Browsing by Subject "ACHIEVEMENT"

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  • Huilla, Heidi (2020)
    This study analyses how studies on disadvantaged schools, improvement and test-based accountability relate to each other. The analysis covers 69 studies on disadvantaged schools reported in prestigious educational journals and conducted in 1995–2015. Educational policies related to evaluation and accountability define the official goals of schooling, and the aim in this article is to analyse how the chosen studies discuss these educational policies and understand school success and failure. The following questions were asked: What typologies related to test-based accountability can be constructed in research on disadvantaged schools? What understandings of good schools are embedded in the identified typologies? Disadvantaged schools are at the centre of improvement and therefore also the target of evaluative policy practices. The results show that research supports test-based accountability practices, and that critical studies on school improvement are in the minority.
  • Funderud, Tonje; Mononen, Riikka; Radišić, Jelena; Laine, Anu (2019)
    The study aimed to investigate variations in addition and subtraction fluency by observing grade three students in Norway (n = 253, M-age = 8.38 y.) and Finland (n = 209, M-age = 9.35 y.) while controlling for their age and non-verbal reasoning. Gender differences were also examined. The focus of the study was on the performance of the low-achieving (LA) students in comparison to the typically achieving (TA) group, not neglecting differences in how early educational support was organised across the two countries. Two-minute speed tests in both addition and subtraction within the 1-20 number range were used to assess fluency. The Finnish students outperformed students in the Norwegian sample both in addition and subtraction fluency. There were more Norwegian students in the LA group (i.e. performance at or below the 25th percentile) in both addition (37.9% vs. 20.1%) and subtraction (39.1% vs. 15.8%). In comparison to the TA students, the LA students made more errors and skipped over more arithmetic tasks in an attempt to solve them. Observed differences are discussed in relation to both country characteristics concerning early mathematics education and early educational support.
  • Mikkola, Ilona; Hagnäs, Maria; Hartsenko, Jelena; Kaila, Minna; Winell, Klas (2020)
    Aims To investigate whether the use of a personalized care plan is associated with clinical outcomes of type 2 diabetes (T2D) treatment in real-world. Methods Quality of treatment was assessed using data from a yearly sample of patients with T2D visiting primary care health centres in 2012–2016. Patients were divided into three groups: 1) patient has a copy of their personalized care plan, 2) care plan exists in the patient record only or 3) patient has no care plan. Data on smoking, laboratory tests, systolic blood pressure (sBP) and statin use were collected. We compared the outcomes between the three groups in terms of proportions of patients achieving the clinical targets recommended by international guidelines. Results Evaluable data were available for 10,403 patients. Of these, 1,711 (16%) had a copy of their personalized care plan, and 3,623 (35%) had no care plan. Those who had a copy of their care plan were significantly more likely than those without to achieve the sBP target (odds ratio [OR] 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29–1.51, p
  • Kinnunen, Jaana M.; Lindfors, Pirjo; Rimpela, Arja; Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Rathmann, Katharina; Perelman, Julian; Federico, Bruno; Richter, Matthias; Kunst, Anton E.; Lorant, Vincent (2016)
    It is well established that poor academic performance is related to smoking, but the association between academic well-being and smoking is less known. We measured academic well-being by school burnout and schoolwork engagement and studied their associations with smoking among 14- to 17-year-old schoolchildren in Belgium, Germany, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal. A classroom survey (2013 SILNE survey, N = 11,015) was conducted using the Short School Burnout Inventory and the Schoolwork Engagement Inventory. Logistic regression, generalized linear mixed models, and ANOVA were used. Low schoolwork engagement and high school burnout increased the odds for daily smoking in all countries. Academic performance was correlated with school burnout and schoolwork engagement, and adjusting for it slightly decreased the odds for smoking. Adjusting for socioeconomic factors and school level had little effect. Although high school burnout and low schoolwork engagement correlate with low academic performance, they are mutually independent risk factors for smoking. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.
  • Mattsson, Markus; Hailikari, Telle; Parpala, Anna (2020)
    Quantitative research into the nature of academic emotions has thus far been dominated by factor analyses of questionnaire data. Recently, psychometric network analysis has arisen as an alternative method of conceptualizing the composition of psychological phenomena such as emotions: while factor models view emotions as underlying causes of affects, cognitions and behavior, in network models psychological phenomena are viewed as arising from the interactions of their component parts. We argue that the network perspective is of interest to studies of academic emotions due to its compatibility with the theoretical assumptions of the control value theory of academic emotions. In this contribution we assess the structure of a Finnish questionnaire of academic emotions using both network analysis and exploratory factor analysis on cross-sectional data obtained during a single course. The global correlational structure of the network, investigated using the spinglass community detection analysis, differed from the results of the factor analysis mainly in that positive emotions were grouped in one community but loaded on different factors. Local associations between pairs of variables in the network model may arise due to different reasons, such as variable A causing variation in variable B or vice versa, or due to a latent variable affecting both. We view the relationship between feelings of self-efficacy and the other emotions as causal hypotheses, and argue that strengthening the students' self-efficacy may have a beneficial effect on the rest of the emotions they experienced on the course. Other local associations in the network model are argued to arise due to unmodeled latent variables. Future psychometric studies may benefit from combining network models and factor models in researching the structure of academic emotions.
