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The impact of tracking by attainment on pupil self-confidence over time: demonstrating the accumulative impact of self-fulfilling prophecy

Francis, B; Craig, N; Hodgen, J; Taylor, B; Tereshchenko, A; Connolly, P; Archer, L; (2020) The impact of tracking by attainment on pupil self-confidence over time: demonstrating the accumulative impact of self-fulfilling prophecy. British Journal of Sociology of Education , 41 (5) pp. 626-642. 10.1080/01425692.2020.1763162. Green open access

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Abstract

The impact of self-fulfilling prophecy in education, and of attainment grouping on pupil self-perception, remain topics of longstanding debate, with important consequences for social in/justice. Focusing on self-confidence, this article draws on survey responses from 9,059 12-13 year olds who were tracked by subject (‘setting’). They provided survey responses when placed in ‘ability’ sets at the start of their secondary schooling, and again late the following year; enabling analysis of impact over time. After controlling for prior attainment, the gap in general self-confidence between students in the top and bottom sets for mathematics is shown to widen over time, and high set students’ self-confidence in English had also grown significantly; although there was not further widening in the cases of self-confidence in mathematics or in general self-confidence between students in the top and bottom sets for English. Implications of these findings for interventions directed at addressing educational disadvantage are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of tracking by attainment on pupil self-confidence over time: demonstrating the accumulative impact of self-fulfilling prophecy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2020.1763162
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2020.1763162
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, self-confidence, social justice, social inequality, attainment grouping, setting
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/10103624
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