Research in Education

Published by Manchester University Press
Online ISSN: 0034-5237
Publications
Article
Examines the various elements in the long debate that surrounds the term "dyslexia" and analyzes successive theoretical explanations of its nature as advanced by clinicians and research workers during the last 50 yrs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Investigated the correlation between absenteeism and alienation over 1 academic year among 384 English pupils in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th years of school. Ss comprised 2 control groups (1 each with high and low academic achievement) and 1 group of absentees with at least a 65% absence rate. The social and educational background of Ss was assessed, and all Ss completed the School Opinion Questionnaire that asked about school factors such as community, helplessness, size, protection, aloneness, confusion, influence, and the size of the school. The absentees revealed greater patterns of alienation, but only over certain issues. Especially significant were the responses of the absentees on the variables of protecting their own interests and confusion. The limited number of pastoral staff at the school may have contributed to the feelings of the absentees that they had little chance of protecting their own interests when those interests conflicted with those of the school and that there was no one staff member to whom they could turn for help. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
An experiment with 384 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-yr students investigated social, psychological, and educational factors involved in persistent school absenteeism. Ss were divided into 3 equal ( n = 128) groups, representing an experimental group of persistent absentees and 2 control groups matched for age and sex. Differences between experimental and control Ss were examined with regard to several components, including marital status of parents, social class origins of father or guardian, family size, type of housing, offenses, school subjects most and least enjoyed, perceptions of potential school improvement, perceptions of the correct punishment for absenteeism, career aspirations, and self concept. Findings show that persistent absentees came from socially deprived backgrounds and enjoyed less permanent security at home than controls. 46% of absentees reported having committed undetected offenses (e.g., vandalism). Self-concept was lower among persistent absentees than among controls. Absentees also displayed greater alienation from school than did controls. Additional differences between persistent absentees and controls were found in the following areas: preferred school subjects; perceptions of schools, potential school improvements, and appropriate punishment for absenteeism; and career aspirations. (65 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Explored the notion that age changes in the relationship between neuroticism (general anxiety) and intellectual performance occur, and particularly studied whether the relationships are nonmonotonic. Previous studies are cited suggesting the age bracket of 13-14 yr. old as the point where anxiety may cease to be facilitating. 305 male and female schoolchildren from 5 separate schools, in the age brackets of 12-13 and 13-14 yr. old, were given 5 validated programed learning sequences following administration of intelligence and personality tests. The neuroticism (N) scale of the New Junior Maudsley Inventory was used as a test of general anxiety. An inverted relationship was found between N scores and achievement. Findings, along with data from a follow-up study of 200 undergraduates, indicate that average or above-average anxiety is facilitating to younger schoolchildren, whereas for older Ss it becomes more debilitating to the point where high anxiety hinders. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents interview and checklist data on teachers' frequently used coping strategies. Data from over 900 primary school teachers in New Zealand were factor analyzed via principal components analysis. Six factors accounting for 33% of the variance were identified: ignoring or riding the situation somewhat, pursuing rational task-oriented behavior, adopting a conservative approach toward teaching, utilizing colleagues' support, putting things in perspective, and becoming less involved. It is emphasized that these factors do not represent a coping-skills hierarchy but rather the range of techniques that teachers use to deal with stress or difficult situations. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Studied attitudes toward religion of 1,205 12- and 13-yr-old pupils in Roman Catholic voluntary aided schools in relationship to whether they attended a middle school or a conventional secondary school. Results show that religious attitudes were not related to type of school attended but were related to Ss' sex, age, and church attendance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examined perceived difficulties of 70 Israeli beginning elementary school teachers in terms of locus of control (LOC) and school organizational climate (SOC). While LOC significantly explained the variance in all groups of difficulties, SOC total score did so only for discipline. The perception of difficulties in planning, implementation, and discipline was negatively related to external LOC. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Administered the M. Rutter (see record 1967-12837-001) schedule for measurement of children's behavior to the teachers of 112 English and 74 West Indian 7-yr-old schoolchildren. Resulting scores indicate significantly (p < .001) greater behavioral disturbance among West Indian children. Additional analyses examined the influence of separation from parents. More West Indian children had experienced separation (37 vs. 13.5%), but those from intact homes still had significantly higher behavior disorder scores than English peers. Attempts to isolate influencing variables were unsuccessful. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Investigated the relative performance of 18,343 mature (aged 21+ yrs) and 165,400 younger (below 21 yrs) university students in the UK, 1972–1974. The Universities Statistical Record data were followed up to the end of the school year in 1978–1979. Although overall figures conceal variations, findings suggest that mature students were slightly more likely to leave without a degree and were just as likely to gain a 1st or upper 2nd degree. Results also suggest that Ss between 18 and 19 yrs of age were most likely to graduate and that Ss aged 26 to 30 yrs were most likely to gain a 1st or upper 2nd degree. Mature Ss were more likely to fail and less likely to gain a good degree in science subjects. