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ERIC Number: ED422395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Teachers' Causal Explanations for Achievement: Common Sense or Social Representations?
Gama, Elizabeth Maria P.; de Jesus, Denise Meyrelles
This paper analyzes the results of three studies about teacher causal explanation of failure in the Brazilian public elementary schools. Confronted with very high incidence of school dropout and retention, the investigators asked public school teachers to choose the main determinants of dropout and failure in their schools. Two studies were quantitative and one was qualitative (with quantitative triangulation). These studies and two others reviewed showed impressive consistency and similarity of findings across samples, year of investigation, and method used. In general, teachers attributed the causality of school failure to factors that were external to the school; responsibility was placed on the students' lack of effort or interest, the conditions of poverty of the family, and their families' lack of involvement. Faced with generalized shared beliefs, the authors draw on S. Moscovici's theory of social representations and suggest that public school teachers may have developed their own pedagogical theory. Pedagogical and psychological theories about students, instruction, and learning may have been re-elaborated by them to come to constitute a new set of ideas and ways to understand and explain school reality. Once established, social representations guide everyday thinking and behavior and may serve the purpose of perpetuating the precarious achievement of low-income children in the Brazilian public school system. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil