Educational Policy and Scholastic Competence Among English Language Learners
Committee ChairMcCaslin, Mary
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this study, I explore the potential impact of differing educational policies and reform efforts that influence state and federal standards-based assessments and their interpretations. Specifically, I examine the educational policies of Arizona (Structured English Immersion [SEI]) and Texas (bilingual education) for their effect on the belief systems of students, parents, and teachers. I also examine the role of identity and language in the motivation to learn and student disposition toward school among English Language Learners (ELLs). In support of a co-regulation model of emerging identity, acculturation, acculturative stress, and student perceptions of scholastic competence, student disposition toward school, and student motivational dynamics contributed to the accurate prediction of 77.5% of the participants' group membership in either SEI or bilingual education. ELLs in bilingual education had higher perceptions of scholastic competence than ELLs in SEI (d = .54). Four types of dispositions toward school, Pride in Achieving, Participation and Belonging, Literacy, and Math, were higher for ELLs in bilingual education than for ELLs in SEI. Contrary to the hypothesized results, however, there were no differences in the Rigid and Right disposition between ELLs in SEI and bilingual education. In reference to motivation, scores on Disengaged and Distracting were higher for ELLs in SEI (Arizona) than for ELLs in bilingual programs (Texas). However, contrary to the hypotheses, Good Worker/Engaged Learner, and Struggling and Persistent were higher for ELLs in SEI than for ELLs in bilingual programs. I conclude by discussing the potential impact of differing educational policies and reform efforts on the belief systems of ELLs, their parents, and teachers.
Degree ProgramEducational Psychology