14 SES 03 B, School-related Transitions: Wellbeing and resilitent students
It is well-known that socio-economic status (SES) of a student’s family is strongly related to their academic results, particularly to school achievements (Sirin, 2005). Though there is a group of children which achieve a high level of academic outcomes despite coming from a family with disadvantaged background. The ability of children from families with low levels of economic, cultural and educational resources to show high academic achievements is called ‘academic resiliency’ (OECD 2011). The proportion of resilient students is often seen as one of the indicators of the effectiveness of the education system, ensuring accessibility and equal opportunity for education (Erberber, Stephens, Mamedova, Ferguson, & Kroeger, 2015, OECD, 2016). In addition, the term ‘resilient’ can be used to describe the school. Resilience can characterize the ability of a school to produce relatively high academic results despite the low SES of its students and their lack of cultural and educational resources (Hargreaves & Harris, 2011). Schooling was shown as one of the most important social agents that can contribute to overcoming the negative impact of unfavourable social backgrounds (A. J. Martin & Marsh, 2008; Motti-Stefanidi & Masten, 2013; Sutton & Soderstrom, 1999).
However, students’ performance does not always serve as a reliable predictor of a successful life trajectory. It is the academic trajectory that assumes opportunities for upward social mobility. In many countries being able to access high quality universities education is thought to be an important determinant of later economic success. Therefore it is important to study not only the factors of academic achievement, but also the educational trajectory of resilient students.
In this work we based on the theory of Davis (1966), which states that students who have relatively low achievements in their school are less likely to choose prestigious specialties and universities, even if they have high individual scores.
We are aiming to study the following interrelated research questions:
What is the role of the school and the school environment in the educational trajectory choice for resilient students and students with low SES? In particular we are interested in exploring the effect of the resilient schools in this choice.
What is the peer-effect for the trajectory choice for resilient students and students with low SES?
We used data from the Russian longitudinal panel study “Trajectories in Education and Careers”. This research was launched in 2011 with eighth grade students who also participated in the TIMSS study (4893 students, 210 schools). That was the starting point of a national research panel. A year later, the PISA study was administered to the same students (4399 students, 208 schools). Therefore, the base sample for this study is the TIMSS sample, which is representative of the eight-grade cohort in Russia. Resilient students (RS) are defined as low SES students who are in the top third of the performance distribution in TIMSS, PISA or both tests in mathematics. TIMSS-resilient, PISA-resilient and PISA/TIMSS-resilient students can be identified. There are bunch of predictors in the models: individual SES, student relative performance within the class, classmates/ friends educational plans and aspirations, average class SES, teacher’s expectations, school characteristics. We assess inequality at the two important transition points of the Russian educational system. Firstly, we examine transitions after 9th grade when students choose between vocational education and academic track. This is the first step, which largely determines the life trajectory. Those who chose the academic track continue their school education for 10-11 grades. Secondly, after 11th grade, students make a choice between the vocational education and the university. For those who attend university we also examine access to the selective university. We compare the trajectories of resilient students, students with low, medium, and high SES. Our analysis consists of the three steps. First, we identify the resilient students in TIMSS, in PISA and in both tests. Second, we identify resilient schools (the same way we did for resilient students) and schools with a high proportion of resilient students regardless of the school’s average SES. Since they have important concentrations of resilient students (at least 15%) we defined them “nests of resilience.” Thirdly, we assessed the association between independent variables and probability to choose academic trajectory after 9th and 11th grade using Structural Equations Modelling (SEM).
We identified 7.4% (n=362) TIMSS-resilient students and 7.1% (n=314) PISA-resilient students; 4.2% (n=185) are low SES students who have high performance in both tests and are both TIMSS/PISA resilient. There are 7 resilient schools with high results in PISA and 15 resilient schools with high results in TIMSS. Most of these schools are rural, which is typical for low SES schools. The average share of resilient students in resilient schools is 43%, ranging from 12% to 83% in PISA-resilient schools. The TIMSS-resilient schools have an average of 37% of resilient students, ranging from 8% to 75%. There are 23 PISA-“nest of resilience” schools and 25 TIMSS-“nest of resilience” schools. Five of those schools in PISA and eleven in TIMSS belong to both groups of school: “nest of resilience” and resilient schools. Among the “nests”, five schools in PISA and seven in TIMSS are elite schools. Resilient students choose an academic track after the 9th grade more often, as well as enrolling in a university after 11th grade, in comparison with their low SES peers. This is typical for students from schools-“nest of resilience”. These are schools with the predominance of high and medium SES students, also lots of these schools are elite ones. In these schools a relatively small proportion of disadvantaged children find themselves in a safe environment and an environment oriented toward high academic achievement and academic trajectory. Schools of this type put forward high demands on students’ attainments and provide high quality of education. It can be assumed that in the schools of "nests of resilience" the effect of teaching works, as a factor contributing to the academic trajectories of resilient students.
1.Davis, J. A. (1966). The campus as a frog pond: An application of the theory of relative deprivation to career decisions of college men. American journal of Sociology, 72(1), 17-31. 2.Erberber, E., Stephens, M., Mamedova, S., Ferguson, S., & Kroeger, T. (2015). Socioeconomically disadvantaged students who are academically successful: Examining academic resilience crossnationally (IEA’s Policy Brief Series No. 5). Amsterdam. 3.Hargreaves, A., & Harris, A. (2011). Performance beyond expectations. National College for School Leadership. Retrieved from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/10022/1/download%3Fid=151888&filename=performance-beyond-expectations-full-report.pdf 4.Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. W. (2008). Academic buoyancy: Towards an understanding of students’ everyday academic resilience. Journal of School Psychology, 46(1), 53–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2007.01.002 5.Motti-Stefanidi, F., & Masten, A. S. (2013). School Success and School Engagement of Immigrant Children and Adolescents. European Psychologist, 18(2), 126–135. https://doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000139 6.OECD. (2011). Against the Odds: Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School. OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/against-the-odds_9789264090873-en 7.OECD. (2016). Pisa 2015 Results Excellence and Equity in Education (Vol. 1). Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/content/book/9789264266490-en 8.Sutton, A., & Soderstrom, I. (1999). Predicting Elementary and Secondary School Achievement With School-Related and Demographic Factors. The Journal of Educational Research, 92(6), 330–338. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220679909597616
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