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the concepts of professional identity and burnout and the relationship between them and reports data from a study of 126 teachers administered specially developed measures of professional identity (a 21-item Likert-type scale) and burnout (5 items). Additional information concerning type and level of school, seniority level, and educational background was obtained. The identity measure included 4 subscales: Valence, Centrality, Solidarity, and Self-Presentation. Significant negative correlations were found between burnout and each of the identity scales. Valence, the dominant identity factor, had the highest correlation with burnout. Seniority was correlated with burnout but not with professional identity, and different levels of burnout were associated with distinct professional identity profiles. Implications for psychosocial profiles of teachers and for teacher education programs are noted. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
An experimental study by P. Evans and J. Hogg (see record 1976-12505-001) of go/no-go discrimination learning indicated that individual differences in learning relate to children's scores on the excitation–inhibition factor of the Classroom Assessment Scale. The current paper reports 2 observational studies of 22 ambulant non-institutionalized severely retarded children (mean CA 11.5 yrs) which show that this scale factor also relates to aspects of the children's classroom behavior. In particular, the frequency of initiation of interaction, amount of speech, number of approaches, and likelihood of interacting with the teacher were positively and significantly related to the degree of excitation of the children. These results are interpreted as indicating that excitable children are more reinforcement-seeking than inhibitable children, and that this tendency leads to the differences observed in the classroom. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Studied 120 12-yr-olds to (a) investigate the relationship between extraversion, neuroticism, and field-independence in children; (b) investigate the effects of extraversion and field-dependence on 2 cognitive tasks (reasoning and prose recall); and (c) study the relationship between personality measures and verbal-imagery learning style. Ss were allocated to 3 levels of extraversion (introvert, ambivert, and extravert [Junior Eysenck Personality Inventory]) and to 2 levels of field-independence (field-independence and field-dependence [Group Embedded Figures Test]). Two cognitive tasks were used—one assessed level of operational thinking and the other recall of details given in a prose passage. Results indicate that field-dependent introverts had a higher mean neuroticism score than field-dependent extraverts, with the reverse pattern for field-independents. However, level of neuroticism was highest for the ambiverts for both field-independence and dependence, but none of the differences were significant. On the cognitive tasks, extraversion had a marked effect of prose recall, while field-independence had a roughly equal effect on both tasks. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Tested 2 null hypotheses: (a) "that the members of a complex social system are incapable of forming a general, consistent and valid concept of the total system"; and (b) "that rating scales are invalid as measuring instruments because of the inequality of units, this inequality becoming apparent when the scales are reversed in direction or in number-description association." In 2 studies, 4 different forms of a rating scale were completed by 62 and 72 male and female students, tutors, and college administrators over a 4-wk period. It was found that the order of presentation did not significantly effect the results, although movement across the body did produce a slight effect. The scatter of responses and ratings remained constant. Significant differences were found between course groups due to the student's tendency to identify course tutors with the institution. Students were more positive in their attitudes than the tutors. Considerable anxiety was found in both students and tutors during the exercise. It is concluded that "the rating scale is an appropriate instrument for many purposes but that it is unsuited as a method of establishing an objective view of a complex social system as this is experienced by participants." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Investigated the relationship between sex and race and whether the imputations that teachers hold of the ability and achievement of their pupils are related. The study was conducted over a 3-yr period in an Educational Priority Area (EPA) primary school; 5 4th-, 6th-, and 7th-grade teachers served as Ss. Results show that teachers overestimated girls, especially immigrant girls, and underestimated boys, particularly nonimmigrant boys. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Administered a 5-part inventory about attitudes toward careers and university life, demographic variables, allocation of leisure and study time, and peer relationships, to 472 English undergraduates. A factor analysis revealed 5 major student role orientations: Social Intellectual, Social Fun, Vocational, Academic, and Reformer. Patterns of residence (e.g., with other undergraduates or with nonundergraduates) and peer characteristics influenced social role orientations. Specific sex differences and role distinctions are reported in terms of subcultural influences and changes in role orientations. It is suggested that the Social Fun role orientation most closely fits C. D. Bolton and C. W. Kammeyer's (1967) definition of a student subculture because of distinctive normative values which distinguish it from other university groups (e.g., the importance of a "good time," dislike of studying, and a lack of interest in a chosen subject). (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Studied the effects of dogmatism, locus of control, background training, and level of teaching on the process of teachers' planning instructions. 