Aligning secondary school classroom culture and pedagogy with attitudinal and achievement outcomes

Year: 2003

Author: Waugh, Russell, Cavanagh, Robert, Dellar, Graham

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The study was grounded on theoretical propositions and empirical research concerning school effectiveness, classroom effectiveness, school improvement and school renewal. In particular, the notion that improving student learning outcomes through improving and renewing schools is dependent on changing classroom cultures of learning and teaching.

A model of classroom culture consisting of student educational values (dependent variable), formal learning outcomes (dependent variable), and the attitudes and behaviours of students, the teacher and parents (independent variables) was proposed. Hypothesised relationships between the dependent and independent variables were tested by multiple regression analysis of data from 988 students obtained from administration of a Rasch model classroom culture instrument. The classroom learning attitudes and behaviours of students were found to directly relate to educational outcomes, as were teacher expectations and parent attitudes and behaviours. The attitudes and behaviours of students and teachers towards classroom collaboration and caring were not confirmed to directly relate to learning outcomes.

The findings of the investigation are discussed in consideration of the theoretical assumptions upon which the study was based. This discussion includes identification of the implications of the empirical results for understanding and facilitating renewal of secondary schools with the intention of improving educational outcomes in classrooms.