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Contextual Effects in the Classroom: The Impact of Ability Groups on Student Attention

Diane Felmlee and Donna Eder
Sociology of Education
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Apr., 1983), pp. 77-87
DOI: 10.2307/2112656
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112656
Page Count: 11
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Contextual Effects in the Classroom: The Impact of Ability Groups on Student Attention
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Abstract

This study looks at contextual effects within the elementary classroom by examining the extent to which students' ability group assignments affect their rate of becoming inattentive. The data include behavioral measures of attentiveness obtained from 16 video-taped lessons of first grade reading groups. These data were analyzed using a continuous--time, stochastic model in which the dependent variable is an instantaneous rate of change from the state of attention to the state of inattention. Assignment to a low ability group was found to have a strong negative effect on student attentiveness, controlling for individual characteristics and previous individual inattention.

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