Hattie, John A. C.
Classroom Composition and Peer Effects
University of Auckland
The extent to which the composition of classes affects learning outcomes.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
International Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 449-481
- The overwhelming message of previous quantitative research is that tracking has minimal effects on learning outcomes.
- At best, tracking benefits the most advantaged students, although we note that these effects are still small and it is important to separate gifted programs from high ability tracks.
- Qualitative research evidences that there may be quite different teaching and interactions in the low versus high tracked classes. It seems that the quality of teaching and the nature of the student interactions are the key issues, rather than the compositional structure of classes.
- There is very little compelling evidence of a compositional effect related to whether a class is single or mixed sex.
- The research on class size indicates that very small gains are made to achievement as a consequence of reducing class sizes.
- The processes and mechanism of peer influences are no more likely to occur in higher-than lower-tracked classes, in smaller than larger classes, or in single-sex than mixed-sex classes.
- It is likely that teachers teach in a similar way regardless of the distribution of age range in the class, and the multigrade classes are often split on age fro grouping.
- Composition effects have little effect, primarily because teachers rarely change their instructional methods when the peer composition of the classes change. The nature and quality of instruction is more powerful than the class variation in achievement.
- Good teaching is more powerful and appears to be independent of the class configuration or homogeneity of the students within the class.
Journal Article Review of Literature
Class Size, Classroom Composition, Gender, Peer Effects, Teachers, Tracking
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Previous literature on Tracking, Combination classes, Single-sex classes, Class size, Implicating peer effects, etc.