Image (above) – Prof Kate Reynolds has found that 'school identity' is a contributing factor to NAPLAN results, Source: Stuart Hay ANU
Ahead of NAPLAN results due to be released on Tuesday, new psychology research has found a surprising new factor that can lift student NAPLAN scores by as many as 10 points.
Prof Kate Reynolds from The Australian National University (ANU) found that 'school identity', the feeling of being connected and belonging to a school, made a difference along with other known performance indicators such as socioeconomic circumstances and education levels of parents.
Reynolds, from the ANU Research School of Psychology used data from a School Climate and Social Identification survey to identify the best factors for predicting academic performance.
"Parental education makes a difference, socioeconomic circumstances make a difference, but the other variable that emerged as being important was this sense of belonging and connection to schools," Reynolds said.
"School identification was an important and significant predictor of performance. On average it's able to lift students' performance by about 10 points on NAPLAN, that's after we take the other variables into account."
The research looked at the social identity approach, the idea in social psychology that a person derives a sense of self through the groups they are a part of.
"When students feel connected to a school, they are more likely to view their school's norms and values as being self-relevant," Reynolds said.
"They're more likely to want to live up to the aspirations of the school."
Reynolds suggests clear communication and relationships with students, staff and parents were key factors in building school identity.
"We know student-teacher relationships are important. If students believe teachers care about them, understand them, and respect their views, this helps build a sense of school identity," she said.
"We also found schools investing in a clearly articulated sense of shared mission was an important step to getting people on board.
"It's about schools communicating their values, and why they do the things they do. It's hard to feel connected to a group if you don't know what that group stands for."
Professor Reynold's research looked at 400 year 7-9 students from across all ACT public schools.
The research has been published in School Psychology International.
While it’s prevalent at universities, cheaters’ days might be numbered as markers have shown themselves to be adept at indentifying which assignments are not the work of the student and the ability improves with training. Read More
Over 6000 youngsters will get a taste of the beach when the 25th annual Beach to Bush program rolls into towns including Tamworth, Lismore, West Wyalong, Young, Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Canberra. Read More
As the current crop of Catholic School Principals retires there’s concern that no one is stepping up to the plate, the Catholic Schools’ Middle Leadership Program addresses the development of new leaders. Read More
Quit Victoria’s annual Critics’ Choice initiative invites students to appraise anti-smoking ads and high school students are being called upon to get involved.
Toddlers with autism can thrive in normal kindergarten environments if provided with the correct scaffolding and La Trobe University’s Group-Early Start Denver Model (G-ESDM) looks to be one intervention that works well. Read More