Opdenakker, Marie-Christine, Van Damme, Jan, De Fraine, Bieke, Van Landeghem, Georges, & Onghena, Patrick
The Effect of Schools and Classes on Mathematics Achievement
K.U. Leuven, Belgium
What are the effects of secondary schools, teachers, and classes on mathematics achievement.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
School Effectiveness and School Improvement
Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 399-427
- Schools and classes are important , although much of the variation in mathematics achievement is due to individual student characteristics.
- Results indicate that both the school and class/teacher level are relevant for the mathematics achievement of students. Especially the class composition in terms of the level of initial cognitive ability and SES and -to a lesser extent- the learning climate were important for explaining variance at the class and school levels.
- Results report important recruitment differences between schools and classes within schools. The group composition at the class level remained very important for the explanation of differences in mathematics achievement.
- The learning climate in the class, which correlates positively with group composition, explained an additional part of the variance.
- At the school level, the proportion of girls was positively related to mathematics achievement.
- Indications of differential effectiveness of classes and schools and of heteroscedasticity related to SES, average class SES, sex, and learning climate were found.
- Results indicate that ability grouping is often beneficial for talented students. But often harmful for the less able ones.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Classroom Composition, Gender, Math, SES
Method of Analysis:
Math classes students
Unit of Analysis:
- A subsample of 2,552 students belonging to 150 mathematics classes and to 57 secondary schools of the data from the LOSO-project of Van Damme and colleagues.
- The analysis with the relevant student, class, and school variables included in the model of mathematics achievement is based on a dataset with 1,936 students, 131 classes and 47 schools.
- Analysis included student level and school level variables.
- DV: Mathematics achievement test (end of first grade)
- IV: Student level: initial cognitive ability, family SES, achievement motivation, immunity to stress, sex, language spoken at home; school-level variables: mean initial cognitive ability, mean family SES, mean achievement motivation, mean immunity to stress, proportion of females, proportion speaking Dutch at home