ERIC Number: ED335607
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Achievement in the Brazilian Public Schools: Research for Counseling Intervention.
Gama, Elizabeth M. P.
School failure in elementary school students from low income families has been a serious problem in Brazilian public schools for many years. A number of studies were implemented in an effort to reduce the incidence of school failure. One set of studies focusing on teachers' causal perceptions revealed a combination of socio-economic determinism and psychological fatalism. The teachers (three samples consisting of 451 elementary school teachers, 28 elementary school teachers, and 907 preschool teachers) believed that children failed mainly because of their families' poverty which did not promote successful learning conditions. It was then hypothesized that the experience of failure is the independent variable that, along with teachers' low expectations and negative attributions, produce lowered achievement motivation and self-esteem and negative school attitudes. Research with students (N=180) and their teachers supported the hypothesis. From first grade on, teachers had higher expectations and estimates of intellectual potential for the students who eventually succeeded. By the fifth grade, unsuccessful students had more negative attitudes toward schooling, lower self-concepts, and emitted mostly internal, stable and uncontrollable failure attributions while successful students were mostly internal, stable and controllable to success. Interventions have focused on changes in the teacher training curriculum and support of in-service teacher education. Counseling interventions must also be conducted with children who are failing. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).