Mieke Van Houtte

Mieke Van Houtte
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Sociology

PhD Sociology

About

279
Publications
128,100
Reads
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Introduction
Mieke Van Houtte, PhD Sociology, is full professor (hoogleraar) in the Department of Sociology at Ghent University (Belgium). Her research interests cover diverse topics within the sociology of education - particularly the effects of structural and compositional school features on several outcomes for pupils and teachers - and sexual minorities. For a complete list of publications see: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/801000942270
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • Professor (Full) (hoogleraar)
October 2011 - September 2014
Ghent University
Position
  • Professor (associate) (hoofddocent)
October 2006 - September 2011
Ghent University
Position
  • Lecturer (docent)

Publications

Publications (279)
Article
Full-text available
Starting from the present knowledge society with its social overvaluing of cognition and white-collar jobs at the expense of manual labour, this article examines whether school type—academic versus technical/vocational schools—relates to students’ sense of futility. It assesses the schools’ culture of futility and investigates the explanatory value...
Article
Full-text available
This article questions whether culture and climate can be considered interchangeable concepts in school effectiveness research. Hereto both are compared by describing them thoroughly and reviewing their main advantages and disadvantages. It is argued that the two are different. Preference is given to culture as more suitable and more accurate for e...
Article
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Recently, research into gender differences in achievement has mainly concentrated on the underperformance of boys in comparison with girls. Qualitative research in particular points to the importance of the gender-specific cultures adolescents experience. The purpose of this article is to test quantitatively the explanatory value of academic cultur...
Article
Considerable research concerning determinants of teacher efficacy focuses on teachers’ individual characteristics. School characteris- tics, such as the socioeconomic and gender composition of the school, are largely overlooked. The scant research including schools’ student composition suggests that teachers feel less effi- cacious when teaching bo...
Article
Teacher turnover negatively impacts educational quality. This study investigates whether schools’ socioeconomic composition (SES), teachers’ teachability perceptions, emotional exhaustion and teacher efficacy impact teachers’ intention to quit and transfer schools. Through multilevel analysis on data of 1247 teachers in 59 Flemish schools, our resu...
Article
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Diagnosis and pharmacological treatment of ADHD are more common among the youngest children in a classroom, born in the months immediately preceding the school entry cutoff date. The mechanisms behind this phenomenon, called the relative age effect (RAE), are not yet well understood. Nearly all hypotheses involve the school system, various teachers...
Article
The prevalence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses and medication use has increased over time around the world, but significant regional differences remain. This paper aims to determine and explain disparities in ADHD prevalence and medication use among school-aged children in two distinct school systems, in Flanders (Belgi...
Article
Le trouble du déficit de l’attention avec ou sans hyperactivité (TDAH) est fort prévalent durant l’enfance et l’école agit comme un catalyseur du recours au diagnostic et à la médication associée. Cet article fait la synthèse d’une étude comparative entre le Québec et la Flandre sur la question du rôle de l’école dans l’identification des élèves so...
Article
Given the importance of relatedness for study motivation, motivation might be associated with faculty trust in students and, as such, with schools’ student composition. Representative Flemish data of 5162 students and 1247 teachers in 57 Flemish secondary schools, gathered at the end of the 2013/2014 school year (April–May 2014), reveal that the as...
Article
Having a low sense of belonging in secondary education is associated with feelings of social alienation, lower school performance and dropping out early. Based on person-environment fit theory, we expect retainees to experience a misfit with their academic environment. This experience could intensify when there are fewer other retainees around. The...
Article
Teachers play a crucial role in the diagnostic process of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in students: They are often the first to identify ADHD-related behaviors in children and to signal them to parents. Research has demonstrated that the recognition and labeling of certain behaviors as evidential for ADHD by teachers vary with re...
Article
High teacher attrition rates are an international problem. This study explores what former teachers pinpoint as their main exit reasons from teaching. Interviews were conducted with twenty-one former teachers in Flanders (Belgium) about push and pull factors. Our findings show that teachers mainly relate their exit to characteristics of the profess...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Gender issues are often overlooked in teacher efficacy studies, while research suggests that gender stereotypes may color teachers’ perceptions. Since research into teacher efficacy and teachers’ gender perceptions is often focusing solely on the teachers’ expectations regarding students’ achievement, this study investigates a more generalized infl...
