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ERIC Number: EJ921821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
The Link between Educational Expectations and Effort in the College-for-All Era
Domina, Thurston; Conley, AnneMarie; Farkas, George
Sociology of Education, v84 n2 p93-112 Apr 2011
From the Wisconsin status attainment model to rational choice, classical sociological, social-psychological, and economic theories of student educational transitions have assumed that students' expectations are positively related to their ultimate attainment. However, the growth of the college-for-all ethos raises questions about that assumption. Noting that American students' educational expectations rapidly out-paced their educational attainments, Rosenbaum (2001) argues that increasingly unrealistic expectations have perverse negative effects on the school engagement of American high school students. In this article, the authors test the relationship between student expectations and effort using data from a unique longitudinal study of student motivation and three national cohort studies. Contrary to the college-for-all critique, the authors find that educational expectations continue to have robust positive effects on student perceptions regarding the future utility of high school academics and student effort in high school. The relationship between expectations and effort is somewhat attenuated for very low-achieving students and it is weaker today than it was in 1980. Nonetheless, the authors' analyses indicate that the expansion of college expectations has had a net positive effect on American high school students' effort. (Contains 1 figure, 4 tables and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A