05 SES 04 B, School Disaffection
Parallel Paper Session
Recent studies on school alienation highlight that alienated students leave school with multiple negative experiences including high academic failure, low self-esteem, amotivation in further academic qualification and a life-long aversion to institutionalized learning processes (Hadjar & Lupatsch, 2010; Hascher & Hagenauer, 2010). Research confirms that children with low social status are less likely to have accessibility to profound education (Klieme et al., 2010). Negative processes at school and during lessons are equally relevant in terms of magnifying the educational imbalance: “…poor experiences within the classroom environment can be expected to contribute to negative feelings toward school since these experiences are at the very heart of the educational process” (Rovai & Wighting, 2005, p. 99). Such negative school experiences intensify school alienation representing both the cognitive and emotional learner´s distance to institutions of educational development (Hascher & Hagenauer, 2010).
Alienation from school is a multi-causal phenomenon that may not only adversely affect students´ learning behaviour and performance, but their school career as well (e.g. Legault, Green-Demers & Pelletier, 2006). As successful students are less likely to be alienated from school, fulfilling the individual performance expectations is a predominant predictor. Students´ high variability in social status accounts for school alienation due to its close relatedness to educational inequalities (Hadjar, Lupatsch & Grünewald-Huber, 2010). Moreover, boys are more affected by school alienation than girls (Hadjar & Lupatsch, 2010). Overall, it appears that school alienation increases between the 6th and 7th grade. With regard to the Stage-Environment-Fit-Theory (Eccles & Midgley, 1989) and the Self-Determining Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1993), it can be stated that there is a lack in satisfying students´ basic needs. It is assumed that school alienation is more likely to occur in learning environments characterized by restrictive atmospheres (Assor, Kaplan & Roth, 2002).
Because of the limited comparability between previous studies´ results, there is the need for an integrated approach with regard to risk and protective determinants for the cause of school alienation. The main research interest is to specify the characteristics of educational and social learning environments that are significant for the prevention and reduction of alienation from school of early adolescents. Research on triggering factors of school alienation shows substantial weaknesses, as hardly any findings about its comprehensive predictors are documented. Furthermore, complex data analyses considering the multi-level-structure of school- and class-oriented contexts are rarely performed.
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