Article
A mixed-methods study was conducted to investigate the relationship between four aspects of quality of teaching (safe and stimulating learning climate, efficient classroom management, adaptation of teaching, teaching learning strategies) and reading comprehension in segregated, low SES classes in Flanders. Second-grade students (n = 312) were teste...
Article
While female students are more successful and show more behavioural engagement at school than male students, they also report lower levels of subjective well-being. This study examines how motivational regulation interacts with school engagement in predicting subjective well-being of male and female students. In questionnaire data from a representa...
Article
Full-text available
Although there is a wealth of research on the educational and broader outcomes of tracking in education, there is virtually no research that investigates teachers’ track identities on such outcomes. Building on research that focuses on the determinants of teachers’ job satisfaction, tracking outcomes and social categorization theory, this study tes...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnic discrimination is a serious problem in education. Previous quantitative research is predominately focused on the consequences of ethnic discrimination. Very little is known, however, about the characteristics of the school context that influence the initial experience of ethnic discrimination. This knowledge is essential to support schools i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Gender issues are often overlooked in teacher efficacy studies, while research suggests that gender stereotypes may color teachers’ perceptions. Since research into teacher efficacy and teachers’ gender perceptions is often focusing solely on the teachers’ expectations regarding students’ achievement, this study investigates a more generalized infl...
Article
Their unique observational position in the classroom allows teachers to take on an informal role as disorder-spotter. By means of focus groups in four Flemish elementary schools, this study investigates teachers’ decisiveness in assigning a child’s hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as t...
Article
Recent research has increasingly been studying the long-lasting effects of secondary education structures and processes on higher education (HE) outcomes. While the influence of socioeconomic composition on higher education enrolment is established, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We posit that the composition effect partially runs throug...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies on the impact of grade retention on academic self‐concept suffer from inconclusive findings. There is no consensus if retention yields long‐term benefits that could offset its opportunity costs and, if so, under what conditions. Therefore, this article examines whether grade retention decreases academic self‐concept and whether thi...
Article
This study assesses the effect of secondary schools’ sex-composition on boys’ and girls’ felt pressure for gender-conformity. Whereas gender-conformity pressure affects adolescents’ well-being, little large-scale research examines school features’ influence. Multilevel-analyses are conducted on representative Flemish data of first grade students, 2...
Article
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School misconduct is a threat to educational careers and learning. The present study sheds light on why male adolescents in particular are prone to school misconduct. Qualitative research has argued that male adolescents’ construction of masculinity is a factor driving their school misbehavior. We examined the role of felt pressure to conform to ge...
Article
This article explores why some Flemish secondary school students’ study choices are content-wise not in line with their career aspirations and, to some extent, follow gender and ethnic patterns. We use 83 semi-structured interviews, conducted with students in academic and technical tracks in three Flemish secondary schools. Compared to female pupil...
Article
At-risk students are overrepresented in disadvantaged segregated primary schools. Often, these students begin with an educational delay and have less parental support, which makes them more dependent on the quality of their education. Since quality of education depends in great measure upon mechanisms at the class level, it is crucial to gain insig...
Article
In explaining why girls outperform boys in school, some studies focus on individual gender-identity. Others stress the interactional dimension of students exerting pressure to act in a more masculine/feminine way. Still other research examines the development of student cultures in specific school contexts. Considering the gender structure, this st...
Article
In 2016, Uruguay started gathering longitudinal student data to improve educational trajectories by putting in place an ‘early alert’ system. Underlying the system is the understanding that prior schooling predicts likelihood of grade repetition and grade repetition predicts later school dropout, while close follow‐up can help prevent both repetiti...
Article
School discipline research has demonstrated that the labeling of student behaviors as requiring disciplinary action is a selective process in which school staff take into account other factors than the characteristics of the behaviors. We argue that school staff react in a disciplinary way to students with negative attitudes toward the educational...
Article
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The assumption that (early) attendance of universal pre-school enhances the future academic performance of pupils with lower socio-economic and/or immigrant backgrounds underlies many education policies in Europe. The purpose of this study is to assess this assumption for Flanders – a case characterised by near-general enrolment and a ‘schoolified’...
