Journal Cover British Educational Research Journal
  [SJR: 0.938]   [H-I: 60]   [182 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0141-1926 - ISSN (Online) 1469-3518
   Published by John Wiley and Sons Homepage  [1592 journals]
  • Which tier' Effects of linear assessment and student characteristics
           on GCSE entry decisions
    • Authors: Sylvia Vitello; Cara Crawford
      Abstract: In England, students obtain General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) qualifications, typically at age 16. Certain GCSEs are tiered; students take either higher-level (higher tier) or lower-level (foundation tier) exams, which may have different educational, career and psychological consequences. In particular, foundation tier entry, if inappropriate, risks capping students' achievement because of the restricted range of attainable grades and reduced learning that may occur. Tiering decisions may be affected by other aspects of the education system in which they take place, such as by the timing of assessment. The move to linear assessment in 2012 provided a unique opportunity to compare tiering decisions for the same GCSE specifications when taken in a linear system, where students are exclusively assessed at the end of the course, with tiering decisions in a modular system, where students are assessed at different time points. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine students' likelihood of being entered for the foundation tiers of GCSEs in science, language and mathematics in two exam sessions: June 2013, which allowed modular assessment, and June 2014, which required linear assessment. The analyses also investigated whether these effects depended on student characteristics. Results showed that foundation tier entry was less likely in the linear than modular system for GCSEs in science and languages, but more likely for one mathematics GCSE. This pattern contrasts with concerns that linear assessment may encourage general risk-aversion, and instead indicates that effects on tiering decisions are more complicated, varying by subject and student factors.
      PubDate: 2018-01-17T03:05:28.770233-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3320
  • Does the reason matter' How student-reported reasons for school
           absence contribute to differences in achievement outcomes among 14–15
           year olds
    • Authors: Kirsten J. Hancock; Michael A. Gottfried, Stephen R. Zubrick
      Abstract: While an emerging body of research has examined the effects of school absences on student outcomes, there is comparatively little research examining the different reasons contributing to school absence, how common these reasons are, and the extent to which different types of absences are differentially associated with achievement. To address these gaps, we used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to examine the reasons for school absence as reported by 14–15 year olds and how these reasons relate to achievement outcomes in Year 9. Only 7% of 14–15 year olds indicated they had been absent in the previous six months without parental consent, of which 46% indicated the most recent absence was due to problems at school. Of the 90% of students who had been absent with parental consent, only 6% said the most recent absence was due to problems at school. After controlling for student, family and school characteristics and Year 7 achievement, Year 9 achievement was most strongly associated with absences related to student- or family-level reasons. While schools typically bear the responsibility for monitoring and responding to absenteeism, the drivers of absence may not be related to factors that schools can realistically address. For schools, addressing absenteeism requires a dual approach of preventing avoidable absences and mitigation strategies for when either avoidable or unavoidable absences occur.
      PubDate: 2018-01-17T02:10:27.357767-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3322
  • The symbolic violence of setting: A Bourdieusian analysis of mixed methods
           data on secondary students’ views about setting
    • Authors: Louise Archer; Becky Francis, Sarah Miller, Becky Taylor, Antonina Tereschenko, Anna Mazenod, David Pepper, Mary-Claire Travers
      Abstract: ‘Setting’ is a widespread practice in the UK, despite little evidence of its efficacy and substantial evidence of its detrimental impact on those allocated to the lowest sets. Taking a Bourdieusian approach, we propose that setting can be understood as a practice through which the social and cultural reproduction of dominant power relations is enacted within schools. Drawing on survey data from 12,178 Year 7 (age 11/12) students and discussion groups and individual interviews with 33 students, conducted as part of a wider project on secondary school grouping practices, we examine the views of students who experience setting, exploring the extent to which the legitimacy of the practice is accepted or challenged, focusing on students’ negative views about setting. Analyses show that privileged students (White, middle class) were most likely to be in top sets whereas working-class and Black students were more likely to be in bottom sets. Students in the lowest sets (and boys, Black students and those in receipt of free school meals) were the most likely to express negative views of setting and to question the legitimacy and ‘fairness’ of setting as a practice, whereas top-set students defended the legitimacy of setting and set allocations as ‘natural’ and ‘deserved’. This paper argues that setting is incompatible with social justice approaches to education and calls for the foregrounding of the views of those who are disadvantaged by the practice as a tool for challenging the doxa of setting.
      PubDate: 2018-01-15T03:25:40.045913-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3321
  • Why the nature of educational research should remain contested: A
           statement from the new editors of the British Educational Research Journal
    • Authors: David Aldridge; Gert Biesta, Ourania Filippakou, Emma Wainwright
      Pages: 1 - 4
      PubDate: 2018-02-07T23:35:56.769275-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3326
  • Girls negotiating sexuality and violence in the primary school
    • Authors: Deevia Bhana
      Abstract: Girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence and harassment is a recurrent theme in much of the literature on schooling in sub-Saharan Africa. Within this research, girls are often framed as passive victims of violence. By drawing on a case study, this paper focuses on 12 to 13-year-old South African school girls as they mediate and participate in heterosexual cultures that are simultaneously privileging and damaging. Set against the wider social context where violent gender relations are key to the building blocks of patriarchy, the paper examines how heterosexuality underscores the formation of femininity as girls engage with and participate with each other and boys in informal school relations. To this end, Butler's concept of the ‘heterosexual matrix’ is deployed to examine how girls navigate the wall of male power, where the ‘real’ expression of femininity is embedded within heterosexuality. The paper explores girls’ investment in heterosexual cultures in the school playground and on ‘dress-up Friday’ to examine how gender power inequalities and violent relations manifest. In expanding the analysis of heterosexuality to primary school contexts, the paper broadens the focus of school-based gender and sexualities research in sub-Saharan Africa to address a neglected area of younger girls’ femininity and their active agency. The paper argues for the importance of addressing primary school girls, femininity and the power of heterosexuality through which relations of inequalities operate.
