Evidence on age-related differentiation in the structure of cognitive abilities in childhood and adolescence is still inconclusive. Previous studies often focused on the interrelations or the g-saturation of broad ability constructs, neglecting abilities on lower strata. In contrast, we investigated differentiation in the internal structure of fluid intelligence/gf (with verbal, numeric, and figural reasoning) and crystallized intelligence/gc (with knowledge in the natural sciences, humanities, and social studies). To better understand the development of reasoning and knowledge during secondary education, we analyzed data from 11,756 students attending Grades 5 to 12. Changes in both the mean structure and the covariance structure were estimated with locally-weighted structural equation models that allow handling age as a continuous context variable. To substantiate a potential influence of school tracking (i.e., different learning environments), analyses were additionally conducted separated by school track (academic vs. nonacademic). Mean changes in gf and gc were approximately linear in the total sample, with a steeper slope for the latter. There was little indication of age-related differentiation for the different reasoning facets and knowledge domains. The results suggest that the relatively homogeneous scholastic learning environment in secondary education prevents the development of more pronounced ability or knowledge profiles.
This study examined personality similarity between teachers and their students and its impact on teacher judgement of student achievement in the domains of
reading comprehension and mathematics. Personality similarity was quantified
through intraclass correlations between personality characteristics of 409 dyads of German teachers and their students. This similarity index was combined with teachers’ global and task-specific judgements of student achievement. Personality
similarity has a significant effect on global judgement in both domains under study. Students who are similar to their teacher are judged more positively than students who are dissimilar, even when students’ test performance is controlled. This effect could not be verified for task-specific judgements. Results indicate
that impact of potential sympathy bias in social judgements differs between different types of judgement. That is, global judgements are more likely to be biased than more specific judgements. Theoretical and educational relevance of
the findings are discussed.
Self-concept and self-efficacy are two of the most important motivational predictors of educational outcomes. As most research has studied these constructs separately, little is known about their differential relations to peer ability, opportunities-to-learn in classrooms, and educational outcomes. We investigated these relations by applying (multilevel) structural equation modeling to the German PISA 2006 data set. We found a correlation of ρ = .57 between self-concept and self-efficacy in science, advocating distinguishable constructs. Furthermore, science self-concept was better predicted by the average peer achievement (Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect), whereas science self-efficacywas more strongly affected by inquirybased learning opportunities. There were also differences in the predictive potential for educational outcomes: Self-concept was a better predictor of future-oriented motivation to aspire a career in the sciences, whereas self-efficacy was a better predictor of current ability. The study at hand provides strong evidence for the related but distinct nature of the two constructs and extends existing research on students’ competence beliefs toward social comparisons and opportunities-to-learn. Further implications for the relevance of inquiry-based classroom activities and for the assessment of competence beliefs are discussed.
Der erste Kontakt mit Algorithmen beginnt schon bei den schriftlichen Rechenverfahren in der Grundschule. Die Verfahren erlauben effektive Lösungen in festen Rechenschritten. Unterricht sollte von Anfang an zudem in den Blick nehmen, warum die Verfahren gelingen, wie Schülerinnen und Schülern sie sich und anderen erklären
können und welche Möglichkeiten sie eröffnen. Der Beitrag zeigt erprobte Unterrichtsideen auf.