Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN10_01b: Contextual factors in education
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Adriana Aubert, University of Barcelona
Location: UP.3.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road


Teaching Styles and School Alienation in Luxembourgish Primary Schools: A Mixed-Method Study

Alyssa Laureen Grecu, Andreas Hadjar

University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Teaching styles are considered as important determinants of students´ alienation from school – defined as increasing distance towards school experienced by the students. School Alienation comprises a set of negative attitudes towards academic and social aspects (teacher, classmates and learning) of schooling (Hascher & Hadjar 2018). This paper emphasises the relevance of teaching styles for the development of alienation from teachers and learning in primary school.

Examining luxembourgish primary schools is meaningful as school alienation develops early and has tremendous consequences for educational careers like dropout and educational impoverishment. A strong degree of stratification involving high academic pressure during the transition to secondary school might intensify students´ alienation. Moreover, during primary schooling pedagogical practises and relationships change in light of educational demands and students´ development.

To analyse alienation from teachers and learning, a mixed-method approach has been applied. Data on Luxemburgish primary school students (5. and 6. Grade) originate from the international research project “SASAL-School Alienation in Swiss and Luxembourg” (2015-2018). Based on a longitudinal questionnaire study, the quantitative part examined the impact of teaching styles on alienation and the two outcomes of participation and deviant behaviour. Additionally, results of a qualitative content analysis (based on three group discussions) are presented focusing students´ experiences of teaching and learning practices.

Quantitative and qualitative results reveal the importance of unjust and authoritarian teaching styles for the development of school alienation. In contrast, authoritative teaching style show protective effects. Results also point towards consequences such as increasing deviance and decreasing participation in class.

A Sociological View On Teacher Efficacy: A Closer Look At The School Context

Lennart Van Eycken, Mieke Van Houtte

Ghent University, Belgium

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 studies on teacher efficacy (Knoblauch & Hoy, 2008). Few studies concerning teacher outcomes include external obstacles, such as the socioeconomic composition of the school (Van Houtte, 2011). Socioeconomic and gender composition have already proven to influence students (Sellström & Bremberg, 2006; Van Eycken, 2018), but we know little about how these compositions can affect teachers’ efficacy. Studies suggest that teaching mostly low-SES students has a negative effect on teacher efficacy and the effect will be even stronger when teaching mainly low-SES boys (Auwarter & Aruguete, 2008). Using Flemish data of 1247 teachers and 6380 students in 59 schools gathered between 2012 and 2014, our multilevel analysis shows that socioeconomic composition does not affect teacher efficacy and no significant interaction between socioeconomic and gender composition was found. Gender composition affects one dimension of teacher efficacy: efficacy for classroom management. Teachers feel more efficacious when teaching mostly boys. This was unexpected, although we could link this with Bandura’s social learning theory (1997): “mastery of difficult tasks heightens feelings of efficacy”. Thus, schools with mostly girls seem less challenging. This study confirms the relevance of investigating compositional effects on teacher efficacy showing that teachers feel more efficacious for classroom management when teaching mostly boys, while efficacy affects students’ motivation and achievement.

Remaking Place-Based Education Inequality in an Era of Austerity: The Interactive Effects of Education Austerity Reforms and Neighborhood Distress and Gentrification in Chicago

Stephanie Farmer1, Ashley Baber2

1Roosevelt University, United States of America; 2Loyola University - Chicago

In the United States, municipal and state officials have adopted a neoliberal fiscal austerity strategy for public schools taking the forms of disinvestment through school closures and adopting marketized models for school budgets called Student Based Budgeting (SBB). We are interested in understanding the relationship between modes of education austerity and neighborhood dynamics of the 21st century U.S. city. How do demographic changes due to neighborhood transformation impact the likelihood that schools will be closed? What impact does the adoption of a Student Based Budgeting model have on schools in neighborhoods where the number of school-age children is depopulating, whether through displacement via gentrification or people moving out of distressed neighborhoods?

Using Chicago as our case study, we develop an index for three types of neighborhoods: stable neighborhoods, gentrifying neighborhoods, and distressed neighborhoods. We then map the location of Chicago Public Schools closed and newly opened between 2000 and 2015. We then select a cross-section of neighborhood types to do a more focused study of Student Based Budgeting on school budgets.

Our findings provide evidence that public school disinvestment follow the wake of other neighborhood stress factors and contribute to the downward cycle of distress experienced in predominantly Black and low-income communities. Our findings also support the position that Chicago Public Schools was more likely to close schools in gentrifying neighborhoods and reopen new schools with entrance requirements in the gentrifying zone. We will also present our analysis of the impact of student based budget and schools.

Interplays Between Individual And Social Group Factors In School Bullying

Selma Therese Lyng

Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Research on bullying in schools has, since its emergence in the 1970s, been dominated by theories and explanations from traditions within psychology and education focusing on pathological or deficient individual and family factors (e.g. Kousholt and Fisker 2015; Thornberg 2017). While social conditions, mechanisms and dynamics have been included as contextual factors, research addressing the causes of bullying predominantly emphasize bullying as a form of pro-active aggression explained by individual dysfunctions related to aggression and empathy (e.g. Olweus 1993; Roland & Idsøe 2001). Lately, the research field has been expanded with social science theories emphasizing how social factors may not only influence, but also produce and trigger bullying (e.g. Lindberg et al. 2002; Søndergaard 2012; Thornberg 2017; Lyng 2018). While the research field, on the one hand, is characterized by the opposition between individual vs. social perspectives, scholars assert the need for more empirical and theoretical studies on the interplay between individual and social factors in bullying (e.g. Espelage 2014; Thornberg 2015; Thornberg et al 2018; Lyng 2018).

Based on a qualitative data set well apt to study bullying interactions in context, the aim of this paper is to supplement existing research by examining how individual and social group factors may co-produce triggers of bullying.