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Session Overview
RN10_01c: Social resources and supports in education
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Ece Cihan Ertem, Lund University
Location: UP.3.212
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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Social Resources Promoting Persistence in Higher Education

Gabriella Pusztai, Klára Kovács, Valéria Markos

University of Debrecen, Hungary

Even the analysis of richest statistical databases leave the reasons of student drop out from higher education largely in obscurity. In order to find a solution to that problem, we devised a quantitative questionnaire survey, based upon the quantitative examination of students who have dropped out (DEPART 2018, N=591). The survey included individuals who had begun their studies not more than 10 years earlier, and give up their studies. The primary objective of this presentation is revealing and identifying the factors hinder students from obtaining a degree, and surveying the processes and decisions that resulted in their not being able to graduate. We compared the data to the persistent students' who are highly determined to continue their studies (IESA 2015, N=2017). For the examination of persistence, a 9-item, highly reliable scale (Cronbach ,883) has been used. The theoretical background to our research was provided by Coleman’s concept of social capital (1961), Tinto’s integrational and Astin’s involvement theory, as well as Pascarella and Terenzini’s institutional integration/embeddedness ideas (2005). Our hypotheses were based upon the assumption that students are not primarily shaped by their social and demographic charateristics, but their daily experience and interactions under the permanent pressure to make decisions. This experience steers them on their journey between persistence and drop out. The results suggest that the influence of institutional factors and that of the social networks (membership in various voluntary organizations) are more powerful than the individual characteristics. Our findings providie empirical foundations for the institutional drop out prevention programmes.

Educative Participation: Social Impact of Family Education

Mimar Ramis-Salas, Sandra Racionero-Plaza

Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Educative participation has emerged as a successful type of family participation with significant social impacts both on the lives of family members as well as on the learning outcomes of the children. The main features contributing to this impact have been analysed in the EDUFAM project funded by the Spanish National RTD Plan, which analysed these programmes with a special focus on vulnerable groups in different Spanish urban primary schools. Our presentation will shed light on the type of family education that is offered to respond to end-users needs, delving, among others, into the impact that the involvement of the family members in decision-making regarding its content and organisation (Díez, Gatt, & Racionero, 2011; Flecha, 2014) has, and how this contributes to its success. Through the communicative methodology of research (Gómez, 2014), the research project analysed the situation in 8 primary schools in 5 Spanish regions, including different techniques: from questionnaires to communicative life stories, communicative focus groups and semi-structured interviews with communicative orientation. The results of this qualitative analysis shed light on a series of strategies that have allowed Roma and Moroccan families in the decision-making of relevant aspects of family education programmes (Garcia-Yeste, Morlà-Folch, Ionescu, 2018), reducing barriers to their very participation and learning and with further benefits for them and the community. Importantly, these results are being transferred in other European contexts through the Schools as Learning Communities.

Status and Popularity in Mixed Ethnicity Primary Schools in Hungary: A Mixed Methods Approach

Akos Bocskor1,2

1Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary; 2Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences, Computational Social Science – Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (CSS – RECENS)

Peer relations and peer group affiliations are one of the most salient aspects of pre-adolescents’ and adolescents’ social life with serious developmental implications on their well-being, self-esteem, mental health and school performance. Among these relations, social status and popularity are of central importance, as high status, or popular, peers can contribute to the spread of both positive and negative behavioural patterns in the peer group. This paper focuses on the dynamics behind (perceived) popularity in mixed ethnicity (Roma, non-Roma) primary school classes in Hungary. In particular, the paper concentrates on the interplay between school performance, academic engagement, athleticism and popularity in primary schools with a significant ratio of socially disadvantaged and ethnic minority students. The data analysed include four waves of longitudinal survey data (N of classes = 53; N of students = 1054) and one wave of focus group interviews (N of classes = 10; N of students = 141) collected from the same pool of students during fifth and sixth grade. Multilevel regression and stochastic actor-oriented models for network dynamics were used for the quantitative and thematic and discourse analysis for the qualitative data. While both the quantitative and the qualitative data demonstrated the importance of athleticism with regard to popularity, the results concerning academic performance and academic engagement were much more controversial. In both cases, the group interviews helped refine the quantitative results, while they also unveiled some further dynamics at work behind popularity. For instance, they exposed the importance of physical strength, a factors that was not included among the survey questions.

The Influence Of The Partner On The Academic Success

Ana Brömmelhaus

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany

The problem of dropout in higher education affects almost all OECD countries, albeit to varying degrees. In Germany, almost 25% of students leave the university without a first degree. Key areas of students’ lives, such as students' partnership, have rarely been considered in this context.

The life course approach emphasizes that individual decisions take place in different contexts. It is assumed that individual decisions and individual motivation are to a large extent influenced by other reference persons.

There are numerous findings on the significance of the partner for the profession. Analyzes for academic success are lacking, though various studies have suggested that friends and fellow students can have an impact on academic success.

The present article aims to answer the following question:

What significance do the partner's expectations have for the success of the course of study?

The analysis is based on data from the panel study LAST (Life Course Perspective and Dropout from Higher Education). The dataset was developed to analyze the importance of students' central areas of life over time. In order to approach the research question, structural equation models (n = 1364) were calculated. First results confirm the findings of other studies, according to which the motivation of the student is a key determinant of academic success. It turns out that the learning motivation is positively influenced by the expectation of the partner. Further calculations analyze the effects of the partner in a longitudinal perspective.

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