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Identifying and supporting young adolescent academic underachievers in Year 7 and 8 classrooms


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Ludicke, P, Muir, T ORCID: 0000-0001-6305-0679 and Swabey, K ORCID: 0000-0001-6749-9158 2019 , 'Identifying and supporting young adolescent academic underachievers in Year 7 and 8 classrooms' , Issues in Educational Research, vol. 29, no. 2 , pp. 458-484 .

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Academic underachievement in young adolescents has been a concern for teachers,schools and systems for some time. In Australian schools, curriculum reforms andmiddle years programs have been implemented to improve the educational outcomes ofyoung adolescents, and address underachievement, with limited continuity andconsistency. This study used a mixed methods approach within a collective case study toinvestigate characteristics and practices of secondary school teachers when identifyingand dealing with academic underachievers in Years 7 and 8. Findings revealed thatteachers identified the following as primary indicators of an academic underachiever:literacy and numeracy barriers; absences; family background factors; and, a lack ofengagement, participation and confidence in learning. These teachers implementedspecific practices to help address student underachievement including attempting toimprove pedagogical relationships, collaboration with colleagues, aides and parents, andadjusting and modifying curriculum. The findings showed that these practices were notconsistently informed by learner-centred or middle years educational models, but tendedto be practical responses provided to assist underachieving students participate inlearning activities and assessment and to meet age and stage curriculum standards.Teachers believed their practices were negatively influenced and limited by lack of time,system support and resources. While recognising that academic underachievers hadcomplex needs, the practices teachers employed in the classroom were generally remedialand did not necessarily encourage the development of learner confidence in theirstudents.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ludicke, P and Muir, T and Swabey, K
Keywords: middle school; adolescents; engagement; underachievement
Journal or Publication Title: Issues in Educational Research
Publisher: Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc.
ISSN: 1837-6290
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)

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