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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Megan Tschannen‐Moran, Regina A. Bankole, Roxanne M. Mitchell and Dennis M. Moore

This research aims to add to the literature on Academic Optimism, a composite measure composed of teacher perceptions of trust in students, academic press, and collective…

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Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to add to the literature on Academic Optimism, a composite measure composed of teacher perceptions of trust in students, academic press, and collective efficacy by exploring a similar set of constructs from the student perceptive. The relationships between student trust in teachers, student perceptions of academic press, and student identification with school were examined as well as how they were individually and collectively related to student achievement in the schools in an urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

This study assessed the perceptions of students in 49 elementary, middle, and high schools in one urban district. The measures used included the Student Trust in Teachers Survey (Adams and Forsyth), the Identification with School Questionnaire (Voelkl), and an adaptation of Academic Press (Hoy, Hannum and Tschannen‐Moran). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to explore whether these three observed variables would form a latent variable called Student Academic Optimism. Finally, the relationship of Academic Optimism to student achievement, controlling for SES, was examined using SEM.

Findings

Strong and significant relationships were found between all three of the observed variables. A CFA analysis confirmed that they formed a latent variable the authors called Student Academic Optimism. Student Academic Optimism had a significant direct effect on student achievement (b=0.73, p<0.01) while SES (percent of students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program) had a significant negative effect on student achievement (b=−0.37, p<0.01). Together student academic optimism and SES explained 67 percent of the variance in student achievement with student academic optimism making the largest contribution to the explanation.

Social implications

The findings that Student Academic Optimism was unrelated to SES and that Student Academic Optimism has a significant effect on achievement over and above the effects of SES and student demographic characteristics leads the authors to consider the possibility that SES may not be as influential as once thought when other conditions of the school environment are taken into consideration.

Originality/value

This study makes a unique contribution to the literature by focusing on the perspectives of students and by linking the measures of three important dynamics within schools to form a new construct: Student Academic Optimism.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Sarah Pirmohamed, Agata Debowska and Daniel Boduszek

Prior research has highlighted gender differences in academic motivational attributes, and how these predict academic achievement for each gender; however, a vast amount…

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Abstract

Purpose

Prior research has highlighted gender differences in academic motivational attributes, and how these predict academic achievement for each gender; however, a vast amount of inconsistency exists amongst such literature. The purpose of this paper is to examine the predictive value of academic motivation (achievement goal, leaning goal, performance goal (PG), self-efficacy (SE), and active learning strategies (ALS)) and study time in explaining academic achievement amongst male and female students.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional survey design was applied. Participants were sampled opportunistically, and consisted of final year undergraduate students, including both males (n=126) and females (n=189) attending various courses at a UK university.

Findings

A multiple regression analysis carried out for each gender revealed that study time, ALS, PG, and SE were significant predictors of achievement for males, whereas SE was the only significant predictor of achievement for females.

Originality/value

These findings offer practical implications in terms of methods employed by educators to enhance academic achievement. Such implications highlight the importance of the development of SE in both genders and propose methods in which universities can enhance motivation in male and female students. Recommendations for future research are also made.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Nives Zubcevic, Felix Mavondo and Sandra Luxton

The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between attitudes to academic achievement and post university success using perceptions of attractiveness, gender…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between attitudes to academic achievement and post university success using perceptions of attractiveness, gender, ethnic identity, personality, and social acceptance as antecedents.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was completed by male (N=116) and female (N=126) university students from various cultural backgrounds. To evaluate the proposed relationships, multiple regression analysis was used.

Findings

The findings suggest that attractiveness is related to attitudes to academic achievement and success through its association with social appeal and acceptance. Ethnic identity is also related to both academic achievement and post university success. Personality is not positively related to academic achievement. Finally, social acceptance is positively related to academic achievement for males and to success for females.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst the survey targeted students from various cultural backgrounds studying in Australia, it did not look at university students from other countries. A cross‐cultural perspective could reveal further differences in attitudes.

Originality/value

This study links attractiveness and academic achievement theories. The findings have implications for tertiary institutions and suggest academics and policy‐makers to vigorously promote core personality and values such as intelligence, communication skills, and sincerity, rather than allow superficial values such as attractiveness to be placed at the centre stage of students' endeavour.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Misty M. Kirby and Michael F. DiPaola

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among academic optimism, community engagement, and student achievement in urban elementary schools across one district.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among academic optimism, community engagement, and student achievement in urban elementary schools across one district.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from all 35 urban elementary schools across one district in Virginia, USA. Correlation, multiple regression, and factor analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

In schools where the faculty are optimistic that their students can succeed despite the obstacle of low socioeconomic status (SES) and where the community is engaged, students are more likely to achieve at higher levels. Findings of this study also supported that community engagement, collective efficacy, trust in clients, and academic press do act as predictors to collectively influence student achievement.

Research limitations/implications

The Goddard measure for collective efficacy was replaced with one developed for more challenging settings such as urban schools.

Practical implications

Academic optimism and community engagement were found to work in ways that improve student achievement. Understanding the social contexts in classrooms and schools allows education leaders to work with faculty in examining current practice, in an effort to improve the educational outcomes for all students, even those who must overcome the obstacles to learning posed by their low SES.

Originality/value

With only one previous study of this construct in an urban elementary setting, the current study sought to test those findings in an effort to continue pushing this research agenda into urban settings.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Jason H. Wu, Wayne K. Hoy and C. John Tarter

The purpose of this research is twofold: to test a theory of academic optimism in Taiwan elementary schools and to expand the theory by adding new variables, collective…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is twofold: to test a theory of academic optimism in Taiwan elementary schools and to expand the theory by adding new variables, collective responsibility and enabling school structure, to the model.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling was used to test, refine, and expand an organizational path model of student achievement first developed in the USA.

