Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja 2011 Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages: 239-253
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Grade repetition in primary school from teachers’ perspective

Malinić Dušica

School underachievement is exhibited gradually, in different forms, while grade repetition figures as one of the most prominent forms of underachievement. In order to observe this phenomenon from different perspectives, we conducted a research aimed at identifying teacher attitudes towards grade repetition and grade repeaters in primary school, based on their perceptions of: (a) the cause of grade repetition; (b) the responsibility for grade repetition and (c) grade repetition as an educational measure. The administered questionnaire was constructed for the purposes of the research, descriptive statistics was used, and data were obtained on the sample of 136 teachers from 31 primary schools from the territory of the City of Belgrade. The results point out to the conclusion that teachers perceive grade repetition as, first and foremost, the consequence of students’ lack of interest in school and learning and undisciplined behavior in class. By treating student underachievement mainly as a consequence of laziness, lack of motivation and insufficient effort, teachers transfer responsibility to others, assessing that the personal degree of responsibility for the underachievement of their students is very low. The responsibility for underachievement is perceived more as a problem of the student, his/her family, peer group, than as the problem of teachers themselves. The concluding part points out to certain teaching procedures and methods that have proved to be useful in the prevention of student underachievement.

Keywords: grade repeater, teacher, primary school, responsibility, school underachievement