The impact of tracking by attainment on pupil self-confidence over time: demonstrating the accumulative impact of self-fulfilling prophecy

Becky Francis, Nicole Craig, Jeremy Hodgen, Becky Taylor, Antonina Tereshchenko, Paul Connolly, Louise Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of self-fulfilling prophecy in education, and of attainment grouping on pupil self-perception, remain topics of longstanding debate, with important consequences for social in/justice. Focusing on self-confidence, this article draws on survey responses from 9,059 12-13 year olds who were tracked by subject (‘setting’). They provided survey responses when placed in ‘ability’ sets at the start of their secondary schooling, and again late the following year; enabling analysis of impact over time. After controlling for prior attainment, the gap in general self-confidence between students in the top and bottom sets for mathematics is shown to widen over time, and high set students’ self-confidence in English had also grown significantly; although there was not further widening in the cases of self-confidence in mathematics or in general self-confidence between students in the top and bottom sets for English. Implications of these findings for interventions directed at addressing educational disadvantage are discussed. © 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-642
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume41
Issue number5
Early online date8 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in British Journal of Sociology of Education on 08/06/2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01425692.2020.1763162

Keywords

  • attainment grouping
  • self-confidence
  • setting
  • social inequality
  • social justice
  • Tracking

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