Classroom Structure, Functioning, and Student Outcomes: An Organizational-Cultural Approach to Classroom Research
University of Chicago
The relations between classroom organization characteristics and student education outcomes, with a focus on the classroom functioning mechanism.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
University of Chicago
- Organizational structure of a math class does affect the student educational outcomes through the within-classroom functioning and culture.
- A heterogeneous student body with respect to socioeconomic backgrounds and academic performance is likely to generate a higher classroom mean test score and, to a lesser degree, a better academic attitude and aspiration than a homogenous student body.
- A classroom where good students are more likely to be popular appear to affect positively the overall academic aspiration level.
- The classroom mean socioeconomic status is shown to have the strongest positive and direct effect upon the classroom mean math achievement.
- The ability grouping of a math class and the racial composition in the classroom appears to be not influential for the classroom-level academic aspirations of the students.
- Students' academic attitudes within the class shows a positive total causal effect upon academic aspirations.
- A conjointness of being good and being important in the classroom appears to be a promising classroom cultural context that would promote the students' academic attitude at the aggregate level.
- Classroom composition traits have been shown to affect the student outcomes measures not only directly but also indirectly by promoting or preventing certain aspects of either the behavioral practice of the teachers and students or the normative and evaluative aspects of students' socio-cultural life in school.
- More interesting is the finding that one or another type of within-classroom cultural and behavioral orientation of the members are more or less directly and also consistently affected by the way in which the classroom is organized.
Academic Achievement, Aspirations, Attitudes, Classroom Composition, Math, Racial Composition, SES, Teachers, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Math classes in NELS88
Unit of Analysis:
- Study uses the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 on American eight graders. A sub-sample of mathematics classes were constructed from the merged file of the NELS:88.
- DV: Math achievement (math standardized test scores), student's looking forward to math class (percent students who look forward to math class), future academic plan to go further than high school (percent students who very sure will go further than high school).
- IV: Teacher practice , student behavior, student perception and interaction with each other, student background (racial composition of the class, classroom average SES), school organizational characteristics and classroom composition characteristics (within classroom standard deviation of SES, within clawssroom standard deviation of test scores, within-classroom standard deviation of the degree to which students look forward to their math class, within classroom standard deviation of educational expectation measured by students' academic plan, high ability level).