The role of parents' and teachers' child-related competence beliefs in the development of students' self-concept of ability
Individuals’ perceptions about their abilities, that is, self-concepts of abilities, are crucial determinants of academic achievement and education-related choices. The aims of this research were to examine the role of parents’ and teachers’ beliefs about children’s abilities in students’ self-concept of ability in the domains of literacy and mathematics, and whether the role of parents and teachers is different among boys and girls, and among low- and high-performing students. These questions were examined using three different data sets: the LIGHT study, the Jyväskylä Entrance into Primary School (JEPS) study and the STAIRWAY study. In all three studies, the participants were Finnish. In the Light study, the participants were first-grade students, in the JEPS study lower secondary school students and the STAIRWAY study sixth- and seventh-grade students. Among the first-graders, the results showed that the beliefs of teachers’, in particular, predicted the development of students’ self-concept of ability in both literacy and mathematics, but only among high-performing students: the higher a teacher’s beliefs about a high-performing student’s abilities at the beginning of the first grade, the better that student’s self-concept of ability at the end of the first grade. Among the lower secondary school students, both mothers’ and fathers’ beliefs positively predicted students’ subsequent self-concept of mathematics ability, although the impact of mothers’ beliefs was stronger among high-performing than low-performing students. Among students transiting from primary to lower secondary school, mothers’ beliefs about their children’s abilities positively predicted the development of students’ self-concept of ability in mathematics, although the impact was stronger among high-performing than low-performing students. Gender did not moderate the associations between parents’ and teachers’ beliefs and students’ self-concept of ability in any of the three studies. Overall, the results suggest that teachers and parents play an important role in the development of students’ self-concepts of abilities. It would be important to take these findings into account when planning how best to support students and their developing self- concepts. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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