The effects of selective schooling and self-concept on adolescents' academic aspiration: An examination of Dweck's self-theory

Ahmavaara, Anni M. and Houston, Diane M. (2007) The effects of selective schooling and self-concept on adolescents' academic aspiration: An examination of Dweck's self-theory. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77 (3). pp. 613-632. ISSN 0007-0998. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Background. Dweck has emphasized the role of pupils' implicit theories about intellectual ability in explaining variations in their engagement, persistence and achievement. She has also highlighted the role of confidence in one's intelligence as a factor influencing educational attainment. Aim. The aim of this paper is to develop a model of achievement aspiration in adolescence and to compare young people who are educated at a selective grammar school with those who attend a non-selective 'secondary modern' school. Sample. The sample consisted of 856 English secondary school pupils in years 7 and 10 from two selective and two non-selective secondary schools. Method. Questionnaires were completed in schools. Results. The findings are consistent with the model, showing that achievement aspiration is predicted directly by gender, school type and type of intelligence theory. Importantly, school type also affects aspirations indirectly, with effects being mediated by confidence in one's own intelligence and perceived academic performance. Intelligence theory also affects aspirations indirectly with effects being mediated by perceived academic performance, confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, intelligence theory has a stronger effect on aspirations in the selective schools than in the non-selective schools. Conclusions. The findings provide substantial support for Dweck's self-theory, showing that implicit theories are related to aspirations. However, the way in which theory of intelligence relates to age and gender suggests there may be important cross-cultural or contextual differences not addressed by Dweck's theory. Further research should also investigate the causal paths between aspirations, implicit theories of intelligence and the impact of school selection.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Diane Houston
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 19:30
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2015 11:34
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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