EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

The School Organization Between the Question of Effectiveness and Social Effect

Abstract

Among the problems which affect the educational organisation today, the question of social impacts is the most important social and educative phenomenon. So the roles of schools in institutional effectiveness are the same roles which are affected by the different social factors. Then we can see that the problematic of education is necessarily a question of society in its own field of organisational action of the different educational programs. In this communication I will try to analyse the question of educational effectiveness using a psycho sociological analysis based on some cultural and social factors which limit the action of educational institution in underdeveloped countries. Our analysis will integrate the social reality of school in this specific context and socials factors embedded with educational reality.

Keywords: School organization, educational effectiveness, social effects

Introduction

The school is considered as a complex place of socialization where the pupils participate, more or less, according to the context as actor in the building of school and social situations, as shown in the work of Pierre Bourdieu and J. C Passeron, “this academic / schooling institution has an educational system which is a set of institutional or customary mechanisms that ensure the transmission of the legacy of reading between the Generations.” (translation mine).

The school is also an institution that performs the global functions of integration and mobility. It consists in transmitting in the setting of deliberate programming. It is also interested in its internal organization for a good progress and a smooth running of the pupils’ education so as to assure a high rate of success. On the other hand, it guarantees a follow-up for those with learning difficulties so as to avoid school failure. The rate of the latter, however, has remarkably increased during the last few years.

Problem Statement

School Failure is a major issue because it is a determining factor. This is the reason why it has aroused the curiosity of researchers and being the focus of numerous works, and more specifically in the field of sociology of education. The phenomenon, indeed, concerns almost all the schools all over the world. However, and in order to carry out our research and tackle in particular the school failure issue, we have opted for the Algerian school. So, school failure in Algeria is one of the major concerns for psychologists whatever their specialization is, due to its scope and severity.

We, educators, find that this phenomenon concerns us all. It is in fact a topic that focuses much more on education and its goals which are as diversified and varied as the individuals are.

So, a great part of our research on school failure should make use of some indices like competence, or ability to read, the calculus, and the performance during the exams. These indices have some degree of objectivity and are obviously relevant to education.

It should be recalled that in every school there are agents who ensure its functioning and teachers who act within it using a teaching method. The evaluation of the teaching method aims at testing the pupils’ cognitive abilities so as to identify those with difficulties on the one hand, and to provide a remedy for the difficulties that the pupils suffer from, on the other hand.

Purpose of the Study

Through this relationship Teacher — Secondary school pupil, are there any factors that may influence the pupils’ academic performance?

Not only with its factors but with the family that builds the social and cultural identity of its students.

The pupils’ living conditions are as different as the socioeconomic groups they belong to, or they come from. There are pupils from affluent and educated families with a socially and economically favorable surrounding / environment, while others are entirely the opposite. Thus, can we say that it is the parents' socioeconomic conditions that determine the success or the failure of the pupils?

In front of such a situation, can the pupil’s academic performance actually reflect the parents’ social and living conditions?

Research Methods

  • The parents’ socioeconomic and cultural conditions may be one of the factors of academic failure among secondary-school pupils.
  • Teaching methods and curriculum taught are the cause of school failure.

Definition of key concepts:

  • The school Failure:

The failure of a pupil means that the latter has not grasped the content of the course and could not adapt with the new transmitted acquisitions.

A pupil in failure is one who has difficulty adapting to the new information and training. His lessons appear as an obstacle to him, and make it, therefore, extremely difficult in grasping and understanding the content of the academic program.

  • The Parents' socioeconomic Level:

the parents’ socioeconomic levels refer to their material conditions as well as their financial abilities to ensure the enrollment and the academic expenses of their pupils / children. These conditions revolve around the living conditions, the parents’ monthly income, as well as their children.

Families with an average or a high monthly income can provide their children with all what is indispensable for a good learning like books, computer tools, televisions, ... whereas those with a lower monthly wage can hardly be encouraging their children to study.

  • The parents’ cultural level:

This term refers to all of the parents’ skills and cultural capital that can be transmitted (by them) to their children. This cultural capital is synonymous with what we call "habitus." This concept means, according to Bourdieu,For Bourdieu, the cultural capital can exist in three states which are:

  • The incorporated state: it refers to personal characteristics which are specific to each organism. This state concerns the presentation of the self, the language, ...
  • The objective / goal state: this type appears in the form of cultural goods such as books, instruments…

The parents’ acquired cultural level and their accumulated capital have a direct effect on their children’s education by helping them throughout their academic course.

