Stimulating Academic Optimism: An Instrument to Effective Teaching and Learning

Stimulating Academic Optimism: An Instrument to Effective Teaching and Learning

Anugamini Priya Srivastava (Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Symbiosis International University, India) and Uta M. Stelson (No. 4 Experimental Middle School, China)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9775-9.ch010
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This study attempts to provide the bibliography and future agenda of a school attribute: academic optimism. Academic optimism refers to a tool used in the hands of school teachers to attain student achievement which can help side-line their socio-economic status. In other words, it explains teachers' belief in self, colleagues, and students in order to manage change in student outcomes. The study evaluates the different taxonomies used within the concept of academic optimism through a comprehensive review of existing literature located in different databases. However, only English language full-text articles available in online databases between the periods of 2000-2019 were considered in this study. The result provided significant lines for future studies that can be conducted in this area by examining publications in 39 journals and 19 countries. Since the topic was considered as key school attribute to achieve student achievement and school effectiveness, this study provides the contextual gaps where future studies can be conducted. The result indicated that most of the research underlying the selected papers on the topic was conducted in developed nations rather than developing nations. The current analysis will contribute understanding in two ways: first it adds value to highlight the conceptual gap available in the literature; second, the gaps identified will pave the way for future research. Practically, this study provides ways for policy makers and other constituents involved in education to design their academic curriculum and motivate their faculty to remain academically optimistic.
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Since 2006, the construct of Academic Optimism (AO) has been studied as a latent construct comprising three interrelated factors given a fair and orderly environment, i.e. academic emphasis, collective sense of efficacy, and faculty trust towards students and their parents. It has been considered a way of dominating school characteristics which defines teachers’ belief in self and others. AO explains that a teacher can make a difference in the academic performance of students by emphasizing academic subjects and learning, by trusting parents and students to cooperate in the process, and by believing in his or her own capacity to overcome difficulties and react to failure with resilience and perseverance.

With an increasing number of researchers operating in this field, it becomes imperative to identify the development and set a baseline of the literature in this field and to recommend the future scope of research. The authors have presented a summary of the literature review on the topic of Academic Optimism and its sub-dimensions to understand the potential gaps in the literature. The primary purpose of this literature review was to provide the current status of published research in the field of Academic Optimism and also to draw the attention of the researchers towards possible unexplored areas by suggesting a future agenda for research. This literature review will help future scholars and researchers to understand the development of Academic Optimism in the last 18 years as this research paper reviews the literature published in the various academic journals from 2001 to 2019. To date, no integrated literature review paper has been conducted on the topic of Academic Optimism; therefore this paper will contribute and add value to the ongoing research.

Therefore, this research aims to provide a review of the conceptual and quantitative studies on Academic Optimism and its correlation with different behavioral variables. Specifically, the chapter seeks to signify and evaluate the studies on the grounds of approach, content, and methodology to highlight the trend in this field. It intends to provide a single platform by summarizing the different categorization structures in the literature in order to help practitioners and academicians implement best practices in existing education policies. The present bibliometric analysis of ‘academic optimism’ will add value to ongoing research in two ways: first it adds value in understanding what the conceptual gaps are in the literature; second, the gaps identified will pave the way for future research. It also highlights what factors affects teachers’ belief system, so that human resource practices and policies can be reframed, specifically for training programs. Further, this study disproves the belief that socio economic status of students play major a role in student achievement.

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