Education and Empowerment
BTU Cottbus, Germany
The contribution is based on findings of a research study among teachers in Lower Saxony, Germany (n=700). In 2010 and 2011 my colleagues and I asked teachers how they accomplished individual learner support within their work. By this term we meant all educational activities in classroom and school that have the intention of supporting the learning development of each single child; taking into account the child´s personal situation, living environment, specific learning requirements, personal needs and history, as well as future ambitions and opportunities.
One key finding was the importance of self-competency to be a successful student. Teachers' support of single studentsdependet on the students' ability not only to organize their own learning but also to focus on issues interesting to them, to get back to work after being frustrated, to believe in ones own success or to ask for further support. These abilities are shaped to a great extent by the family. Children of western middle class families are more used to value these self-competencies than children of lower classes or from non-western background, because they experience individualized success in the life of their parents and other relatives.
The contribution takes a closer look at the reproduction of social inequality within teaching activities to support students' learning. The theoretical approach arrives from Elias´ and Scotson's observations and reflections in “The Established and the Outsiders”, which are still valuable today in the intpretation of the dynamics of reproducing social inequality at a micro level.
Educational background as a fault line for study success
German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Germany
The paper analyses the influence of parental educational background on study dropouts in the german higher education system. Education is not only a fault line within generations but also between generations. A characteristic finding for the german educational system is that educational success in school is depending on the parental educational background of students. Although there are some findings (Isleib/Heublein, 2016) which indicate a similar situation for higher education dropouts there is a lack of research dealing with the effect of educational origin on the dropout decisions in Germany. The contribution tries to fill this gap by asking if there is also an effect of parental educational background on higher education dropout and which factors might compensate these effects.
The work is framed by a theoretical and interdisciplinary model of the higher education dropout process which derived from social-integrative, psychological, rational choice and habitual explanations of dropouts developed by a german higher education research institution (DZHW). The focus of the analysis is directed on the phase prior to study to show the effect of parental educational background and highlights study motives, social integration in the study, perception of study conditions and the personal situation (children, financial situation) as possible mediating factors of a dropout. Data stems from a nationwide representative study also conducted by DZHW which addresses both dropouts and graduates (n=3.760).
Results show that mainly strong social integration as well as financial security during study are capable to reduce the effect of parents educational background on higher education dropouts.
Young people and motivation for learning in context
1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2The Danish Centre for Youth Research; 3Dept. for Learning and Philosophy
In this paper we aim to shift the focus from addressing motivation from a primarily individual and psychological perspective, to viewing motivation as a socio cultural phenomenon, which is produced in the interplay between young people and a given educational context as well as broader social discourses. The paper thus aims to gain insight into young people’s meaning making and motivation for learning, not as individual and innate features but rather as ‘biographies in interaction with schooling’ (Mcleod & Yates 2006:16). Furthermore, the study is informed by theories on goal orientations in relation to motivation (Midgley et al 2001, Nicholls 1983). This paper is based on a study focusing on young people’s motivation for learning in lower secondary education in Denmark (7th, 8th and 9th grade). The study applies both qualitative and quantitative methods. In the paper we primarily draw on the qualitative data from 6 caseschools (classroom-observations, individual pupil interviews (n 25) and group interviews with pupils (n 30)). Based on an interplay between theoretical inspirations and empirical findings of the study, we outline a number of motivational orientations at play in lower secondary educational settings in Denmark. The motivational orientations complement each other and often more than one are at play in classrooms. We do however find a tendency for performance motivation to dominate, and discuss how this can affect the learning climate in the classroom, how it risks producing a narrow understanding of learning (often closely linked to testing and assessment).
Children´s school readiness: The role of family functions and parental self-efficacy
1Child- and Youth Research Institute, University of Turku, Finland; 2Faculty of Education, University of Turku, Finland
The home environment, in which children are raised, plays a crucial role in schooling outcomes (Winter & Kelley, 2012). Social risk factors such as growing up in poverty, lower socio-economic status, and multiple transitions in family structure have been associated with poorer educational outcomes for children (e.g. Fomby & Cherlin, 2007). While the family plays an essential role in laying groundings for learning, the mechanisms of how family dynamics and practices affect educational outcomes in different family contexts, is not well understood.
The present study examines the strength of association of several social risk factors (socio-economic background, parental education, family income, work status, family structure and transitions), both individually and as part of a cumulative social risk index, on parent-reported child school readiness (subject specific readiness). The role of family functions (parental self-efficacy and involvement) in mediating the impact of social risks on school readiness will be researched.
A rich longitudinal data set collected within the project Steps to the Healthy Development and Well-Being of Children is employed to answer the study questions. The data consists of all mothers who had live deliveries in the Hospital District of Southwest Finland from January 2008 to April 2010 and their children (N = 1656 children, see Lagström et. al., 2013). Structural equation modeling (SEM) is used to explore the multitude connections of a variety of background factors, mediators, and child outcomes. The results of the above described analysis will be discussed.
Swedish young people’s out-of-school activities: attendance opportunities and consequences
Södertörn University, Sweden
Recent research demonstrate that along with family, peer group and school environment, participation in the organized after-school activities are important contexts of social and civic development of young people. This study is about who have access to these kinds of activities and the consequences of participation in various extracurricular programs for a sample of young people in the last year of compulsory school in Sweden.
As the result indicates, after control for class background, gender, ethnicity and health of respondents, there are positive associations between participation in certain types of after-school programs (sports, cultural, religious and political) and students’ school performance and their educational aspirations. However participation in youth recreation centers (fritidsgård) show a negative association with these outcomes. Furthermore, results demonstrate that diverse background of students (class, gender and ethnicity) affect the rate of participation in various forms of activities.
Key words: Social capital, extracurricular activities, educational aspiration and performance, Sweden