54 teachers and 110 student teachers from Israel completed Rotter's Internal–External Locus of Control Scale and the Rokeach Dogmatism Scale. Ss then planned a lesson based on a story for whatever pupil level they desired. Results show that student teachers were more dogmatic and external than working teachers, perhaps due to the anxiety associated with entering the profession and their lack of experience. Elementary teachers were the least dogmatic and external, possibly the result of the progressive slant of elementary school ideology in Israel. Teachers in high schools were achievement-oriented because of the emphasis on preparing their students for baccalaureate examinations. Internal and external locus of control were found to predict internal and external deliberation characteristics. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Surveyed 206 primary school teachers on their views regarding 5 areas of the educational psychologist's work: general working relationships between teachers and educational psychologists, the deployment of the educational psychologist in special schools, new and developing roles of the educational psychologist in educational services, the traditional area of pupil assessment, and the psychologist's place in enhancing parental involvement in education. Results confirm the role of the educational psychologist as part of the educational system, as an assessment resource, and as a functionary in the special educational system. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
24 teachers were shown 3 cards bearing the names of students in their classes and were asked to put together the 2 that were the most alike and explain how they were different from the third. This process was repeated 10 times with each S. Each S was then asked to rank-order the 3 most commonly used constructs according to their importance as influences on a child's success at school. 150 additional teachers were then given a test in which they were asked to write a sentence describing the characteristics of the most and least ideal students they currently taught. Results indicate that both samples of Ss generally used the same set of constructs to distinguish between their students; there was substantial agreement within the samples as to the relative importance of these constructs as influences on a student's educational career. The predominant construct used, in terms of both usage and perceived importance, was the "intelligent–stupid" construct. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Previous studies have attempted to identify the factors that underlie postgraduate student dissatisfaction with the supervision they receive. Despite this, few authors have proposed ways in which supervision might be improved. The present author reviews the literature dealing with causes of dissatisfaction with supervision and presents suggestions for improvement, based on research findings and the results of a longitudinal study of research students at a university. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Studied the relationship between musical ability and general intelligence (GI) (Spearman's g) and verbal ability (VBA) and spatial ability (SA) as assessed by Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, Wing's Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence by H. Wing (1968), and the Kyoto NX test of major primary abilities using 49 boys and 44 girls (aged 9–11 yrs). GI was significantly correlated with all measures of musical ability. Pitch change and pitch memory were significantly correlated, while chord analysis showed low correlations with these 2 measures. Pitch change and memory were significantly correlated with SA and VBA (verbal comprehension, number, memory, and verbal reasoning), while chord analysis was significantly correlated only with VBA (tests of memory, number, and verbal reasoning). Results suggest that both the right and left hemispheres have a role in the analysis of pitch problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Hypothesized that (1) Ss who use the imagery code as a mediator when coding pictorial material would not be hampered considerably if the verbal processing route were overloaded or blocked during the acquisition stage, (2) Ss who switch in the verbal mediator to help decode the visual information (transform information presented in the image of a set of verbal sequences) would suffer a considerable loss if this processing route were not free to assist the processing of the target information, (3) Ss who use the verbal code as a mediator when coding sentential material would not be hampered if the visual processing route were overloaded or blocked during the acquisition stage, and (4) the coding of sentential information would decrease if the Ss were presented with an additional visual task. 112 males and females in the 3rd or 4th yrs of secondary education served as Ss. Results support the conclusion that Ss are differentially successful at retrieving visuo-spatial and verbatim information. It is concluded that teachers who gain information about the different types of learners in their classes (i.e., bicognitives, verbalizers, visualizers, indefinites) will have to adapt the teaching-learning process to suit the various coding strategies. In other words, the teacher will have to select learning experiences and teaching methods that maximally assist the learner in the comprehension process and also ensure adequate storage. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes the characteristics of the microteaching design for teacher training. Research on the effectiveness of various combinations of microteaching techniques is discussed. (21 ref.). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Correlation matrix
Multiple regression significance tests
Article
A sample of 2,359 sixth-form (16-18 year old) pupils attending Protestant and Catholic schools in Northern Ireland completed the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity together with a question about religious experience in order to examine whether findings from studies conducted in 1981 and 1991 would be replicated at the end of the 1990s at a time when, commentators have suggested, the religious climate of Northern Ireland was undergoing significant change and erosion. The data suggest that the acknowledgement of personal religious experience is associated with the formation of a more positive attitude to Christianity. The fact that the findings have remained stable over a period of nearly twenty years suggests that the psychological mechanism linking acknowledgement of personal religious experience with a more positive attitude to Christianity is well founded.
 
