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.
  • Hotulainen, Risto; Vinni-Laakso, Janica; Kupiainen, Sirkku (2020)
    The Finnish Learning to learn framework comprises cognitive competencies and motivational beliefs, which both have shown to be associated with academic success in different educational settings. However, studies of the stability and development of these constructs across six year long secondary education are scarce. In addition, this study investigates the predictive power of learning to learn constructs on achievement in the high-stakes Finnish matriculation examination. Following a sample of Finnish students (N = 2712, 55 % girls, aged 13-19) from lower secondary to general upper secondary education, this study found that Finnish the learning to learn construct and the relations between its components hold rather stable over the years. However, while cognitive competence improves and shows strong rank order stability during adolescence, learning-enhancing motivational beliefs show a downward trajectory and detrimental-to-learning beliefs somewhat opposite one, found in other studies. Gender differences were found in both students' motivational beliefs and in in their achievement in the matriculation examination. The role of motivational beliefs, especially effort belief, becomes stronger when adolescents grow older and advance on their educational path.
  • 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.
  • Mononen, Riikka; Niemivirta, Markku; Korhonen, Johan; Lindskog, Marcus; Tapola, Anna (2022)
    We investigated the levels of and changes in mathematics anxiety (MA), symbolic numerical magnitude processing (SNMP) and arithmetic skills, and how those changes are linked to each other. Children's (n = 264) MA, SNMP and arithmetic skills were measured in Grade 1, and again in Grade 2, also including a mathematics performance test. All three constructs correlated significantly within each time point, and the rank-order stability over time was high, particularly in SNMP and arithmetic skills. By means of latent change score modelling, we found overall increases in SNMP and arithmetic skills over time, but not in MA. Most interestingly, changes in arithmetic skills and MA were correlated (i.e. steeper increase in arithmetic skills was linked with less steep increase in MA), as were changes in SNMP and arithmetic skills (i.e. improvement in SNMP was associated with improvement in arithmetic skills). Only the initial level of arithmetic skills and change in it predicted mathematics performance. The only gender difference, in favour of boys, was found in SNMP skills. The differential effects associated with MA (developmentally only linked with arithmetic skills) and gender (predicting only changes in SNMP) call for further longitudinal research on the different domains of mathematical skills.
  • Niemi, Hannele; Niu, Shuanghong Jenny (2021)
    The aim of this study was to uncover how digital storytelling advances students’ self-efficacy in mathematics learning and what kinds of learning experiences contribute to self-efficacy. Four Chinese classes with 10- to 11-year-old students (N = 121) participated in the project. The mathematics learning theme was geometry. Quantitative data was collected with questionnaires. The qualitative data was based on teachers’ and students’ interviews and observations. Both data sets showed that the students’ self-efficacy increased significantly during the project. The most important mediator was students’ perception of the meaningfulness of mathematics learning; digital storytelling enhanced the students’ ability to see mathematics learning as useful. They became more confident that they could learn mathematics and understand what they had learned. They also felt more confident in talking with their classmates about mathematical concepts. The role of self-efficacy was twofold: it supported students’ learning during the project and it increased due to meaningful mathematics learning experiences.
  • 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.
  • Mendoza, Laura; Lehtonen, Tuula; Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari; Hyytinen, Heidi (2022)
    This qualitative study analyzes first-year university students' conceptions of their second language (L2) self-concept and self-efficacy for academic writing in English. The data consist of learning journals (N = 74), collected at a Finnish university in an English as a medium of instruction (EMI) context. L2 self-concept descriptions included positive, mixed, and negative ends of the continuum as well as stories of change. These descriptions encompassed various contextual mentions including grades, the current EMI context, and social comparison. The self-efficacy beliefs for academic writing reflected a stage of change among the students. The students reporting more positive, emerging self-efficacy described sensations of familiarity with academic writing. In turn, the students reporting low self-efficacy emphasized that academic writing was new and that they needed more guidance and feedback. An analysis of how the L2 self-concept conceptions and self-efficacy beliefs for academic writing co-occurred on an individual level revealed further variation among this group. Nevertheless, the negative L2 self-concept conceptions seemed to co-occur more with low self-efficacy for academic writing. Furthermore, the findings suggest that positive L2 self-concept conceptions may be of help when building self efficacy for academic writing in English. The implications are discussed on theoretical and pedagogical levels.