Students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity and their relation to contextual factors

Faculty/Professorship: Psychology of Teaching and Learning at School  
Author(s): Dotzel, Stefanie; Bonefeld, Meike; Karst, Karina
Title of the Journal: European Journal of Psychology of Education
ISSN: 1878-5174
Publisher Information: Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer Netherlands
Year of publication: 2022
Volume: 37
Issue: 1
Pages: 101–121
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s10212-021-00544-2
Previous studies examining attitudes towards performance heterogeneity have focused on attitudes among teachers. However, positive attitudes towards the school environment are also assumed to be conducive for students. The aim of this paper is to examine students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity with a sample of 784 5th-grade students. Based on the three-component theory of attitudes (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993), we investigated whether students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity are positive or negative. Furthermore, we analyzed contextual relations, focusing on whether students’ attitudes are linked to performance heterogeneity in the classroom and to a teachers’ behavior to manage performance heterogeneity. Descriptive statistics show that students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity are rather positive. Multi-level structural equation models reveal that contextual rather than individual characteristics relate to students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity. Accordingly, students in heterogeneous classes show a more positive attitude towards performance heterogeneity than students in less heterogeneous classes. In addition, a teachers’ capability of professionally managing heterogeneity is positively associated with students’ attitudes towards performance heterogeneity. Accordingly, students’ show more positive attitudes if teachers implement rules, effectively manage disruptions, orient themselves towards temporal reference norms, cultivate a positive error culture, and differentiate instruction in the classroom. We will discuss our results and consider implications for psychological aspects of education and learning.
GND Keywords: Heterogenität; Schule
Keywords: Performance heterogeneity, Attitudes towards performance heterogeneity, Secondary school students, Contextual relationships
DDC Classification: 370 Education  
RVK Classification: DK 1000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 14. July 2021