Article
This exploratory study critically examines the relation between the commonly applied social contextual variables and the assimilation of the concepts of historical time. Using new data, from a classroom-based research study of 120 nine- to ten-year-olds, it contends that extant researchers’ application and investigation of the social context of learning have been inadequate. This inadequacy, it is argued, is born of the failure of previous researchers to examine the combined effects of intrinsic and extrinsic social factors that act upon a child's learning. This study contends that a metric which combines the internal and external factors is needed. The final component of this study examines a new social contextual metric of historical cultural capital and analyses its effectiveness as a performance determinant in primary History.
 
Article
In recent years there has been considerable public interest in the extra-musical effects of music education, but this has been accompanied by sustained scholarly investigation only to some extent. Research findings have tentatively suggested, however, that a relationship exists between musical learning and language development. This empirical study attempts to explore that relationship by asking whether music, employed as a teaching tool in the modern foreign languages (MFL) classroom, can help to accelerate pupils’ language learning. 56 pupils at a large secondary school in the UK were the subjects of the study: these were divided between experimental and control groups. An intervention based on a song was found to be significantly more effective than conventional methods in the short term in helping subjects to memorise vocabulary items. The implications for this finding are discussed, in the context of the current debate about extrinsic justification of the arts.
 
Article
Teachers’ expectations of students have been extensively studied for forty years. However, students’ self-expectations and the expectations of parents are less well understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the role of student, teacher and parent expectations in relation to student achievement from the perspective of each group. Focus groups of teachers, parents and secondary school students were used to explore each group's perceptions of the roles each group's expectations played in relation to student achievement. All focus groups were audio-taped and then transcribed. Themes within the transcripts were identified and data coded accordingly. The results revealed important similarities and differences in the ideas of the various groups. For example, streaming was perceived as an important barrier to students’ achievement of their self-expectations. Furthermore, the expectations of teachers were perceived as having pervasive effects on student outcomes, mostly because of the opportunity to learn that resulted from teachers’ expectations.
 
Article
The study investigated the influence of gender, course of study and numerical ability (independent variables) on secondary school students' achievement in Practical Geography (dependent variable). Purposive sampling was used to select four co-educational secondary schools established in the same year. A sample of 367 Geography students (157 females and 210 males) in their final year (SS 3) was involved in the study. Using three instruments, the Practical Geography Achievement Test, Numerical Ability Test and a student questionnaire, the data collected were subjected to t test, Levene's test and univariate ANOVA. The findings did not reveal significant differences in female and male performances in the PGAT, whereas students' achievement in the PGAT was differentiated by their course of study and numerical ability. Interestingly, the impact of students' numerical ability on their achievement in Practical Geography is not significant across students' gender and course of study. However, there is a need to examine why gender should differentiate students' achievement in some subject areas and not in others.
 
Article
This article explores differences in achievement between private and conventional public schools with reference to gender in the face of Education for All targets and Millennium Development Goals. It shows that on average the gender gap is narrower in public schools than in private schools and that the pass rate for public school girls is higher than that for girls in private schools. This findings differs from what one might expect in Western countries and is particularly influenced by the context of Malawi, where private schools are not necessarily elite schools, or for the elite. The author argues for a need to re-examine education policy to promote schools with the best achievement gains so that general under-achievement may be redressed, especially for girls. At issue in all this is good-quality schooling for girls as a matter of gender equality.
 