The failure of a pupil means that the latter has not grasped the content of the course and could not adapt with the new transmitted acquisitions.

A pupil in failure is one who has difficulty adapting to the new information and training. His lessons appear as an obstacle to him, and make it, therefore, extremely difficult in grasping and understanding the content of the academic program.

  • The Parents' socioeconomic Level:

The parents’ socioeconomic levels refer to their material conditions as well as their financial abilities to ensure the enrollment and the academic expenses of their pupils / children. These conditions revolve around the living conditions, the parents’ monthly income, as well as their children.

Families with an average or a high monthly income can provide their children with all what is indispensable for a good learning like books, computer tools, televisions, ... whereas those with a lower monthly wage can hardly be encouraging their children to study.

  • The parents’ cultural level:

This term refers to all of the parents’ skills and cultural capital that can be transmitted (by them) to their children. This cultural capital is synonymous with what we call "habitus." This concept means, according to P. Bourdieu,For Bourdieu, the cultural capital can exist in three states which are:

  • The incorporated state: it refers to personal characteristics which are specific to each organism. This state concerns the presentation of the self, the language, ...
  • The objective / goal state: this type appears in the form of cultural goods such as books, instruments…

The parents’ acquired cultural level and their accumulated capital have a direct effect on their children’s education by helping them throughout their academic course.

Findings

The teaching method

It refers, in a very general sense, to how a teacher undertakes his teaching tasks (the skills and techniques whose aims are to convey knowledge that the pupil must acquire). Referring to a given method has a direct relationship with the personality of the teacher; that is why each teacher has his own teaching method and a special way of explaining his lessons. This method can be up to the pupils’ ambitions in the same way that it cannot be. And it is from class participation, the pupils’ motivation as well as the assessment results that we can qualify this method as being good or bad.

The method used

The methods are different. The difference in the subjects, the problematic issues, as well as the objectives to be reached require from a researcher to follow a very specific method and techniques that are adequate with the problem of the study. We can define the method " (translation mine)

Several factors influence the choice of the method to be used by the researcher since it is intimately bound to the question raised at the early stages of the research. This method requires some methodological stages which have to correspond with the nature of the object of research; “there is no single scientific method to follow in order to discover the truth because the research methods are as different as the studied themes, the functions and the features of each used by the researcher."

So the method used throughout our study is the quantitative one. It has been chosen so as to gather information and data related to the causes of school failure. The quantitative method according to Maurice Angers (1996) "is the entire procedure describing the phenomena under study. Most of the human science researchers use the measure. It is related to the use of indices, the average rate and all the tools that statistics provides."

Techniques used

The technique is “a means by which the researcher collects the data in reality.”

The survey

This step allows us to better understand the field, as well as getting an impression about the pupils.

The first phase of our investigation allowed us to meet a small sample of failing pupils in the province of Bejaia and discuss with them about school failure and its effects. Then, test our questionnaire which allowed us to edit and add any matter deemed necessary to better understand our problematic at issue.

Observation

We used “the observation” to collect information related to the wanted sample, since this technique provided us with accuracy about our subject of study, and also the effectiveness of our assumptions.

We have been able to observe several scenes related to teachers and their pupils in the classroom so as to depict the different teaching methods mostly used by the teachers, and also to identify the barriers that hinder pupils in their studies.

During the observation, we used a second tactic which is to go and visit some nearby pupils’ home with the aim of determining whether the conditions they live in guarantee a successful academic course or not. The importance of our observation appeared during our pre-investigation phase.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire is an important tool for data collection. It may be distributed or administered in different ways. It also requires special qualities from the investigator.

  • The questionnaire administered in group

This type of questionnaire is given to groups of people gathered in one place. In our case, the questionnaire is distributed to a group of third-year secondary school pupils (those having a final BAC exam)

  • The construction of the questionnaire:

Our questionnaire was formulated on the basis of theoretical studies related to our theme and based on the techniques used. Our questionnaire consists of 31 questions, closed and open, which includes three parts:

Axis 1: it contains personal data such as sex, age, marital status

Axis 2: it concerns information on the socioeconomic and cultural capital of parents of the sample to be studied.