Chapter
ABSTRACT The discourse on parental involvement as a means to increase the educational attainment of underprivileged children has gained ground in the scholarly and policy field of preschool education. Nevertheless, this discourse is characterised by a ‘democratic deficit’ in which parents themselves are rarely involved in determining goals and moda...
Article
Full-text available
There is no question that teachers nowadays are challenged to adapt their teaching practices to the needs that arise from increasing diversity in the current classroom. Since effective teaching asks for alignment between teaching and assessment practices, the increasing diversity challenges teachers’ assessment practices and schools’ assessment pol...
Article
Classical assimilation theory states that migrants’ identification with a receiving country strengthens over generations, whilst identification with the home country weakens. A Flemish survey of first (G1), second (G2), 2.5 (G2.5) and third (G3) generation immigrant youths ( n = 1,587) reveals that the findings for adolescents with a background in...
Article
This study examines whether the gender difference in sense of academic futility is related to the proportion of girls attending a school. We argue that the more progressive gender role culture in schools with a higher proportion of girls might influence especially boys’ sense of futility. Multilevel analyses of data gathered in 2014 from 5,162 seco...
Article
This study assesses whether ethnic congruence associates with students’ share of cross-group friendships and number of overall friendships. We investigate differences between natives, Western-European immigrants, and non-Western European immigrants. Multilevel analyses on 11,759 students across 83 Flemish secondary schools demonstrated that, for na...
Article
Research on students’ aspirations, an important predictor of educational attainment, is mostly focused on individual-level determinants, reflecting the classical status attainment model. Studies have suggested a school composition effect, but ignore school processes. Inspired by new insights in school effects research looking at teachers’ expectati...
Article
Schools are often heteronormative environments, negatively influencing the wellbeing of LGB students. Less is known about the impact on gender-variant adolescents. Hence, this study investigates the wellbeing of gender-variant students—as evidenced by their gender (a)typicality and pressure for gender conformity— in different school cultures—as evi...
Article
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This study researches the association between schools’ ethnic diversity and the three dimensions of teacher burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Two possible explanations, teachers’ ethnic prejudice and teachability perceptions of the students, are examined. The first hypothesis states that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The last two decades, considerable research has been intrigued by the study of teacher efficacy and its influence on students’ motivation and achievement. Studies have indicated that teacher efficacy influences teachers’ effort to encounter classroom difficulties and the academic performances of students (Fackler & Malmberg, 2016). Since most autho...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Studies have indicated that teacher efficacy influences teachers’ effort to encounter classroom difficulties and students’ academic performances (Fackler & Malmberg, 2016). Through mainly psychological research, we know which teacher characteristics affect teacher efficacy, nevertheless, classroom or school characteristics are largely overlooked in...
Conference Paper
Teacher turnover is problematic for teachers and students as it negatively impacts educational quality. Especially for low SES students, an unstable teaching staff can be detrimental for their schooling career. However, teacher turnover and teacher mobility are often intermixed in studies and may not have the same association with the students’ SES...
Article
We study (fe)male adolescents’ interest in watching sports as a spectator using logistic multilevel analyses based on a representative sample of 5837 Flemish (Belgian) pupils in the first year of secondary education. To uncover the mechanisms behind the ‘gendering’ of passive sports consumption, this study evaluates how the gender gap (characterize...
Article
Transferring to another school or leaving the educational system altogether has considerable consequences not only for the student who makes the decision to leave, but also for the students who stay behind. This paper aims to investigate the effects of secondary schools’ mobility and dropout rates on the levels of school engagement in the persisten...
Article
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Visibility management (VM) refers to the regulation of disclosure of one’s sexual orientation for the purposes of maintaining privacy as well as minimizing stigma, harm, or marginalization. Research on how lesbian women and gay men (LGs) manage the visibility of their sexual orientation in the workplace is scarce. In this study, we tested a model t...
Article
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Strain theories expect socio-economically disadvantaged students to be overrepresented among perpetrators of school-deviant behavior. Empirical research, however, is inconclusive about the SES-deviance relationship. Recently, strain theorists argued that economic deprivation, rather than a socio-economic status (SES) index is related to delinquency...
