← ESA 2015 homepage

School Achievement - Social and Human Capital


Fri 28. 8.  11:00 - 12:30
room FA 245

What is the role of teachers’ expectations in explaining students’ engagement? A qualitative analysis in Catalan secondary schools


Tarabini, Aina; Curran, Marta
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Teachers’ expectations have an important impact on students’ attitudes and educational results (Van Houtte, 2011). These expectations, far from being analyzed from an individual perspective, have to be observed from a collective dimension that takes into account specific organizational contexts (Diamond, et al 2004). In that sense, the school culture -understood as the taken for granted assumptions and believes shared by the members of the organization (Van Houtte, et al. 20011)- is the necessary unit of analysis in order to explore these expectations. The object of the paper is to analyze some specific dimensions of this culture (specifically, the factors attributed to the students’ failure and success and the teachers’ sense of responsibility for the students’ learning) and its impacts on the students’ engagement with their schooling. In order to conduct the analysis, we developed a qualitative research in four public secondary schools in Barcelona (Catalonia-Spain), selected according to their diversity in terms of their social composition and their logics of managing pupils’ heterogeneity. In each school we developed interviews with teachers, principals, academic coordinators, counsellors and with students in their two last years of compulsory secondary schooling. We also conducted focus group with teachers and students, class observations and participation in teachers’ meetings. The results are oriented to identify the main conditions (both at structural and organisational level) explaining the formation of different school cultures and teachers’ expectations. Our thesis is that the context generates different opportunity framework that consequently causes unequal chances to success at school. References: •Diamond, J.B., Randolph, A.i Spillane, J.P. (2004) Teachers’ Expectations and Sense of Responsibility for Student Learning: The Importance of Race, Class, and Organizational Habitus. & Education Quarterly,35(1),75--‐98 •Van Houtte, M. (2011), So where’s the teacher? The impact of teachers’ beliefs, culture and behaviour on equity and excellence in education in K. Van den Branden, P. Van Avermaet, and M. Van Houtte (Eds.). Equity and Excellence in Education. Towards Maximal Learning Opportunities for All Students. Routledge.pp.75-95. •Van Houtte & Van Maele (2011), The black box revelation: in search of conceptual clarity regarding climate and culture in school effectiveness research. Oxford. Review of Education, 37:4, 505-524