Findings

The proposed organizational model was supported in Taiwan and was consistent with the initial studies done in the USA. Further, two concepts were added to the model, enabling structure and collective responsibility, both of which had significant indirect effects on student achievement through academic optimism. Moreover, the theoretical foundations (efficacy, trust, and academic emphasis) of the latent construct of academic optimism were confirmed again in this sample of schools in Taiwan.

Originality/value

The findings support an organizational model of student achievement, which has application in both the USA and Taiwan. The original model was supported, refined, and extended. Academic optimism is at the center of the model and explains student achievement for all students. Collective responsibility and enabling school structure both predict academic optimism directly and student achievement indirectly.

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Book part
Publication date: 26 July 2016

Jacob Hibel, Daphne M. Penn and R. C. Morris

Social psychological perspectives on educational stratification offer explanations that bridge the macro and micro social worlds. However, while ethnoracial disparities in…

Abstract

Purpose

Social psychological perspectives on educational stratification offer explanations that bridge the macro and micro social worlds. However, while ethnoracial disparities in academic achievement are evident during the earliest grade levels, most social psychological research in this area has examined high school or college student samples and has used a black–white binary to operationalize race.

Design/methodology/approach

We use longitudinal structural equation models to examine links between academic self-efficacy beliefs and school performance among a national sample of diverse third- through eighth-grade students in the United States.

Findings

Contrary to hypotheses derived from the student identity literature, we find no evidence that elementary and middle school students from different ethnoracial backgrounds vary in the degree to which they selectively discount evaluative feedback in their academic self-efficacy construction, nor in the extent to which they demonstrate disrupted links between academic self-efficacy and subsequent academic performance.

Originality/value

The study examines the extent to which race-linked social psychological processes may be driving academic achievement inequalities during the primary schooling years.

Details

Education and Youth Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-046-6

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Wayne Hoy

The purpose of this paper is to trace a 40‐year research journey to identify organizational properties that foster the achievement of all students, regardless of…

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4464

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace a 40‐year research journey to identify organizational properties that foster the achievement of all students, regardless of socio‐economic status (SES).

Design/methodology/approach

The author describes a search for school properties that have an impact on the cognitive and social‐emotional development of faculty and students, with special emphasis on academic achievement.

Findings

Three characteristics of schools were identified that make a positive difference for student achievement controlling for the SES: collective efficacy, collective trust in parents and students, and academic emphasis of the school. Further these three measures are elements of a latent construct, academic emphasis of school, which is a powerful predictor of student achievement regardless of SES.

Originality/value

The paper identifies school variables that are often as important, or more important, than SES in explaining academic achievement, and a new model is created to explain how academic optimism influences student achievement.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Page A. Smith and Wayne K. Hoy

The aim of this study was two‐fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban…

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3644

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was two‐fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban elementary schools, even controlling for socioeconomic factors, and school size.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 99 urban elementary schools in Texas and multiple regression and factor analyses were used to test a series of hypotheses guiding the inquiry.

Findings

The major hypotheses of the study were supported; academic optimism was a second‐order construct comprised of collective efficacy, faculty trust, and academic optimism. Moreover, academic optimism is a school characteristic that predicts student achievement even controlling for socioeconomic status.

Practical implications

The results support Bandura's social cognitive theory, Coleman's social capital theory, Hoy and Tarter's work on organizational climate, and demonstrate the existence of a cultural property of schools called academic optimism. Further, the findings have practical implications for developing strategies to improve the academic performance of urban schools.

Originality/value

The findings demonstrate the existence of a new collective construct, academic optimism, which has the potential to help improve the effectiveness of schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Soo-yong Byun and Suet-ling Pong

Using data from the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment, we examined determinants of children’s participation in highbrow cultural activities and its…

Abstract

Using data from the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment, we examined determinants of children’s participation in highbrow cultural activities and its relationship with academic achievement in Hong Kong. We found that family socioeconomic status (SES) and home possessions related to high-status culture were important determinants of children’s participation in highbrow cultural activities. Yet, we found no significant relationship between children’s participation in highbrow cultural activities and academic achievement when controlling for other variables. We highlighted several characteristics of Hong Kong society and its educational system, including the British colonial experience, extreme focus on test preparation, and extensive shadow education, all of which may combine to explain the role of cultural resources in this East Asian society.

Details

Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-627-0

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2003

Daniela Lucangeli and Thomas E Scruggs

This investigation was intended to examine the relationship among perceived competence, anxiety, and mathematical and verbal achievement in a population of male and female…

Abstract

This investigation was intended to examine the relationship among perceived competence, anxiety, and mathematical and verbal achievement in a population of male and female Italian middle school students. One hundred and eighty students were administered measures of trait anxiety, and measures of state anxiety were administered immediately prior to administering achievement tests in math and literature. In addition, students were administered six subscales of a perceived competence scale. Analyses of these data yielded a moderate negative correlation between mathematics achievement and state anxiety for the math test, and a descriptively smaller negative correlation between the literature scores and state anxiety for the literature test. Significant correlations were also observed between achievement and perceived competence for academic ability. The two state anxiety measures were found to be highly correlated; however, trait anxiety was not statistically related to academic achievement in either math or literature. A moderate negative correlation was observed between perceived competence for academic ability and state anxiety for math and a somewhat lower correlation between perceived competence for academic ability and literature achievement. Males scored higher than females on the test of trait anxiety; however, females and males did not differ on any other anxiety or academic measures, including perceived competence for academic ability, math achievement, or literature achievement. Implications for future research are discussed.

Details

Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-029-6

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