested in socializing with them
- The climate of public and private schools, especially Catholic schools, is often very different. As many writers have pointed out, a Catholic school is a community in which parents, teachers, and students all share similar values and attitudes. Strong communities, whether based in neighborhoods or schools, generate what has been called social capital—interpersonal resources that, like financial capital, give "richer" students advantages over "poorer" ones. Students profit from the social capital associated with attending a Catholic school, because the lessons taught in school are reinforced at home, at church, and in the neighborhood, and because the links between home and school are stronger. In addition, private schools typically assign more homework and are more orderly and disciplined (an important element of the climate in good schools. Students who attend private schools (Catholic or otherwise) are substantially less likely to report feeling unsafe, being exposed to gangs, or witnessing fighting between ethnic group
- students achieve and are engaged more in school when they attend schools that are responsive and demanding
- academic functioning and psychological adjustment affect each other, so that a positive school climate—where relationships between students and teachers are positive, and teachers are both supportive and demanding— enhances adolescents' psychological well-being as well as their achievement, mainly by strengthening their engagement in class
- Students and teachers are more satisfied in classes that combine a moderate degree of structure with high student involvement and high teacher support, a finding that has emerged in studies of students from various socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic groups, and countries. In these classes, teachers encourage students' participation but do not let the class get out of control. Classes that are too task oriented—particularly those that also emphasize teacher control—make students anxious, uninterested, and unhappy. Students do best when their teachers spend a high proportion of time on lessons (rather than on setting up equipment or dealing with discipline problems), begin and end lessons on time, provide clear feedback to students about what is expected of them, and give ample praise to students when they perform well. Students also demonstrate higher achievement when the classroom climate promotes cooperation between students, rather than competition
- strongest influence is feeling that their teacher respect and care about them
- There are many similarities between good teachers and good parents. The pattern of classroom variables associated with positive student behavior and attitudes is similar to the authoritative family environment. Similarly, an overemphasis on control in the classroom in the absence of support is reminiscent of the authoritarian family, whereas a lack of clarity and organization is reminiscent of both the indulgent family and the indifferent family—and these styles in the classroom appear to affect adolescents detrimentally, just as they do at home. A recent evaluation of a program designed to improve the ways in which teachers interact with students found significant improvements in student achievement. The combination of positive student-teacher relationships in the context of an orderly and well-managed classroom and school not only facilitates academic achievement, but also reduces behavior problems. Schools that provide both structure and support have lower rates of suspension than other schools
- strong correlation because expectations are often accurate reflections of students ability and because teacher expectations actually create "self-fulfilling prophecies" that influence the behavior
- t expectations have a long-term impact on achievement
- 80% of the connection between t expectations and s achievement results from t having accurate perceptions and about 20% is an effect of the self-fulfilling prophecy
- teacher s will base their expectations on students ethnic and SE background
- black and Latino students perceive their t as having low expectations and hold stereotypes about the likelihood of misbehaving
- white ts rate misbehavior of black ss more harshly than black ts
- black students receive harsher
- Teachers' biases against lower-class or minority adolescents may make it difficult for students from these groups to attain a level of academic accomplishment that permits upward mobility. In addition, biased treatment by teachers—having low expectations for some ethnic groups and high expectations for others—can increase student alienation and feelings of hostility between students from different ethnic groups
- Parents also play an important role in the links between teacher expectations and student achievement. One recent study of Latino students found that how involved a student's parents were in school influenced their high school children's achievement directly (adolescents whose parents are involved in school perform better than their peers) but also affected teachers' expectations for their child's achievement, which, in turn, led to better student performance. Other research has found that one factor that helps protect low-income students against the impact of low teacher expectations is having high expectations for achievement from their parents
- A sad fact of life in contemporary America is that many students attend schools in which serious disruption—even violence—is an all-too-prevalent feature of the school climate. According to a national survey of secondary school students in American public schools, 1 out of every 4 students has been a victim of violence in or around school, and 1 out of 6 is worried about being physically attacked or hurt there. Violence against teachers is also all too common. Each year, nearly 300,000 American teachers (about 1 out of every 12 teachers) are threatened, and in half of these incidents, the teachers have been physically attacked
- especially common in middle schools
- victimization is less common in more ethnically diverse schools but students who are the smallest minority are most likely to be victimized
- violence more common in overcrowded schools near poor urban neighborhoods
- experts disagree on how to respond to violence
- school same that schools should refer aggressive students to the law and many schools police on duty to stop assaults and arrest bad students
- some say that the zero tolerance has not helped
- suspending or expelling students from school increases more trouble
- violence can be reduced through programs that create a more humane climate
- are that schools define infractions carefully and train staff in how to respond appropriately, reserve suspension or expulsion for only the most serious disruptive behavior, require school police officers to have training in adolescent development, and implement preventive measures to improve school climate and increase students' attachment to school. Students who are at risk for misbehavior in school are less likely to get into trouble in schools where students generally feel more connected to school than in schools where students are more alienated
- Of course, one of the ways to do this would be to reduce the number of disruptive students, by intervening to change their behavior at an earlier age
- in other countries they are often separated into college and non-college-bound tracks early in adolescence, typically on the basis of standardized national examinations. In fact, rather than housing all high school students in comprehensive high schools such as those found in the United States, most other industrialized nations separate students during early or middle adolescence into schools for college-bound youngsters and schools designed to provide vocational and technical education. In the United States, the post-secondary education system is composed of a wide variety of public and private two- and four-year institutions, some emphasizing a liberal arts education and others focusing more on technical, vocational, and preprofessional training.
