Institute of Education


VIRTUAL EVENT: Ability grouping, teacher judgements age 7, children’s maths self-concept at age 11

04 June 2020, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm

Assortment of coats in a primary school corridor. Image: Phil Meech for UCL Institute of Education

In this webinar, Dr Tammy Campbell discusses data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to examine two factors predicting children’s maths self-concept at age 11.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Bernardita Munoz Chereau

Watch the webinar

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Maths self-concept is important, not least because it affects choices of educational pathways and because it influences attainment.

Previous research indicates consistently that girls are more likely to have a lower sense of their capability in maths than boys. Additionally, both ‘ability’ grouping and teacher judgements have been evidenced as affecting children’s self-concepts. Research also demonstrates that girls can be disproportionately disadvantaged in maths ‘ability’ groupings, and in teachers’ judgements regarding maths. 

In this webinar, Dr Tammy Campbell will discuss whether and how these two factors are implicated in maths self-concept formation for all MCS children, and for boys and girls separately. 

Preliminary findings indicate clear independent associations between both earlier maths group and teacher judgements, and later maths self-concept. In initial analyses, higher maths group placement and positive teacher judgement regarding maths at age seven seem to protect against negative self-concept at age 11. But the underlying patterns are more complex: associations – particularly with ‘ability’ group placement – vary by gender, and also by maths cognitive test performance at age seven. Potential interpretations will be discussed, alongside implications for policy and practice.


About the Speaker

Dr Tammy Campbell

British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)