Dar, Yehezkel, & Resh, Nura
Classroom Intellectual Composition and Academic Achievement
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Test if the intellectual level of the classroom affects the quality of learning environments.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 357-374
- Classroom intellectual composition positively affects the student's academic achievement, and compositional quality and personal ability interact.
- The low-resource students' loss is greater than the high-resource students' profit, and in mixing, the high-resource students' loss is smaller than the low-resource students' gains.
- The richer the composition, the better the student's chances for higher scholastic achievement.
- The effect of classroom composition increased as the level of previous achievement decreased. The poorer the student's personal resources, the more sensitive he or she was to the quality of the educational environment.
- Homogenous classes did not provide any advantage in academic achievement; on the contrary, advantage was held by heterogeneity.
- Low-resource students transferred from a low homogenous class to a heterogeneous class will profit more than high-resource students will lose when transferred from a high homogeneous class to a heterogeneous one.
- Ethnic origin per se, compared to personal ability and, to a lesser degree, to socioeconomic background, is a weak, if not insignificant, factor in explaining academic achievement as measured by objective tests.
- As a proxy for the intellectual dimension, socioeconomic composition is preferable to ethnic composition, at least when the principal aim of integration is educational advancement of low-resource students.
- Classroom intellectual composition positively affects the student's objective academic achievement, beyond the potent effect of his or her personal intellectual resources, here tightly controlled. Implicitly it means that the classroom intellectual composition conditions, to some extent, the quality of the student's socio-learning environment.
- There is an interaction between personal and compositional resources, and that the compositional effect is stronger among low-resource students.
- The heterogeneous class is more advantageous for low-resource students than the low homogenous one, and there is no real disadvantage for high-resource students in the heterogeneous class versus the high homogenous one.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Academic Achievement, Classroom Composition
Method of Analysis:
Middle and High school students
Unit of Analysis:
- Hypothesis: Classroom intellectual composition positively affects the student's academic achievement; and that the classroom intellectual level interacts with personal ability level such that the lower the latter, the greater sensitivity to the former.
- Research paradigm and hypotheses were applied and examined in two separate but complementary studies:
- 1) Sample included about 3,500 8th graders in 135 classes in 38 schools, encompassing class compositions ranging from high homogenous, through heterogeneous to low homogeneous.
- 2) Second sample included about 700 10th, 11th and 12th graders from six kibbutz high schools in Israel.
- IV: quality of the sociolearning environment, conditioned by the intellectual level of the classroom, and affected by either separating students by personal resource level into high and low homogenous classes, or by mixing them in heterogeneous classes. Five dimensions of the SLE: future payoff of learning, symbolic message, normative influence, comparative reference, quality of scholastic interaction.
- DV: Academic Achievement was assessed cross sectionally but earlier aptitude/achievement data were available as a control. (student's mean achievement on a battery of standardized tests).