“Students’ academic self-concept is a good predictor of academic achievement and a desirable educational outcome per se. In this study, we take a closer look at the nature of the academic self-concept in the natural sciences by examining its dimensional structure, its relation to achievement, and gender differences. We analyzed data from self-concept measures, grades and standardized achievement tests of 6036 German 10th graders across three science subjects – biology, chemistry, and physics – using structural equation modeling. Results indicate that (a) a 3-dimensional, subject-specific measurement model of the self-concept in science is preferable to a 1-dimensional model, (b) the relations between the self-concept and achievement are substantial and subject-specific when grades are used as achievement indicators, and ( c) female students possess a lower self-concept in chemistry and physics even after controlling for achievement measures. The refore, we recommend conceptualizing the self-concept in science as a multi-dimensional, subject-specific construct both in educational research and in science classes.”
This review begins by outlining the historical discussion about the relative importance of fostering cross-curricular competencies versus domain-specific prior knowledge as central goals of education. Metacognition and prior knowledge are then introduced as constructs representing these two goals; their development and effects on learning outcomes are described from a theoretical perspective. Empirical research on metacognition and expertise—and especially on mechanisms of acquisition—is then presented, illustrating commonalities between the two concepts and drawing attention to the need to take interactions between the two into account when analyzing their impact on learning outcomes. Most of the research discussed in the article draws on cross-sectional data. Systematic longitudinal research of combined effects in different subject domains is required to gain a better understanding of developmental mechanisms and stage-specific effects.
This study examined teacher and mother judgement accuracy of children’s worries and emotionality in the school subjects of German and mathematics. The participants were 59 German language and 58 mathematics teachers, 572 mothers and their children at the end of Grade 6. The analyses for the total sample revealed weak-to-moderate correlations between adult’s and children’s perception of test anxiety. Moreover, we found that teachers overestimated children’s emotionality as well as children’s worry, whereas mothers underestimated children’s worry and overestimated children’s emotionality in both subjects. However, when looking at the highly test-anxious children, we found quite low correlations and an underestimation of children’s worry and emotionality in both school subjects. Thus, it seems important to provide teachers and parents with information about test anxiety and possibly training to improve their judgement accuracy because of moderating effects of test anxiety on achievement.
The eight articles of this Special Issue describe the assessment of competencies
within the German National Education Panel Study (NEPS) for major educational-
stage-comprehensive assessment domains of the NEPS. The Editorial outlines
the overall framework for the selection and conceptualization of the assessment
of competencies against the background of existing models and approaches in national
and international large-scale assessments and panel studies. The functional-
integrative perspective on competencies is introduced and briefly described
with reference to the competence domains integrated into the NEPS assessments.
Moreover, the assessment design implemented within the fi rst five years is presented
to illustrate the scientific potential of this unique pattern of competence assessments
within the NEPS.
The idea of Matthew effects in reading-the widening achievement gap
between good and poor readers-has attracted considerable attention in
education research in the past 25 years. Despite the popularity of the topic,
however, empirical studies that have analyzed the core assumption of
Matthew effects in reading have produced inconsistent results. This review
summarizes the empirical findings on the development of early interindividual
differences in reading. We did not find strong support for the general
validity of a pattern of widening achievement differences or for a pattern of
decreasing achievement differences in reading. The inclusion of moderating
variables, however, allowed a clearer picture to be painted. Matthew effects
were more likely to occur for measures of decoding efficiency, vocabulary,
and composite reading scores when the achievement tests were not affected
by deficits in measurement precision. Furthermore, moderators such as the
applied analytic method or the orthographic consistency of the language
were of less importance for the emergence of Matthew effects in reading. An
additional meta-analysis of studies reporting correlations between a baseline
level and a growth parameter yielded a small, negative mean correlation
(r = −.214), which again was moderated by properties of the measures.
Possible explanations for the reported findings are discussed.