Typical intellectual engagement and achievement in math and the sciences in secondary education

LAIDReference. Schroeders, U., Schipolowski, S., & Böhme, K. (2015). Typical intellectual engagement and achievement in math and the sciences in secondary education. Learning and Individual Differences, 43, 31–38. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.08.030

Abstract. Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) is considered a key trait in explaining individual differences in educational achievement in advanced academic or professional settings. Research in secondary education, however, has focused on cognitive and conative factors rather than personality. In the present large-scale study, we investigated the relation between TIE and achievement tests in math and science in Grade 9. A three-dimensional model (reading, contemplation, intellectual curiosity) provided high theoretical plausibility and satisfactory model fit. We quantified the predictive power of TIE with hierarchical regression models. After controlling for gender, migration background, and socioeconomic status, TIE contributed substantially to the explanation of math and science achievement. However, this effect almost disappeared after fluid intelligence and interest were added into the model. Thus,we found only limited support for the significance of TIE on educational achievement, at least for subjects more strongly relying on fluid abilities such as math and science.

Comment. You can also see the slides of a talk I will give on 14th September the „Fachgruppentagung Pädagogische Psychologie“ in Kassel:

Students’ self-concept and self-efficacy in the sciences: Differential relations to antecedents and educational outcomes.

Contemporary Educational PsychologyReference. Jansen, M., Scherer, R., & Schroeders, U. (2015). Students’ self-concept and self-efficacy in the sciences: Differential relations to antecedents and educational outcomes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41, 13–24. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.11.002

Abstract. 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.

Academic self-concept in science

LAIDReference. Jansen, M., Schroeders, U., & Lüdtke, O. (2014). Academic self-concept in science: Multidimensionality, relations to achievement measures, and gender differences. Learning and individual differences, 30, 11–21. 10.1016/j.lindif.2013.12.003

Abstract. 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. Therefore, we recommend conceptualizing the self-concept in science as a multidimensional, subject-specific construct both in educational research and in science classes.

IQB-Ländervergleich 2012

IQB-Ländervergleich 2012Reference. Pant, H. A., Stanat, P., Schroeders, U., Roppelt, A., Siegle, T., & Pöhlmann, C. (Hrsg.) (2013). IQB-Ländervergleich 2012. Mathematische und naturwissenschaftliche Kompetenzen am Ende der Sekundarstufe I. Münster: Waxmann.

Abstract. In diesem Band wird über den dritten Ländervergleich des Instituts zur Qualitätsentwicklung im Bildungswesen (IQB) berichtet. Im Fach Mathematik und in den naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern Biologie, Chemie und Physik werden die Kompetenzstände verglichen, die in den Ländern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland von Schülerinnen und Schülern der 9. Jahrgangsstufe im Jahr 2012 erreicht wurden. Die IQB-Ländervergleichsstudien überprüfen, inwieweit in den Ländern die mit den länderübergreifenden Bildungsstandards der Kultusministerkonferenz gesetzten Ziele erreicht werden. Sie ersetzen im Bereich der Sekundarstufe I die nationalen PISA-Ergänzungsstudien, in denen zuletzt 2006 mathematische und naturwissenschaftliche Kompetenzen der Schülerinnen und Schüler in den Ländern Deutschlands verglichen wurden.
Neben der Untersuchung der mathematischen und naturwissenschaftlichen Kompetenzen werden in diesem Bericht auch die geschlechtsbezogenen, sozialen und zuwanderungsbedingten Disparitäten analysiert. Ergänzend werden Befunde zu Unterrichtszeiten in den naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern, zu Lehrkräften in Mathematik und den Naturwissenschaften sowie zu motivationalen Schülermerkmalen berichtet. Im Fokus der Studie stehen jedoch die mathematischen Kompetenzen insgesamt und differenziert nach den fünf inhaltlichen Leitideen sowie in den naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern die Kompetenzbereiche Fachwissen und Erkenntnisgewinnung. Die repräsentative Erhebung für den Ländervergleich 2012 fand an 1326 Schulen aus allen 16 Ländern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland statt.

Der vollständige Bericht zum Ländervergleich 2012 sowie eine Zusammenfassung können von den Seiten des IQBs heruntergeladen werden.

Modality specificity of comprehension abilities in the sciences

Eurpean Journal of Psychological AssessmentReference. Schroeders, U., Bucholtz, N., Formazin, M., & Wilhelm, O. (2013). Modality specificity of comprehension abilities in the sciences. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 29, 3–11. doi:10.1027/1015-5759/a000114

Abstract. The measurement of science achievement is often unnecessarily restricted to the presentation of reading comprehension items that are sometimes enriched with graphs, tables, and figures. In a newly developed viewing comprehension task, participants watched short videos covering different science topics and were subsequently asked several multiple-choice comprehension questions. Research questions were whether viewing comprehension (1) can be measured adequately, (2) is perfectly collinear with reading comprehension, and (3) can be regarded as a linear function of reasoning and acquired knowledge. High-school students (N = 216) worked on a paperbased reading comprehension task, a viewing comprehension task delivered on handheld devices, a sciences knowledge test, and three fluid intelligence measures. The data show that, first, the new viewing comprehension test worked psychometrically fine; second, performance in both comprehension tasks was essentially perfectly collinear; third, fluid intelligence and domain-specific knowledge fully accounted for the ability to comprehend texts and videos. We conclude that neither test medium (paper-pencil versus handheld device) nor test modality (reading versus viewing) are decisive for comprehension ability in the natural sciences. Fluid intelligence and, even more strongly, domain-specific knowledge turned out to be exhaustive predictors of comprehension performance.