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Teachers' beliefs related to secondary school completion: Associations with socio-educational advantage and school level


Beswick, K and Wright, S and Watson, JM and Hay, I and Allen, J and Cranston, N, Teachers' beliefs related to secondary school completion: Associations with socio-educational advantage and school level, Australian Educational Researcher, 46, (5) pp. 751-774. ISSN 0311-6999 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13384-019-00317-3


This research used the responses of 187 Tasmanian teachers to a questionnaire comprising 52-Likert-type items, two multiple-choice items, and two open-response items to investigate differences in teachersí beliefs about aspects of schooling related to studentsí secondary school completion. Exploratory factor analysis of responses to the Likert-type items identified 3 factors underpinning teachersí responses. These were (1) Student and parent aspirations, (2) Teacher and school quality and support, and (3) Expectations for continuing education. Two-way ANOVAs showed that primary school teachers scored higher on average than secondary teachers for student and parent aspirations, and that there was an interaction between level of schooling and Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) for this factor. Descriptive statistics were used to compare responses to the multiple-choice items of teachers at different levels of ICSEA and schooling. Open-response items were categorised in two ways (1) as related to pastoral, academic, or engagement matters, and (2) as negative or positive in relation to each of students, parents, and teachers. The results highlighted less academic and more pastorally focussed cultures in Year 7-10 schools compared with Year 11-12 schools and relatively low expectations for university study across the levels of schooling. The findings implicate teachersí beliefs about students and their families as crucial to influencing educational aspirations and attainment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:teacher beliefs, school completion, educational aspirations, socio-educational advantage, school level
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Secondary education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Beswick, K (Professor Kim Beswick)
UTAS Author:Wright, S (Mrs Suzie Wright)
UTAS Author:Watson, JM (Professor Jane Watson)
UTAS Author:Hay, I (Professor Ian Hay)
UTAS Author:Cranston, N (Professor Neil Cranston)
ID Code:132858
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP110200828)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-05-23
Last Modified:2020-03-23
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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