Article
For almost two decades proponents of educational reform have advocated the use of standards-based education in maths and science classrooms for improving teacher practices, increasing student learning, and raising the quality of maths and science instruction. This study empirically examined the impact of specific standards-based teacher preparation and practices in secondary mathematics and science classrooms on student performance in maths and science. The study utilised an original data-driven P3 model, Preparation, Practice, and Performance, as the framework for the research design. Data obtained from over 400 classrooms in an urban US Mid-west public-school district (relative to teacher preparation, teacher practices, and student performance) were analysed using multiple regression analysis to determine which specific standards-based or non-standards-based practices are significant contributors to students' achievement. The results provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of standards-based instruction in maths and science education and substantial support for the data-driven P3 model Preparation, Practice, and Performance as an effective framework for school districts grappling with reform concerns in maths and science education.
 
Article
A number of studies have investigated sex differences in the forms of aggression exhibited by adolescent students, particularly in the Western world. No such study has been done among sub-Saharan Africa students. The aim was to examine the sex differences in forms of aggression among adolescent students in Ghana. A total of 800 adolescent students from eight same-sex secondary (high) schools in Ghana were selected for the study. The Direct/Indirect Aggression Scale (DIAS) was the main instrument used. Findings indicate that Ghanaian male students reported higher-level characteristics of direct aggression, while Ghanaian female students reported higher-level characteristics of indirect aggression. Direct verbal aggression was reported by both sexes as the most frequently exhibited aggressive behaviour on campus. This study allows an understanding of Ghanaian adolescent students' aggression and how they express their aggression on campus.
 
Article
A questionnaire consisting of two scales was administered to 550 Hong Kong secondary students to examine their emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure. Emotional autonomy was studied by the scale (EAS) developed by Steinberg and Silverberg (1986) and susceptibility to peer pressure was studied by the scale developed by Sim and Koh (2003). Multivariate analysis of variance showed significant differences across grade levels and age groups in emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure. Correlational analysis showed EAS was positively and significantly related to susceptibility to peer pressure. The results support the notion that as children grew into adolescence they tend to seek autonomy and independence from their parents. At the same time adolescents are seeking their identity and interacting more frequently with their peers, and they may yield to peer pressure and come to conformity with their peers in order to gain peer recognition. The findings help parents and teachers understand the pattern of development of their children in their emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure, and hence their behaviour. Based on these significant relationships, implications can be drawn for future research into adolescent development and students’ learning.
 
Article
This study investigated the comparative influence of ethnicity and religious affiliation on the alienation of Nigerian university staff from their work environment. The influence of certain moderator variables such as the location of the university, gender, age, educational qualification, staff category, official rank and staff communicative ability in the dominant Nigerian language spoken on campus were also investigated. The three instruments used in the collection of data were Ethnic Affiliation Scale (Cronbach alpha coefficient 0.945), Religious Affiliation Scale (Cronbach alpha coefficient 0.887) and Staff Alienation Questionaire (Cronbach alpha coefficient 0.840). The total sample used was 532 members of both teaching and non-teaching staff selected by stratified sampling from six Nigerian universities purposefully chosen. Stepwise multiple regression was applied in the analysis and the critical level of significance applied in all the analysis was never less stringent than 0.05. The major findings were as follows. Ethnicity and religious affiliation variables predicted staff alienation from co-workers, but religious affiliation variables alone predicted staff alienation from friends at work and from the job. Religious affiliation was found to be stronger than ethnicity in predicting the alienation of university staff from their co-workers (p < 0.001), their friends at work (p < 0.001) and their jobs (p < 0.001). Staff of north-located Nigerian universities felt more alienated from their co-workers and their jobs than those in the east and west. But university staff in the north were least alienated from their friends at work. Staff of universities located in the west felt most alienated from their friends at work.
 
