Boarding and Day School Students: A Large-Scale Multilevel Investigation of Academic Outcomes Among Students and Classrooms

Frontiers in Psychology 11:608949 (2021)
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Boarding school is a major educational option for many students (e.g., students living in remote areas, or whose parents are working interstate or overseas, etc.). This study explored the motivation, engagement, and achievement of boarding and day students who are educated in the same classrooms and receive the same syllabus and instruction from the same teachers (thus a powerful research design to enable unique comparisons). Among 2,803 students (boardingn= 481; dayn= 2,322) from 6 Australian high schools and controlling for background attributes and personality, we found predominant parity between boarding and day students in their motivation, engagement, and achievement. We also found that classroom-average motivation, engagement, and achievement was not significantly affected by the number of boarders (relative to day students) in the classroom. In addition, the effects of boarding were generally not moderated by students’ background or personality attributes. We conclude that boarders have academic opportunities and outcomes that are comparable to their day student counterparts. Implications for students, teachers, and parents are discussed.



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