- One of the unfortunate by-products of our having made postsecondary education so accessible—and so expected—is that we have turned our backs on individuals who do not go directly to college, even though they compose one-third of the adolescent population. Our secondary schools are geared almost exclusively toward college-bound youngsters. In most contemporary American high schools, counseling is geared toward helping college-bound students continue their education. Billions of dollars, in the form of financial aid and subsidized public college tuition, are given to these students. Some critics have suggested that we should spend just as much time and money helping the other third of the adolescent population make their transition into adulthood as smooth as possible
1: emphasize intellectual activities
- a common purpose of quality education is valued and shared by students, teachers, administrators and parents
- Learning is more important to students than athletics or extracurricular activities, and seeing that students learn is more important to teachers and administrators than seeing that they graduate. All students are expected to learn, and all students are taught by teachers who use proven instructional methods.
2: have teachers who are committed to their students and who are given freedom and autonomy by administrator in the way that they express this commitment in the classroom
- when teacher are given a say in school governance, they find it easier to commit to the shared values of the institution
3: are well integrated into the communities they serve
- active attempts are made to involve parents in education, important influence on student achievement and a deterrent against dropping out
4: are composed of good classroom, where students are active participants in the process of education, not passive recipients of lecture material
- atmosphere is orderly but not oppressive
5: are staffed by teachers who are well-qualified and who have received specific training in teaching adolescents
- students who attend schools with a high proportion of teachers who are certified, who majored in the subject they are teaching, and who are experienced achieve more and are more likely to graduate than their peers in schools with less qualified teachers
- schools of poor families or with limited language skills are least likely to have qualified teachers
a biologically based psychological disorder characterized by impulsivity, inattentiveness and restlessness often in school situations
- Although it is not technically a learning disability, adolescents who have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently have academic difficulties that can be traced to this problem. ADHD is usually diagnosed during childhood, but the condition persists into adolescence in 50 to 70% of cases, and into adulthood in about half of all children with the diagnosis
- ADHD is defined by persistent and impairing symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity, although the defining feature of ADHD in adolescence (as opposed to childhood) is generally inattention, rather than impulsivity or hyperactivity. Adolescents with ADHD are classified into one of three subtypes: predominantly inattentive (about 30 to 40% of all cases), predominantly hyperactive/impulsive (fewer than 5% of all cases, and rarely seen during adolescence), or combined (between 50 and 60% of all cases). One reason the prevalence of ADHD declines with age is that some individuals develop better attention and impulse control as they mature from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. In addition to being at risk for academic difficulties, individuals with ADHD are also at risk for a wide range of nonscholastic problems, including substance abuse, difficulties in delay of gratification, anxiety, problematic peer relations, obesity, and depression. ADHD also is present in many cases of serious juvenile delinquency
the reason that individuals who attend high school with high achieving peers feel worse able themselves than comparably successful individuals with lower achieving peers
- One downside to being placed with students of high academic ability is that when students compare themselves to their high-achieving classmates, they don't feel as competent as they would if their point of comparison were students who were not so smart. This phenomenon, called the big fish-little pond effect, has been documented around the world. The effect seems to be limited to what goes on in students' regular schools; students who participate in summer programs for the academically talented don't seem to suffer psychologically as a consequence
- Being a big fish in a little pond is also helpful for admission to college. One study of some 45,000 applications to three elite universities found that applicants' chances of being accepted are greater when they come from high schools with a relatively lower proportion of other high-achieving students than when applicants with the same credentials come from high schools with many other high achievers. In addition, high-ability students who attend schools where the student body is more diverse also have higher career aspirations, in part because they feel better about themselves in comparison to their peers There's a catch, though: Although high-ability students who attend schools with peers who are less talented feel better about themselves, they may actually learn less
- Whereas the big fish-little pond effect suggests that gifted students might not be better off psychologically in classes restricted to high-achieving students—and argues in favor of mainstreaming them—it poses a dilemma for those who favor mainstreaming students with learning disabilities. Low-achieving students, when mainstreamed, end up comparing themselves to students whose performance is better, and may end up feeling worse about themselves than had they been separated into special classes with comparably achieving peers . Perhaps because of this, even with mainstreaming, adolescents who have learning disabilities may suffer psychological consequences related to their problems in school. Compared with average-achieving students, adolescents with learning disabilities report more social and behavioral difficulties and more problems coping with school. They are also more likely than other adolescents to have poor peer relations, are less likely to participate in school-based Given the tremendous importance society places on school success, it is not difficult to see why students who have difficulties learning would suffer psychological as well as scholastic problems.