Axis3: it contains information about the relationships of pupils in schools.

Findings

The study sample

The selected schools are those of “20 Août 1956” which is located at Ighzar Amoukrane (55 km from the county seat of Bejaia), the Secondary school Chouhada Chikhoune located at the center of Bejaia, and “Frères Mahrez” another secondary school situated at Sidi Aich. Our study was conducted upon 155 pupils out of a total of 451. They are all third-year pupils from the various streams, including both sexes aged from 17 to 23 years. The aim is to depict the factors that lead to the pupils’ academic failure.

The presentation of the characteristics of the study sample:

Table 1 - Distribution of the pupils by gender
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From this table 1, we find that the feminine sex represents 70.96% while that of the males is only 29.03%. The percentages show a difference of 41.13% between both sexes. This is due to the number of girls which is higher than that of boys in the schools chosen for our study.

Table 2 - The distribution of pupils by age categories
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The table 2 shows that the higher category is that of [19-20] with a percentage of 42.58%. It is from this category that the majority of pupils have failed at least once in the Baccalauréat (BAC) Exam.

Table 3 - Distribution of students according to the parents’ level of education
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Following the general trend of the table, we note that the highest rate related to the parents’ level of education is that of” among the fathers with 34.19%, and that of among the mothers reaching 24.51%.

According to our research and the results obtained, almost all of the respondents’ mothers are jobless with a percentage of 76.77% and only 5.80% for the fathers. Unlike the fathers whom 52.90% are paid employees, only 15.48% of the mothers are in the same function.

The 3rd type is that of the retired parents with a rate of 25.80% for the fathers and 0.64% for the mothers.

The sociological explanation of the factor "jobless / not employed" is given by the nature of our society which favors more men than women in the jobs issue. Even the 52.90% of employed parents do not reflect those social miseries affecting the Algerian households and therefore directly affect the pupils.

Indeed, one income is not enough for a household to cover all of the family expenses.

Table 4 - Distribution of pupils by housing type
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It can be seen from this table that most of the pupils live in traditional houses that have a percentage of 43.22% followed by a percentage of 32.25% for pupils living in apartments and 22.58% of pupils who live in villas.

Table 5 - Distribution of pupils according to their relations with the teachers
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From this table we observe that the majority of the pupils have normal relationships with their teacher, which is represented by a percentage of 57.41%. Besides, 39.35% of the pupils show a good relationship with their teacher. Finally, only 3.22% of the pupils have a relationship with their teacher that is described as bad.

Conclusion

The assessment of academic failure among third-year secondary-school pupils has enabled us to check our knowledge and assess them on the ground. Practically, we have been able to evidence some factors that are the cause behind most of the pupils’ failure in their education. These factors are:

  • An unfavorable familial environment which does not assist or help the pupils during their revision; pupils living in an altered climate cannot concentrate on their studies. These disturbances mainly concern the father-mother relationship, without disregarding the relation between the pupils and their parents.
  • The stability of the relationship between the components of the family triangle (father / mother / child) is very important since it is from there that the pupils’ future might be determined together with the success in their study.
  • The parents’ socioeconomic level: a low income does not allow parents to provide educational resources for the schooling of their children, 58.33% of students do not have access to these resources.
  • The parents’ educational level: according to the results of the survey, 53.33% of the fathers have an average level of education, and 60% of the mothers with the same level. Thus, parents can barely provide educational support at home. Those with a high level of education, however, do not have enough time for their children.
  • The luck of good relations between the pupils and their teacher: The pupil generally spends most of his time with his teacher. The latter is supposed to be close to his apprentice and know his weaknesses and educational requirement

Therefore, the relationship between master and apprentice must ensure a good communication in both directions, so as to have a good grasp and understanding of the educational messages.

Being in a comfortable environment and coming from a wealthy family is not necessarily synonymous with success in school. We can therefore say that school failure may result from other factors outside the parents’ socioeconomic level, and which can directly influence the pupils’ academic achievements. These factors concern the pupils’ intellectual abilities which are different from one person to another together with the lack of will since an unmotivated pupil can never move forward.

Acknowledgements

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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About this article

Published online: 01.12.2012
Pages: 429-441
Publisher: Cognitive-crcs
Article Type: Original Research
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