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Students as Rational Decision-Makers: The Question of Beliefs and Attitudes

By Alice Sullivan


Rational choice theorists have analysed rates of participation in post-compulsory education, and, in particular, class differentials in these rates. Various claims have been made about the motivations of student decision-makers, but these claims have not been grounded empirically. This paper will assess the question of whether students’ attitudes to education and beliefs about their own academic abilities vary according to social background and gender. Evidence is presented that students’ attitudes to education do not vary greatly according to gender or social background, but that both the social background and gender of students affect their perception of their own abilities

Year: 2006
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