Means, standard deviations, and statistical comparison of the four children's profi les by the two defi ning variables
Means, standard deviations, and statistical comparison of the four children's profi les by children's patterns of close relationships with mothers and peers
Article
This study explored multifaceted associations between children's aggressive behaviours and loneliness feelings by identifying sub-groups of children with different individual profiles, and also examined whether profiles associated differently with children's quality of close relationships with mothers and peers. Participants were 145 non-clinical boys (8 to 11 years) sampled from two public elementary schools: forty-one third-graders, fifty-one fourth-graders, and fifty-three fifth-graders. Using k-means clustering methods based on overall teacher-rated aggression and child-rated loneliness feelings, four distinct clusters emerged. Tukey HSD and Scheffe procedures validated the clusters, revealing significant inter-cluster differences on child's secure/insecure attachment to mother and on quality of friendship with a best friend. Discussion focuses on understanding different relationship patterns among these subg-roups of school-age boys.
 
Article
This study investigated beliefs about HIV/AIDS to find out whether this variable could constitute an obstacle to change in attitudes to sex among undergraduate youths in South West Nigeria. A descriptive research design was adopted. A total of 1,420 undergraduate students in four different universities from four states were sampled. A user-constructed questionnaire entitled ‘Sexual Behaviour and the Perception of HIV/AIDS’ (SEBPHIV/AIDS). After validation it was administered to youths. The instrument has a construct validity coefficient of 0.76 and a reliability coefficient of 0.85. The statistical techniques used were descriptive statistics such as means, standard deviations, frequency counts and percentages, while Pearson product-moment and multiple regression analysis were used in analysing the data. The results showed a significant relationship between belief about HIV/AIDS and the sexual behaviour of youths. Belief was the best predictor of sexual behaviour. On the basis of the findings it was recommended that those involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and counsellors should focus on the sexual behaviour and belief of youths, especially undergraduate students, in order to bring about an effective and positive change in their attitude to sex.
 
Article
The Self-esteem Inventory developed by Coopersmith (1967) was used to measure the self-esteem of 387 Chinese children. The sample included newly arrived mainland Chinese children and Hong Kong children. The results showed significant statistical differences when measuring the self-esteem level associated with the length of their stay in Hong Kong and self-esteem exhibited in the home, whereas few differences were found in the age and gender variables. This indicates that newly arrived children tend to have low general self-esteem compared with their Hong Kong counterparts. The results suggest that the newly arrived children have similar school experiences to their Hong Kong peers, but have a different home self-esteem experience. They tend to be unhappy and have less confidence in expressing themselves at home. These findings could be caused by a number of factors, for example family unsettlement, hardship, relationship problems with parents or traditional authoritarian styles of parenting.
 
Article
The study examines the reading attitudes and attainment of Hong Kong, Singapore and English primary-school students using data collected in the PIRLS 2001 international reading survey. A total of 13,486 students aged 9-10 years were assessed. Singaporean students were found to have more positive reading attitudes and confidence than Hong Kong and English students, but English students had superior overall reading ability. Significant gender differences were found, with girls across the three cultural groups consistently outscoring boys in terms of both reading attitudes and attainment.
 
Article
This article presents the methodology and findings on school attendance obtained over two years from 2006 for the National Behaviour and Attendance Review in Wales. The review was led and chaired by the author and the report was presented to the Minister for Children, Lifelong Learning and Skills and the Welsh Assembly Government in May 2008. The report is especially important given the disproportionate rate of non-attendance in primary and secondary schools in parts of Wales as compared with the rest of the United Kingdom, especially levels of unauthorised absence. The methodology included both qualitative and quantitative approaches and is unique in covering a range of emerging fields. Among other aspects, the methodology included interviews with primary and secondary-age pupils, including those with attendance and behaviour problems and in specialist minority secondary-school settings. It also included work with parents, teachers and a wide range of support professionals from schools, local authorities, voluntary bodies and caring agencies. Findings are presented on the use of attendance codes in Wales, early intervention, electronic registration, the use of attendance targets, the prosecution of parents in attendance cases, the use of truancy sweeps, socio-economic factors and school differences, the role of governing bodies, the use of spot checks, bullying, teachers' views, the voices of children and young people, the opinions of parents, the role of the local authorities in Wales and of the Welsh Assembly Government. Finally, the core and supporting recommendations made in the NBAR report are presented.
 
