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Selected at seven: The relationship between teachers’ judgments and assessments of pupils, and pupils’ stream placements

Campbell, Tammy (2014) Selected at seven: The relationship between teachers’ judgments and assessments of pupils, and pupils’ stream placements. Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED.

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Streaming (grouping pupils according to a measure or conception of overall ability for most / all teaching) has greatly increased in prevalence among English primary school children since the turn of the century. Evidence indicates that streaming may disadvantage children in lower groups and increase the overall attainment gap, and this paper explores one possible mechanism through which disparities might manifest: stream-dependent teacher perceptions. Using data for over 800 seven-year-old children who are taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study, analysis investigates whether teachers’ survey-reported judgements and Key Stage One assessments of children correspond to the stream in which a child is placed. Regression modelling controls for potential confounding factors including: cognitive test performance; pupil gender, ethnicity, and month of birth; parents’ income and education levels; parent and teacher perceptions of children’s behaviour; prior in-school judgments / attainment; special educational need diagnosis; teacher characteristics; and school-type. Both survey-reported judgements of pupils and teacher-assessed Key Stage One assessments are found to be significantly related to children’s stream placement. Children in the top stream are judged to be at a higher level and children in the bottom stream at a lower level than equivalent peers. It seems therefore that streaming may indeed contribute to attainment gaps through the medium of teacher perceptions and assessments, both by advantaging pupils in higher groups and penalising children in lower placements. This suggests a need to recognise, review and potentially revise the growing use of streaming among young children.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Controlled Keywords: primary education, streaming, inequality, perceptions, judgements, assessments
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 11:34
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2015 11:34
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