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.

Interdisziplinäre Beschulung und die Struktur des akademischen Selbstkonzepts in den naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern

ZfPPReference. Jansen, M., Schroeders, U., Lüdtke, O., & Pant, H. A. (2014). Interdisziplinärer Beschulung auf die Struktur des Selbstkonzepts in den naturwissenschaftlichen Fächern. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 28, 1–7. doi: 10.1024/1010–0652/a000120

Abstract. Das akademische Selbstkonzept wird als multidimensionales, fachspezifisches Konstrukt aufgefasst. Welchen Einfluss die schulische Fächerstruktur auf die Struktur des Selbstkonzepts hat, ist jedoch noch unklar. In diesem Beitrag wird untersucht, ob bei Schülern, die interdisziplinären Naturwissenschaftsunterricht erhalten, ein weniger stark ausdifferenziertes naturwissenschaftliches Selbstkonzept vorliegt als bei Schülern, die Unterricht in Biologie, Chemie und Physik getrennt erhalten. Dazu wurden 326 Schüler, die in der gesamten Sekundarstufe im Fächerverbund beschult wurden, mit einer Vergleichsgruppe von 4361 fächergetrennt beschulten Schülern verglichen. Mit konfirmatorischen (Mehrgruppen-) Faktorenanalysen wird gezeigt, dass Schüler beider Gruppen in ihrem Selbstkonzept zwischen den drei Fächern differenzieren, in der interdisziplinär beschulten Gruppe die Zusammenhänge zwischen den Selbstkonzeptfaktoren aber deutlich höher sind. Interdisziplinärer Unterricht scheint also mit einer Vereinheitlichung der Selbstkonzeptstruktur auf Schülerseite einherzugehen. Implikationen für die Selbstkonzepttheorie werden diskutiert.

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.