Title: Should schools be optimistic? An investigation of the association between academic optimism of schools and student achievement in primary education
Authors: Boonen, Tinneke ×
Pinxten, Maarten
Van Damme, Jan
Onghena, Patrick #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Swets & Zeitlinger
Series Title: Educational Research and Evaluation vol:20 issue:1 pages:3-24
Abstract: Academic emphasis, collective efficacy, and faculty trust in students and parents
(3 school characteristics positively associated with student achievement) are assumed
to form a higher order latent construct, “academic optimism” (Hoy, Tarter, &
Woolfolk Hoy, 2006a, 2006b). The aim of the present study is to corroborate the
latent factor structure of academic optimism and to investigate its association with
student achievement in Flanders while taking the hierarchical structure of the data
into account. Data from 1,375 staff members and 3,538 fifth-grade students within
117 schools were analysed using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis and
multilevel structural equation modelling. The results indicated that all three school
characteristics make up one latent school construct, “academic optimism”. Academic
optimism was found to be positively associated with student achievement in
mathematics and reading comprehension. School mean socioeconomic status and
school mean prior achievement are mainly indirectly associated with student
achievement through academic optimism.
ISSN: 1380-3611
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Educational Effectiveness and Evaluation
Department of Health and Technology - UC Leuven
Methodology of Educational Sciences
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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