Assessing students’ competencies (either implicitly or explicitly) is a routine task for teachers, with many decisions – for example, concerning grading, ability grouping, and difficulty level of questions or materials – being based on these teacher judgments. Given this, judgment accuracy (often referred to as diagnostic competence) is regarded as a central element of teacher professionalism and is thought to affect students’ learning outcomes. So far, however, empirical evidence concerning teachers’ diagnostic competence is incomplete and partly contradictory. As argued throughout this paper, these mixed results can be attributed, to some extent, to the fact that judgment purposes and judgment demands are not adequately taken into account in current research literature.
“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.