Article
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Educational tracking amplifies social inequalities in a wide range of outcomes. From an institutional perspective, the current study examines whether this holds for educational disparities in general health. To investigate this question, we use information from the European Social Survey (Rounds 1 to 8: 2002-2016) for individuals between the ages o...
Chapter
In this final chapter, we provide a summary of the main findings of the studies presented in this volume and discuss the main implications for policy-makers. The results show quite convincingly that cross-national research in this domain is important to undertake, as both the severity of school misconduct, as the size of the school effect therein,...
Chapter
This study investigates three explanations for the higher chance of students attending schools with a lower SES composition to engage in school-deviant behavior. Two explanations target features of the school culture. The first centers on students and expects students in low SES schools to feel blocked in reaching their academic goals. The second e...
Chapter
This introductory chapter roots the overarching model of the volume in the scientific literature and sketches the overall framework in which the volume is set. First, we provide background on the scientific research line of school effectiveness research (SER). We provide a brief history, discuss its main shortcomings and pitfalls, and start from th...
Book
This book focuses on how school-level features affect student resistance to education from a comparative angle, taking into account cross-national differences. All over the world, policy makers, school administrators, teachers, and parents are dealing with students who resist education. Resisting school might ultimately lead to unqualified dropout,...
Chapter
This study investigates three explanations for the higher chance of students attending schools with a lower SES composition to engage in school-deviant behavior. Two explanations target features of the school culture. The first centers on students and expects students in low SES schools to feel blocked in reaching their academic goals. The second e...
Article
Over the last two decades, researchers in the educational field have raised concerns regarding the high educational expectations among American youth. Studies have identified the detracking movement as one of the most important causes of this college-for-all norm. The assumption is that tracked secondary education systems, in contrast to comprehens...
Conference Paper
Different forms of media and online representations are continually shaping how we understand and think about sexuality and social identity. Identity has been a significant part of how Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGB&Ts) people in different geographical contexts define and put meaning into their existence and their social behaviour....
Chapter
For decades, sociologists of education have argued that educational systems reproduce, rather than diminish, social inequality. It is important to gain insight into social inequality in non-cognitive outcomes because these also influence students' educational opportunities. This chapter aims to uncover whether students' individual socioeconomic sta...
Article
The discourse on parental involvement as a means to increase the educational attainment of underprivileged children has gained ground in the scholarly and policy field of preschool education. Nevertheless, this discourse is characterised by a ‘democratic deficit’ in which parents themselves are rarely involved in determining goals and modalities of...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether secondary schools’ gender composition and levels of laddish attitudes influence the degree of ethnic prejudice among Flemish pupils. We hypothesize that in addition to pupil-level predictors of prejudice, the school’s gender composition and its laddish culture play roles in pupils’ attitudes toward ethnic minorities. We...
Chapter
Full-text available
The aim of the current study is to assess the relationship between individual- and school-level SES and non-cognitive student outcomes. We focus specifically on students’ sense of academic futility, school misconduct, and engagement in part-time work as non-cognitive outcomes that have important implications for students educational opportunities....
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that ethnic school composition can have an impact on a number of outcomes for pupils. The influence ethnic school composition has on pupils’ religiosity, however, has not received much attention. Furthermore, the few previous studies that have examined this relationship have relied on cross-sectional data, thus being una...
Article
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Research indicates that women are more interested in highbrow culture (i.e., the arts—art, music, and theatre—and literature) than men are. Current explanations for women’s higher involvement in highbrow cultural activities primarily focus on adults; overemphasize class-, work- and cultural capital-related explanations; and do not uncover the ident...
Article
This study examines whether the influence of track position on study involvement is gendered and whether gender differences in study involvement according to track position are associated with school misconduct and rather poor future perspectives. Three-level analyses (HLM 6) of data gathered in 2004-2005 from 11,872 third- and fifth-grade students...
Article
Full-text available
Track position has an impact on students’ perceptions of educational success. These perceptions matter as they relate to educational and professional aspirations and choices. In this ethnographic study, based on ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews in three secondary schools in Flanders (northern part of Belgium), we want to inc...
