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SME 3023
SEM. 1 SESSION 2014/2015







The Disparities in Achievement of Students

Academic performance serves as the fundamental criterion for passing from one academic
level to another or from a lower level to a higher level (Al-Rofo, 2010, p.53). However,
academic performance can be influence by many variables. The common variables are
parents, teachers and student themselves.

(a) Parent Attitude
Parent attitude towards education is able to influence their children to
perform at school. Students whose parents are more involved with their
schooling are more likely to be motivated to achieve excellence in school,
have higher educational expectations and do better academically and go on
to higher levels of educational than their peers whose parents are not
involved. Lueptow (1975) who found that the students with high
achievement values are from urban areas, who have educated parents with
a higher occupation status and a higher household income. Parents should
show commitment, time and concern for the proper and effective
management and running of schools to provide high quality education for
their children.
(b) Parent Social Economic Status (SES)
The cost of education is not only borne by the government, but also by
parents whether indirectly through taxes or directly through personal
expenditure to support day-to day schooling activities. These include school
fees, school uniform, books and stationary, transportation fee etc.. Based on
table 1, is found that the average cost of schooling overall was found to be
RM 1782 per student per year. The cost in rural areas which averaged RM
1590 was about 22% lower than the urban areas RM 2045. The parents from
urban are affordable to pay on tuition fee, transportation fee, and extra
exercises or reference books in order to help their children achieve a good
result in their examination. Socioeconomic status is an important factor in
students adjustment to and performance in school. The very fact that they

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were poor has given them the motivation to strive harder and do their very
best in schools for they believe that education is the key to good life later.
On the other hand, students who live in more affluent families, have higher
educational aspiration and expectation, do better academically and are more
likely to continue their schooling than their less well-off peers. Lastly, both
rich and poor families can create a climate that foster learning.

Table 1: Average Annual Costs of Schooling per Student in Secondary Schools

(c) Parenting Approach
Students whose parents are supportive yet provide rules and consequences
tend to be more engaged in school and have higher educational expectations
than those students whose parents are permissive. There are four styles of
parenting. First, authoritarian parents display little warmth and are highly
controlling. They are strict disciplinarians, use a restrictive, punitive style,
and insist that their adolescent follow parental directions. For example, if
their children score good grade in the examination, they will bring
admonition to do better and poor grade upset parents, who then punish by
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reducing pocket money or curfew. Next, authoritative parents are warm but
firm. They encourage their children to be independent while maintaining
limits and controls on their actions. For example, students receive praise
and freedom if they get good grades. While, poor grade bring
encouragement to try harder, offers for help and loss of freedom. Third,
permissive parents are very warm but undemanding. They are indulgent and
passive in their parenting, and believe that the way to demonstrate their love
is to give in to their adolescents wishes. For example, permissive parents
do not care about grades, make no rules about watching televisions, do not
attend school program and neither help nor check their children homework.
Lastly, uninvolved parents are not warm and do not place any demands on
their kids. They minimize interaction time, and, in some cases, are
uninvolved to the point of being neglectful. For example, uninvolved
parents do not care about their children studies.
As shown in Table 2, there were ten strategies where parents showed
their involvement in the childs education at urban area.

Table 2: Parents Involvement in Their Childs Education (Suresh VellyMalay, 2012)

Most of the parents were involved in their childs education on daily basis.
Thus, it is notable in the current study that every parent wants their child to
do well at school. They are involved in their childs education with
their existing knowledge and the understanding about involvement that
is accessible at their level. However, their existing knowledge and their
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understanding of parental involvement solely reflects their background
(i.e., socioeconomic status) and its impact on them. Hence, the parent s
of higher socioeconomic status are more overwhelmed in the credibility,
attitude and behavior in terms of the amount and the quality of involvement
invested in their childrens education. (Suresh Kumar, 2012).
(d) Family Size
The size of families is one of the factor that influence student achievement.
Students who come from larger families tend to have lower levels of
achievement, on average than children who come from smaller families.
This is because that parents who have many children cannot afford to divide
quality time with their children and high expenditure for every children. On
the other hand, parents with two or three childrens can afford the time to
develop their children academic capabilities because their time is only
shared with less number of kids. Furthermore, the school expenditure is less
when number of schooling children less. For those who unable to spend for
all children, the last choice id the students stop from schooling. So, every
family must have family planning to avoid from unfairness happen to your

Teachers have a direct responsibility to shape a students academic achievement,
and are the most important school-based factor in their education (Rockoff 2004;
Rivkin, Hanushek and Kain 2005; Aaronson, Barrow and Sander 2007).
Teachers roles are creating effective learning zones, promoting success and
developing good relationship.

(a) Active Learning

Active learning is about energizing and sustaining attention of students, who then
become very interested in doing any classroom activities. Teachers are the ideal
people as well as in the best situation to promote active learning amongst student
in school. Here are the example of active learning activities, such as debates, role
plays, group discussion, asking students before start a lesson. The activities that
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stated above are student centered activities, teachers just act as a facilitator to the
students. Students active participation throughout the lessons is the trade mark of
active action-oriented learning. Those students, who enjoy such learning styles and
strategies conducted by their teachers, would surely benefit the most by retaining
as much knowledge as possibly can.
(b) Developing High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
The role of teachers is not just delivery content knowledge but also to develop
students in solving problems, making decisions and adapting to dynamic of the
environment. These are require students to develop high order thinking skills.
Currently, students in Malaysia is implementing HOTS in their study. These all
require students to develop high order thinking skills. According to Sousa (1995),
thinking skills can be mapped along a continuum which starts from knowledge level,
then comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and ends with evaluation level.
So, teachers must organize more HOTS activities such as problem solving in order
to enhance the results. As students practice often on more complex problem based
learning, their thinking skills become more developed and enhance to reach the
high order level.
(c) Developing Good Relationship
Before to have a good relationship with students, as teachers, we must demand in
our teaching style and communication skills to attract students like to the subject.
Students interest on a particular subject can be influence by the teaching style of
teachers. If the teaching style is liked and enjoyed by students, they tend to become
good in the subject taught. Therefore student-teacher relationship is one of the most
critical factors influencing students performance in schools. Teachers who are able
to effectively relate to students, accept student individuality and teach in an
inclusive and democratic environment are more effective teachers. Teachers should
be approachable, firm, and assertive and discuss with students on their wants and
needs to develop good, cordial and conducive student-teacher relationship for the
benefit of students like excelling in their examinations.

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There is consensus that the education of children is one of the key vehicles engendering
the development of economies (UNESCO, 2009).There are various factors that influence
the outcome of top academic performers. Even though family background does have a
strong relationship to achievement, it may be how parents rear their children and not the
parents occupation, income, or education that really make the difference (K.R.White,
1982,p.471). Lastly, the students themselves play critical role in making them to be high

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Malaysia (2003) Mid-Term Review of the Eighth Malaysia Plan 2001-2005. Kuala
Lumpur: Percetakan Nasional Berhad.
Malaysia (2006) Ninth Malaysia Plan 2006-2010. Kuala Lumpur: Percetakan Nasional
Malaysia Berhad
Rockstroh, Angela H (2013). Teacher Characteristics on Student Achievement, Ohio:
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. Retrieved from
Suresh Vellymalay (2012). The Impact of Parents Socioeconomic Status on
Parental Involvement at Home. Penang: International Journal of Academic Research
in Business and Social Sciences, 2. Retrieved from http:

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