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Attainment Grouping as self-fulfilling prophesy? A mixed methods exploration of self confidence and set level among Year 7 students

Francis, R; Connolly, P; Archer, L; Hodgen, J; Mazenod, A; Pepper, D; sloan, S; ... Travers, M; + view all (2017) Attainment Grouping as self-fulfilling prophesy? A mixed methods exploration of self confidence and set level among Year 7 students. International Journal of Educational Research , 86 pp. 96-108. 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.09.001. Green open access

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Abstract

Within-school segregation of pupils by attainment remains prevalent, despite evidence that these practices detrimentally impact outcomes for those in low attainment groups. This article explores the hypothesis that ‘ability grouping’ by setting impacts pupil self-confidence, precipitating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Survey data from 11,546 11/12 year old pupils in ‘ability sets’, and individual interviews and focus groups with 66 pupils, are drawn upon to explore this hypothesis. We find a significant correlation between perceived set placement and self-confidence in the set subject. More importantly, we also find a correlation between set placement and general self-confidence in learning. Pupils’ qualitative responses illustrate how setting can promote self-fulfilling prophecy, and worrying evidence of internalisation of ‘ability’ labels among pupils.

Type: Article
Title: Attainment Grouping as self-fulfilling prophesy? A mixed methods exploration of self confidence and set level among Year 7 students
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.09.001
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2017.09.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Tracking; Ability; Setting; Pupil grouping; Inequality; Self confidence; Self concept; Self-fulfilling prophecy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment > Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Directorate
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024781
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