Article
This study is the first of its kind to focus upon primary head teachers and teacher attitudes to attendance issues in two distinct but similar-size authorities in England. As part of the fieldwork 192 head teachers were interviewed and a similar number of primary teachers from the same schools. All Heads of special schools within the authorities and a similar number of teachers from the same schools participated. The data were analysed and presented by group. The conclusions suggest that the data may provide significant insights into attendance issues for other education authorities, primary head teachers, teachers and special school staff. It should also be helpful to those interested in attendance issues such as education welfare officers, attendance officers, learning mentors, home-school liaison officers, advisers and school improvement staff as well as parents, researchers and policy makers.
 
Article
This article reports a study of initial teacher education students attitudes to inclusion. The cohort investigated was the entire secondary Postgraduate Certificate of Education intake at a university that attracts many of its students from the local region. The study locates these findings among UK policy initiatives for inclusion, and makes recommendations for inclusive pre-service teacher education.
 
Article
Ulrich Beck's model of the individualised individual in a second modernity has generated interest from social scientists in education, particularly in terms of what he has to say about the demise of social class. What has attracted less attention from educationalists is his argument regarding transformations in the nature of work. This article offers insights into women academic perceptions of recent changes in their working practices (in the form of the new managerialism) as regards the extent to which these are proving to be as liberatory as Beck argues. A small case study of two generations of women academics suggests that, while new managerialist practices compel people to focus on themselves and thus reflect the self-interest of the individualised individual, they do not produce the social entrepreneur/independent worker Beck envisaged.
 
Article
The UK Education Act 2002 furthers a sense of institutional fragmentation and scope for local enterprise. An emerging ‘decentralised’ agenda enables schools that demonstrably meet accountability criteria to opt out of National Curriculum requirements in order to pursue individual interests, supportive technologies and new partnership arrangements. The recognition of the demands of an information/learning society will necessitate different models of teaching and learning for differentiated consumers pursuing new patterns of employment. Information and communication technology is driving change in both curriculum content and the methodologies of teaching and learning. Image analysis and its relation to media literacy will challenge and stimulate creative networks in schools and the wider learning community.
 
Prevalence of psychiatric disorder (average prevalence and 95% confidence intervals) by school's Ford score 0 5 10 15 20 25  
The banding and scores for the variables used to create the Ford score
Parent-report total difficulties SDQ score (mean score and 95% confidence intervals) by school's Ford score  
Article
Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) are common in children, and forecasting their prevalence in schools is of interest to both academic researchers and local authorities. Percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is one measure often used for this purpose. The article presents the first independent validation of a simple numerical score, the Ford score, which predicts the level of EBD within schools using routinely collected school variables on eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs, unauthorised absences and permanent exclusions. The research tested the predictive utility of the Ford score in the English sub-sample of the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey, 2004. This gave a sample of 6,379 children aged 5-16 in 3,117 schools, with mental health being assessed through clinician-assigned psychiatric diagnoses and through brief questionnaires filled in by parents, teachers and young people. The Ford score was found to be highly predictive of the level of EBD by all four of these measures, with a linear effect across the whole range. The estimated prevalence of mental disorder rose from about 5 per cent in schools with low Ford scores to around 14 per cent in high-scoring schools. The Ford score was more highly correlated with all measures of EBD than percent-age of free school meals alone. The Ford score's predictive utility did not seem to be further enhanced, however, by adding in an additional measure of local area deprivation. It was concluded that the Ford score represents a simple and up-to-date school EBD predictor which is more accurate than percentage free school meals alone and which is not notably improved by taking account of a schools’ area deprivation.
 
Article
All nations are desirous of quality education to engineer and consolidate their developmental process. Since teachers implement education policy and programmes, they exert great influence on the quality of the educational output. Teacher training institutions and programmes designed for the education of teachers have been on the increase since colonial days. Yet despite the efforts of the Nigerian government to ensure high-quality education, unqualified teachers are still employed and many primary-school teachers do not possess minimal qualifications. Although the colleges of education and the government-owned universities are training professional teachers, private universities pay little or no attention to the professional training of teachers. This article examines the implications of supplying quality teachers to institutionalise the teaching profession in Nigeria. In addition, qualified and unqualified teachers alike should be exposed to scientifically and technologically based professional development opportunities with a view to enhancing their skill and competence in the process of instructional delivery.
 