  • Perander, Katarina; Londen, Monica; Holm, Gunilla (2020)
    Efforts to reach gender equality in education in Finland have been extensive. Both teacher education and policy documents for schools have focused on gender equality and gender-neutral treatment of students. The aim of this study is to explore if and how these efforts are manifested in upper secondary school teachers' and study counsellors' perceptions of students' self-belief, academic emotions, study habits and behaviour at school. Twenty-three interviews were conducted and analysed qualitatively through inductive content analysis. The results revealed that teachers and study counsellors perceive that girls' low self-belief and high achievement expectations affected their academic performance, while boys' insecurity or need for support was rarely mentioned. The teachers ascribed the students several gender-stereotypical attributes: girls were perceived as diligent and hard-working while boys were perceived as being indifferent towards school and achievements. The implications of these results for students' self-belief and for teacher education are discussed.
  • Khemiri, Lotfi; Larsson, Henrik; Kuja-Halkola, Ralf; D'Onofrio, Brian M.; Lichtenstein, Paul; Jayaram-Lindstrom, Nitya; Latvala, Antti (2020)
    Aims To assess whether parental substance use disorder (SUD) is associated with lower cognitive ability in offspring, and whether the association is independent of shared genetic factors. Design A population family-based cohort study utilizing national Swedish registries. Linear regression with increased adjustment of covariates was performed in the full population. In addition, the mechanism of the association was investigated with children-of-sibling analyses using fixed-effects regression with three types of sibling parents with increasing genetic relatedness (half-siblings, full siblings and monozygotic twins). Setting and participants A total of 3 004 401 people born in Sweden between 1951 and 1998. Measurements The exposure variable was parental SUD, operationalized as having a parent with life-time SUD diagnosis or substance-related criminal conviction in the National Patient Register or Crime Register, respectively. Outcomes were cognitive test score at military conscription and final school grades when graduating from compulsory school. Covariates included in the analyses were sex, birth year, parental education, parental migration status and parental psychiatric comorbid diagnoses. Findings In the full population, parental SUD was associated with decreased cognitive test stanine scores at conscription [4.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.55-4.57] and lower Z-standardized school grades (-0.43, 95% CI = -0.43 to -0.42) compared to people with no parental SUD (cognitive test: 5.17, 95% CI = 5.17-5.18; grades: 0.09, 95% CI = 0.08-0.09). There was evidence of a dose-response relationship, in that having two parents with SUD (cognitive test: 4.17, 95% CI = 4.15-4.20; grades: -0.83, 95% CI = -0.84 to -0.82) was associated with even lower cognitive ability than having one parent with SUD (cognitive test: 4.60, 95% CI = 4.59-4.60; grades: -0.38, 95% CI = -0.39 to -0.380). In the children-of-siblings analyses when accounting for genetic relatedness, these negative associations were attenuated, suggestive of shared underlying genetic factors. Conclusions There appear to be shared genetic factors between parental substance use disorder (SUD) and offspring cognitive function, suggesting that cognitive deficits may constitute a genetically transmitted risk factor in SUD.
  • Joensuu, Eveliina; Munck, Petriina; Setänen, Sirkku; Lipsanen, Jari; Huhtala, Mira; Lapinleimu, Helena; Stolt, Suvi K. J. (2021)
    Preterm children (born
  • Holm, Marja E.; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M.; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S. (2018)
    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Heinonen, Kati; Räikkönen, Katri; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Andersson, Sture; Kajantie, Eero; Eriksson, Johan; Wolke, Dieter; Lano, Aulikki (2010)
  • Tang, Xin; Wang, Ming-Te; Guo, Jiesi; Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2019)
    Despite academics' enthusiasm about the concept of grit (defined as consistency of interest and perseverance of effort), its benefit for academic achievement has recently been challenged. Drawing from a longitudinal sample (N=2018; 55.3% female; sixth-nineth grades) from Finland, this study first aimed to investigate and replicate the association between grit and achievement outcomes (i.e., academic achievement and engagement). Further, the present study examined whether growth mindset and goal commitment impacted grit and whether grit acted as a mediator between growth mindset, goal commitment, and achievement outcomes. The results showed that the perseverance facet of grit in the eighth grade was associated with school achievement and engagement in the nineth grade, after controlling for students' conscientiousness, academic persistence, prior achievement and engagement, gender and SES, although the effect on engagement was stronger than on achievement. In addition, grit was predicted by goal commitment in the sixth grade, but not by the growth mindset in the sixth grade. Finally, the perseverance of effort (not the consistency of interest) mediated the effect of goal commitment on engagement. These findings suggest that grit is associated with increased engagement and academic achievement; and practitioners who wish to improve grit of adolescents may encourage goal commitment more than growth mindset.
