Moving to Secondary School: On the Role of Affective Expectations in a Tracking School System

Aug. 30, 2009

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 8 Number 3 (2009), pages 434-446.

Transition to secondary school implies basic changes in social, instructional and organisational aspects of school life which afford the pupils’ adjustment. As transition takes place at a predictable point in time, children develop expectations about the start at their new school.

In order to analyse predictors and consequences of these expectations 870 German children filled in a questionnaire assessing transition expectations, grades in mathematics and language, academic self-concept, and school dislike. Achievement tests were administered, too. Data were collected at the end of grade four at primary school and one year later at secondary school.

Regression and communality analyses revealed that emotional school-related variables are more predictive for expectations than measures of achievement. On the other hand, the influence of expectations on the adjustment at secondary school is only of low importance in comparison to school type-effects.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2010