Exploring the educational aspirations-expectations gap in eighth grade students: implications for educational interventions and school reform
Kirk, Chris Michael
Lewis, Rhonda K.
Colvin, Deltha Q.
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Kirk, Chris Michael; Lewis, Rhonda K.; Scott, Angela; Wren, Denise; Nilsen, Corinne; Colvin, Deltha. 2012. Exploring the educational aspirations-expectations gap in eighth grade students: implications for educational interventions and school reform. Educational Studies, v.38 no.5 pp.507-519
Over the past three decades, more and more students are expressing a desire to attend college, yet for many members of disenfranchised groups, this goal is often not attained. While many factors contribute to these disparities, research has shown that students begin adjusting their expectations (what they think they can achieve) for the future in relation to their idealised aspirations (what they would like to achieve). The current study explores this gap among 207 eighth grade students from two urban middle schools. Using the School Attitude Assessment Survey-Revised, three factors were found to predict expectations which matched student aspirations. These factors were academic motivation and self-regulating behaviours, academic self-perception and attitudes towards teachers. Implications for educational interventions and school reform are discussed.
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