Article
This article discusses the changes in statutes that were necessary to ensure that the duties and responsibilities of the ancient post of proctor at Oxford University were brought into line with the Human Rights Act 1998. As there is no other university with a similarly powerful proctorial system, the changes in legislation may seem to be of only local interest. In fact the process of change led to a reconsideration of the benefits of an independent body to deal with certain aspects of student affairs, and other universities might benefit from the development of such a body.
 
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This article presents references and analyses of childhood conceptions related to initial teacher training in Portugal over the last few decades. Their contribution to the understanding of sociabilities and subjectivities formed in school is addressed, focusing on its impact on the government of childhood and its reinstitutionalisation. These changes have been identified in a study which allowed—through the social mapping of childhood narratives supported in the analysis of different types of discourse related to initial teacher training—a broader consideration of social changes in times of delayed modernity, and its impact on teacher professionality, on the school as an institution and on the conceptualisation of childhood.
 
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This study investigated how students’ extrinsic motivation, home literacy and classroom instructional practices were related to the students' reading proficiency of 734 Chinese second-graders (48.2 per cent girls and 51.4 per cent boys) from twenty-two classes in seven primary schools in Hong Kong. The mean student age was 7.5 years. All participants completed two reading comprehension tests and a questionnaire assessing extrinsic motivation and their perceptions of classroom instructional practices. Their parents also completed a questionnaire to report their home literacy activities, parents’ support for their children's homework and their perceptions of their children's classroom instructional practices. The results of the hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that home literacy activities, and parents’ and children's perspectives of classroom instructional practices, were associated with students' reading proficiency. However, students’ extrinsic motivation and parents’ support for their children's homework did not correlate with students' reading proficiency. The theoretical interpretations of this pattern of results are discussed.
 
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Kate Adams 'Children's divine dreams: a conceptual and empirical study with implications for religious education'
 
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The resignation of the Revd Professor Michael Reiss from his position as Director of Education at the Royal Society over the issue of the teaching of creationism in school science classes provides the background to this article. The immediate controversy is described and considered in relation to its wider context and to the serious questions that are raised by it. The issue that provoked the controversy, the teaching of creationism in schools, is considered in the light of empirical data. The view expressed by Professor Steve Fuller and others that the operation of an elitist power base amongst scientists, together with an atheistic agenda, may have played a part in determining the outcome of the controversy is evaluated. Finally, an extensive potential research programme is outlined, one which, if implemented, could have significance for the future of science teaching in the United Kingdom.
 
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In this paper we explore the dispositions towards ‘communal e-learning’ of a cohort of initial teacher trainees within a primary post-graduate (PGCE) programme. We describe a one-year case study involving 154 postgraduate trainees in West London, working to meet the nationally decreed ‘professional standards’ for qualified teacher status. From a review of ‘e-learning styles’ we arrive at a categorisation of these students in terms of their engagement with a web-site discussion board, where comment and debate is geared towards professional issues within their university-based and school-based experiences. The data show that while the full cohort accessed the website, the majority of these trainees used the discussion board instrumentally, simply to read the comments and discussions of other, more active, students, or to raise and respond to practical questions about university-based course issues. The ‘high engagers’ initiated and responded to issues from school-based experience, offered and responded to general opinion concerning professional issues, and were well disposed to this means of working. This early research will enable developmental work to continue.
 
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Our aim was to deepen understanding of public examinations, exploring how marking task demands influence examiners’ cognition and ultimately their marking accuracy. To do this, we identified features of examinations that trigger or demand the use of cognitive marking strategies entailing ‘reflective’ judgements. Kelly's Repertory Grid technique was used with experienced examiners to identify the most influential question features in a past international biology examination for 16 year olds. The examiners generated grids of features on which the examination questions differed. Subsequently they rated each question for each feature, using self-generated five-point scales. The questions’ marking accuracies were known only to the researchers. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted. Data analysis revealed five features that are highly likely to activate ‘reflective’ cognitive marking strategies, thereby influencing accuracy. A further five features may contribute less directly. The findings are compared with those for mathematics and physics examinations, enabling contrasts and generalisations to be made.
 
Top-cited authors
Kwok-wai Chan
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
Alan Hodkinson
  • Liverpool Hope University
Leslie Francis
  • The University of Warwick
Sue Ralph
  • The University of Northampton
D. M. Watts
  • Brunel University London