Title: Grade Repetition in Spain: Exploring the Reasons Behind an Ineffective Educational Measure
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Inés Sanguino, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Grade repetition is an educational intervention in which students repeat a school year instead of moving to the next grade. This practice has not only proven to be costly and ineffective, but also one of the greatest predictors of school dropout. Despite several policy reforms, Spain continues to have the highest rates of grade repetition among OECD countries. Given the lack of a clear underlying explanation, experts have highlighted a potential "culture of repetition" among teachers as the main cause. This study aims at exploring the attitudes of teachers, school counsellors and high-school headteachers towards grade repetition. Following a QUAN→QUAL mixed-methods approach, which includes a quantitative survey (N=297) followed by one-to-one interviews (N=10), the results bring some light to the experiences and beliefs of high school staff members and untangle the reality behind the “culture of repetition” concept. Despite the disparity in opinions, teachers are more inclined to this measure, linking its use to a “fair system” in which effort is rewarded. Relevant measures and policy recommendations are suggested to put an end to the high rates of grade repetition in Spain.
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