  • Koivuhovi, Satu; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina; Kalalahti, Mira; Niemivirta, Markku (2019)
    This study examined changes in pupils' agency beliefs and control expectancy from grade four to grade six, and whether they were associated with studying in a class with a special emphasis on a subject as compared to studying in a class without emphasis. After controlling for the effects of mother's education, prior school achievement, and gender, we found that the average pattern of change varied for different action-control beliefs, and that class membership did not moderate these changes. Mother's education, pupils' prior school achievement, and gender all predicted class membership, but their effects on action-control beliefs varied depending on the type of belief. Implications for educational policy will be discussed.
  • Lehtamo, Sanna; Juuti, Kalle; Inkinen, Janna; Lavonen, Jari (2018)
    Background: There is a lack of students enrolling in upper secondary school physics courses. In addition, many students discontinue the physics track, causing a lack of applicants for university-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes. The aim of this research was to determine if it is possible to find a connection between academic emotions in situ and physics track retention at the end of the first year of upper secondary school using phone-delivered experience sampling method. We applied experience sampling delivered by phone to one group of students in one school. The sample comprised 36 first-year upper secondary school students (median age 16) who enrolled in the last physics course of the first year. Students' academic emotions during science learning situations were measured using phones three times during each of four physics lessons. Results: The logistic regression analysis showed that lack of stress predicted retention in the physics track. Conclusions: Via questionnaires delivered by phone, it is possible to capture students' academic emotions in situ, information on which may help teachers to support students emotionally during their physics studies. In addition, reflecting their situational academic emotions, students could perhaps make better-informed decisions concerning their studies in STEM subjects.
  • Miihkinen, Antti; Virtanen, Tuija Helena (2018)
    This study describes the results of a project that focused on developing an assessment rubric to be used as the assessment criteria for the written thesis of accounting majors and the quality of the coursework during the seminar. We used descriptive analysis and the survey method to collect information for the development work and to examine the effect of the rubric on learning. We find that the rubric has a positive effect on students' understanding, self-assessment, confidence, and integration. We contribute to the extant literature by adding to prior work that has examined factors that can improve students' learning outcomes. By synthesizing theories on approaches to learning and self-regulation, and combining them with literature on self-efficacy and social/academic integration, we bring conceptual clarity to the elements of learning in a course, which consist of written assignments and the accompanying group work. The paper demonstrates a way to help university students to learn via explicit assessment rubrics, and thus offers novel ideas for accounting educators.
  • Ketonen, Elina E.; Hotulainen, Risto (2019)
    The development of students' learning and test-taking behavior may derive from the social context and the group of peers they associate with daily for years. Consequently, it is assumed that students' academic achievements are to some degree affected by their classmates and the composition of the classroom. The present study provides evidence on how Finnish students (N = 5071) from different classrooms (N = 435) develop distinct patterns regarding their mathematics and literacy achievement during lower secondary school. We analysed longitudinal large-scale educational assessment data using a multilevel latent profile analysis (MLPA) to investigate the impact of classroom effect on students' achievement patterns, that is, on the development of students' low-stakes mathematics and literacy test scores from 7th to 9th grade. The results demonstrated the added value of modelling the multilevel structure inherent in educational assessment data: we identified four student achievement patterns that displayed different distributions across the school classes. More precisely, besides individual characteristics, the development of students' low-stakes mathematics and literacy test scores was associated with class-level factors and some of the classrooms seemed to have a stronger effect on students' test scores. These results suggest that classroom context is associated with students' achievement patterns, especially regarding the worst achieving students. The findings may reflect a combination of class placement practices as well as classroom and peer effect. Although the differences between Finnish schools have been one of the lowest in the OECD countries, the findings of the present study suggest that the classroom membership may create class level quality differences in both the preconditions and the development of learning.