      PubDate: 2017-12-27T20:20:25.272459-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3319
  • Negotiating uncertain economic times: Youth employment strategies in
    • Authors: Bryony Hoskins; Pauline Leonard, Rachel J. Wilde
      Abstract: Higher education is commonly understood as the gateway to better, higher-paying jobs. This paper draws on longitudinal survey and interview data to explore how different groups of young people, those who left school at 18 and those graduating from higher education, negotiated pathways into employment or otherwise during the recent economic recessionary climate in England. While a mix of employment and unemployment featured in both groups, with temporary and unstable contracts more common than skilled and secure jobs, our evidence reveals that those with degrees were less likely to be in work at the ages of 22 to 23 than those who left school to enter employment at 18. In some contradistinction to popular discourses on the employability benefits of higher education therefore, entering paid work at 18 was a more effective strategy for being in employment five years later than proceeding into higher education.
      PubDate: 2017-12-25T23:25:58.203291-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3318
  • Towards a policy social psychology: Teacher engagement with policy
           enactment and the core concept of Affective Disruption
    • Authors: Irfan Sheikh; Carl Bagley
      Abstract: The article uncovers the complex process of educational policy enactment and the impact this process has on teachers as policy actors as they undertake the task of introducing a new mathematics curriculum in a Canadian secondary school. The three year study based on in-depth qualitative interviews adopts a classic grounded theory approach of concurrent iterative cycles of data collection, conceptual categorisation and analytical abstraction, to identify six emergent concepts indicative of policy actor engagement with the policy process: (1) Professional and Emotional Investment; (2) Decisional Legitimacy; (3) Hierarchical Trust; (4) System Integrity and Viability; (5) De-professionalisation; and (6) Identity Safeguarding. Further, and significantly, the grounded theory analysis identifies the core concept of Affective Disruption, conceived as an interruption to an individual's emotional equilibrium resulting from interference to their cognitive sense-making in relation to policy. It is proposed these six emergent concepts and Affective Disruption as a core concept are precipitated within policy actors in response to the tensions created by the process of policy enactment; the research findings moving towards what might be tentatively termed a policy social psychology.
      PubDate: 2017-12-21T03:48:35.909061-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3316
  • Student teachers’ positionalities as knowers in school subject
    • Authors: Steven Puttick
      Abstract: Student teachers in England, mainly on one-year courses, spend the majority of their time in schools. Secondary schools are primarily organised around subject departments, and these subgroups within schools have been shown to be significant for student outcomes and teachers’ experiences. However, research on school subject departments themselves is relatively limited, and developing better understandings of school subject departments is important for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and educational research more broadly. This paper draws on an ethnographic study of three secondary school geography departments to analyse student teachers’ positionalities as knowers within departments. Opportunities for professional discussions within departments are limited, and are often dominated by immediate practical concerns. A social-realist concept of knowledge–knower structures is used to explore the kinds of knowers accepted as legitimate in these departments. A dichotomous view of teachers as knowers was found, being positioned as knowing or not-knowing particular areas of subject knowledge. This binary view is argued to be related to the language of the Teachers’ Standards in England. Suggestions are made for improving student teachers’ positions as knowers within departments by planning opportunities to contribute their expertise, and for developing more expansive discourses around subject knowledge to enable all to maximise opportunities to learn from the rich mines of expertise held across ITE partnerships.
      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:26:47.755304-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3314
  • Engagement, passivity and detachment: 16-year-old students’ conceptions
           of politics and the relationship between people and politics
    • Authors: Nora Elise Hesby Mathé
      Abstract: While there is a wealth of literature on young people and politics, most studies have examined their interest, trust and participation in politics as well as their attitudes toward and knowledge about formal politics. Little is known, however, about young people and the concept of politics. This article investigates 16-year-old students’ perceptions of the concept of politics and their conceptions of the relationship between people and politics. This knowledge is valuable for citizenship and social studies education, as an increasingly polarised political climate poses challenges to democratic politics and, consequently, to young people's political engagement and participation. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine students at five Norwegian upper secondary schools. The students varied in their interest and involvement in politics. A main finding is that the students perceived politics as processes related to shaping society, as decisions and activities related to ruling a country, and as the activities of discussion and debate. Three conceptions of the relationship between people and politics are presented: engagement, passivity, and detachment. In addition, while the 16-year-olds participated in political discussions privately and at school, they stated that they did not participate in political discussions in social media. Implications for citizenship and social studies education include the need to strengthen the bottom-up perspective on politics and focus on in-depth understanding of political processes and tools and methods of social-scientific enquiry, as well as providing students with opportunities for and practice with handling opposition in political discussions online.
      PubDate: 2017-11-20T07:10:22.996236-05:
      DOI: 10.1002/berj.3313
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