Article
Humor characterizes daily classroom interactions and strengthens or weakens student-teacher relationships. Making use of ethnographic classroom observations, we examine how humor relates to student-teacher relationships. Results show that humor in the classroom serves different functions. While teachers use humor to facilitate teaching and learning...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the relationship of classroom composition factors with reading and listening comprehension achievement and progress in socially and ethnically segregated primary schools in Flanders (Belgium). Specifically, using a three-level multivariate repeated measures analysis, it examined the association of reading and listeni...
Article
Nowadays, pupils bring a variety of languages to school. This study focuses on how school teams perceive the linguistic composition of pupil populations and how this influences their teaching practices regarding multilingualism. The mixed-method design combines a multilevel regression analyses (of data from 1255 teachers in 67 schools) with focus g...
Article
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In this study, we investigate the association between a school’s ethnic composition, the track in which teachers teach, and their level of involvement with multicultural teaching (MCT) in the Flemish context, taking into account the ethnic prejudice of teachers. Multilevel analyses of data from 590 Flemish teachers in 40 Belgian secondary schools s...
Conference Paper
As societies are now becoming more tolerant to sexual minorities, the pushing need is to understand and pave the way for the younger generation of LGB to know the ageing processes of sexual minorities within a homo-friendly and heteronormative conjuncture. As an open view of the younger LGB, their 21st-century perceptions of being gay/lesbian or bi...
Article
Mainstream teachers struggle with linguistic diversity, often leading to restricting multilingualism. Scientific research, however, recommends including pupils’ home languages in school. Various qualitative studies have evaluated implementations in schools and indicated possibilities for improving teachers’ attitudes towards multilingualism. This p...
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Als gevolg van de wereldwijde migratieprocessen, zijn ook de scholen in Vlaanderen (het Nederlandse taalgebied van België) meer etnisch divers geworden. Rekening houdend met het ontbreken van onderzoek naar determinanten van etnische vooroordelen bij Vlaamse leerlingen en Bowlby’s hechtingstheorie, wil deze studie het belang van enerzijds het indiv...
Article
Full-text available
As a result of migration processes, schools in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium) are notably ethnically diverse. This evolution has coincided with an increasing number of studies focusing on ethnic minority pupils’ experiences of ethnic prejudice from their ethnic majority counterparts. Taking into consideration the lack of research o...
Article
In this study the characteristics of the sexual debut of men who have sex with men (MSM) and men who have sex with women (MSW) age 35 or younger (N = 1,201) were compared with one another. We investigated whether these characteristics were associated with sexual health and behavior, and to what extent. Compared to MSW, MSM tended to be older when t...
Article
Full-text available
Assimilation theory assumes that differences between migrants and non-migrants disappear over generations. We report on a Flemish survey study conducted with young first- (G1), second- (G2) and third- (G3) generation migrants (n = 1,587). The results showed that G1 and G2 had lower chances of being in educational tracks preparing for higher educati...
Article
This study aims to investigate how teachers’ trust in their students relates to reading comprehension achievement in socially and ethnically segregated elementary schools in Flanders (Belgium) by taking into account class composition characteristics. It is examined how student variables, ethnic diversity and the proportion of non-native students in...
Article
The authors investigate whether teachers’ expectations (TE) at the school-level mediate the relationship between ethnic school composition and educational choice at the transition from primary to secondary education in Flanders. The link between TE and pupils’ educational choices is explored without neglecting school-level variables. Hierarchical l...
Article
In Western Europe, Islam is largely perceived as a barrier to the integration of immigrant minorities into the mainstream and as a hindrance to educational success. However, little is known about the perceived role of Islamic religiosity (beliefs, commitments, behaviors and networks) with respect to educational success. In-depth interviews were car...
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Young people who grow up in a violent family context are more vulnerable to become victims of sexual aggression outside the family context. The present study contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms that explain this link among young women by looking at the mediating role of sexual exposure behavior and target vulnerability. Data were use...
Article
This study investigates in the context of Flanders (Belgium) whether working part-time during the school year is more prevalent in lower tracks than in higher tracks, and whether this might be due to an antischool culture and/or the less demanding nature of such tracks. Additionally, the study examines whether the higher tendency to fail and to dro...
Article
We focus on school misconduct and how ethnic teacher discrimination, ethnic identification, and host national identification are associated with school misconduct of male and female immigrant adolescents. Additionally, we verify the moderating role of ethnic identification and host national identification. The results show that discrimination and h...