  • Mundy, Lisa K.; Canterford, Louise; Hoq, Monsurul; Olds, Timothy; Moreno-Betancur, Margarita; Sawyer, Susan; Kosola, Silja; Patton, George C. (2020)
    Introduction The effects of electronic media use on health has received much attention but less is known about links with academic performance. This study prospectively examines the effect of media use on academic performance in late childhood. Materials and methods 1239 8- to 9-year-olds and their parents were recruited to take part in a prospective, longitudinal study. Academic performance was measured on a national achievement test at baseline and 10–11 years of age. Parents reported on their child’s duration of electronic media use. Results After control for baseline reading, watching more than two hours of television per day at 8–9 years of age predicted a 12-point lower performance in reading at 10–11 years, equivalent to the loss of a third of a year in learning. Using a computer for more than one hour a day predicted a similar 12-point lower numeracy performance. Regarding cross-sectional associations (presumed to capture short-term effects) of media use on numeracy, after controlling for prior media exposure, watching more than two hours of television per day at 10–11 years was concurrently associated with a 12-point lower numeracy score and using a computer for more than one hour per day with a 13-point lower numeracy performance. There was little evidence for concurrent effects on reading. There was no evidence of short- or long-term associations between videogame use and academic performance. Discussion Cumulative television use is associated with poor reading and cumulative computer use with poorer numeracy. Beyond any links between heavy media use and health risks such as obesity, physical activity and mental health, these findings raise a possibility of additional risks of both television and computer use for learning in mid-childhood. These findings carry implications for parents, teachers and clinicians to consider the type and timing of media exposure in developing media plans for children.
  • Anttila, Henrika; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne (2017)
    Studying to become a teacher is a highly emotional experience. Nevertheless, little is known about emotional patterns and emotional change. The aim of this study is to enhance the understanding of student teachers' academic emotions by exploring patterns of emotions experienced in emotionally loaded episodes. A total of 19 primary school student teachers were interviewed. The qualitative content analysis revealed five different emotional patterns: positive, negative, ascending, descending and changing. Most of the emotional patterns were positive or changing in nature. Yet all the emotional patterns were highly focused on studying and learning. Moreover, the patterns were experienced equally in short, medium-length and long episodes. Our study showed that emotional patterns were triggered by various task-related elements of teacher education: most commonly, fulfilled or unfilled expectations, sufficient or insufficient abilities, and experiences of social support received or not received.
  • Latvala, Tiina; Alho, Hannu; Raisamo, Susanna; Salonen, Anne H. (2019)
    Aims: This study explores the associations between gambling involvement, type of gambling, at-risk and problem gambling (ARPG) and register-based grade point average (GPA), among Finnish people aged 18-29 years (N = 676). It is assumed that high gambling involvement and engaging in certain types of gambling are linked to ARPG, and that low school achievement is positively associated with these measures. Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional random sample was collected in 2015. The data were weighted based on gender, age and region. Analyses were carried out using logistic regression models. Results: Frequent gambling, playing several game types, online gambling and ARPG were more common among men than women. Those with low GPA played fast and low-paced daily lottery games and used online casinos significantly more often than men and women with average/high GPA. Men with a low GPA were also more likely to gamble on a weekly basis and played casino games and online poker more often. For women with a low GPA online gambling and playing slot machines were more common than for women with an average/high GPA. When controlling for sociodemographic variables and gambling involvement, men's participation in daily lottery games and online poker was significantly associated with a low GPA, but among women none of the game types remained statistically significant. Among women, playing several different game types was linked with a low GPA. Conclusions: It seems that poorer school achievement is associated not only with frequent gambling, a large number of game types played and online gambling, but also, to some extent at least, with game type preferences.
  • Levinthal, Cristiana; Kuusisto, Elina; Tirri, Kirsi (2021)
    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore parental engagement in the home-learning environment, and parents’ implicit beliefs about learning underlying such engagement. Nineteen parents of elementary school children between seven and twelve years old were interviewed in two different cultural contexts, Finland (N = 10) and Portugal (N = 9). The interviews were subjected to inductive and deductive content analysis. Forms of parental engagement at home were similar in both countries, divided between two main categories: engagement with the child’s holistic development and engagement with the child’s schooling process. Parental narratives about engagement were, for the most part, embedded in a growth mindset (or an incremental meaning system). The most common actualizations of engagement included considering the child’s learning contexts and emotions; encouraging effort, persistence and practice; approaching difficulties as a natural part of learning and suggesting strategies for overcoming them. Parental practices of engagement were combined with the actualization of their implicit beliefs to create engagement–mindset parental profiles. Twelve parents were classified as having a Growth mindset to support the child’s holistic development profile, and the other seven were distributed amongst the three remaining profiles. The study contributes to the growing interest on the association between parental engagement and their learning-related implicit beliefs, giving clear first-person illustrations of how both occur and interact in the home-learning environment. Implications for practice are discussed.
  • Rissanen, Inkeri; Kuusisto, Elina; Tuominen, Moona; Tirri, Kirsi (2019)
    In this article we take up the two-fold task of creating a framework for a growth mindset pedagogy on the basis of our previous studies and exploring the critical points of this pedagogy in the classroom of a mixed-mindset teacher. The data include classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews. The results show how a teacher who is socialized into the Finnish educational system pursues core features of growth mindset pedagogy, despite not having a dominant growth mindset herself. However, we identify critical points in her practices, which suggest that teaching the theory of mindset in teacher education is needed. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.