Browsing by Subject "Academic achievement"

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  • Niemivirta, Markku; Pulkka, Antti-Tuomas; Tapola, Anna; Tuominen, Heta (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
    Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology
    In this chapter, we describe the principles of a person-oriented approach to studying individual differences (and similarities), and how it can be applied to the study of students’ achievement goal orientations. First, we briefly illustrate the approach, which provides a way of looking at the relative emphasis of different achievement goal orientations, thereby explicitly addressing the issue of multiple goals and their associations with important outcomes. Second, we give a comprehensive review of studies that have applied such an approach to investigating students’ achievement goals. The diversity in conceptualizations, methods, and study samples in the studies complicates the interpretation of the findings, but some generalizations can nevertheless be made. Based on the review, we conclude that students with qualitatively different achievement goal orientation profiles can clearly be identified, and that the extracted profiles are rather similar across studies. Further, it seems that such profiles are relatively stable over time and meaningfully associated with learning and various educational outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, self-perceptions, well-being, task-related motivation, and performance). The review also contributes to the debate concerning the advantages of endorsing different goals. Finally, we raise some methodological concerns, discuss implications for learning, and provide suggestions for future research.
  • Ketonen, Elina E.; Haarala-Muhonen, Anne; Hirsto, Laura; Hänninen, Jari J.; Wähälä, Kristiina; Lonka, Kirsti (2016)
    Entrance to university does not automatically lead to high academic engagement and success, and there may be individual differences in student engagement. In the present study, university students' (N = 668) academic engagement and disengagement profiles, and the differences between them in terms of academic achievement, were investigated. Students from introductory courses were classified by Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) into homogenous groups having similar patterns according to the following variables: study engagement, study-related exhaustion, lack of interest, lack of self-regulation, and uncertainty of one's career choice. Four groups of students were identified: engaged, disengaged, undecided, and alienated. Engaged students received the highest grades, with disengaged and undecided students performing most poorly. In addition, the profiles were related to the behavioral indicators of engagement (i.e., ECTS credits). Even after two years of studying, engaged students were performing better than disengaged students. The study's implications for both research and practice are discussed. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Ueda, Riyo; Kaga, Yoshimi; Kita, Yosuke; Nakagawa, Eiji; Okada, Takashi; Inagaki, Masumi (2021)
    Background Poor reading ability is one of the common causes of low academic performance. In previous studies, children with dyslexia were found to demonstrate poor academic achievement due to poor reading ability. However, the relationship between academic achievement and reading ability in children with a borderline full-scale intellectual quotient (FSIQ) is unknown. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of children with borderline FSIQ and poor reading ability, and differentiate these characteristics from those of children with higher FSIQ and poor reading ability. Methods A total of 126 children (aged 6-15 years) identified as having low academic performance were enrolled. The reading ability of children was assessed through their performance on the hiragana (Japanese syllabary) reading task, while their reading and writing achievement was assessed through their reading and writing score on the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition. Children were categorized into two groups based on their FSIQ score (FSIQ > 85 and 85 >= FSIQ >= 70). Reading ability in children was evaluated by referring to the linear relationship between FSIQ and the standard deviation value of reading tasks in typically developing children. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to examine clinical characteristics between higher and lower FSIQ groups. Associations between reading and writing achievement, reading ability, and ages of children were assessed using Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficients for the higher and lower FSIQ groups. Results Poorer reading and writing achievement was associated with poorer reading ability in the higher FSIQ group. Conversely, poorer reading and writing achievement and poor reading ability were associated with older age in the lower FSIQ group. Conclusions Poor reading and writing achievement were associated with older age, not with poor reading ability in the lower FSIQ group. Children with lower FSIQ need appropriate educational interventions based on independent assessments to further their academic achievement and reading ability. Moreover, they need more frequent evaluations of their academic achievement than do children with higher FSIQ and poor reading ability since they are more likely to be at a lower academic achievement level at an older age.
  • Vandenbroucke, Loren; Verschueren, Karine; Desoete, Annemie; Aunio, Pirjo; Ghesquiere, Pol; Baeyens, Dieter (2018)
    Working memory is important for a variety of life domains,. including for children's school functioning. As such, it is crucial to understand its development, antecedents and consequences. The current study investigates the development of different working memory components (phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, central executive), the influence of different aspects of the teacher-student relationship (closeness, conflict, dependency) and its predictive value for academic achievement (reading, spelling, mathematics) across the transition from kindergarten to first grade. The sample consisted of 107 kindergarten children. Working memory tasks were administered at the end of kindergarten and first grade. Teachers reported on teacher-student relationship quality in the middle of first grade. Standardized tests were used to assess academic achievement at the end of first grade. Results indicate moderate to large increases in the phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad and large gains in the central executive. Dependency of the student towards the teacher significantly predicted visuospatial sketchpad performance at the end of first grade. Reading was significantly predicted by the visuospatial sketchpad and phonological loop in kindergarten, while for spelling the visuospatial sketchpad was important. Finally, mathematics was predicted by performance on the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. The current study indicates the importance of the affective quality of the teacher-student relationship for working memory performance, which in turn is important for academic achievement. It is therefore critical to attend to the early detection and prevention or intervention of working memory problems in the classroom in order to prevent future academic problems. Additionally, maintaining a positive relationship with students and encouraging their independent exploration may be important when preventing such problems, complementary to cognitive or other types of training and intervention.
  • Törmänen, Minna; Roebers, Claudia M. (2018)
    This longitudinal study investigates the differences in cognitive and socio-emotional development and academic achievement between children educated in special education classes (N = 37) and regular classes (N = 37). The study is retrospective. The first measurement point was while children were attending play-oriented kindergarten and no decision about their education had yet been made. The second measurement point followed after 2 years of schooling. Comparing carefully matched groups, no differences in executive functions (EFs) were found before beginning school. Children assigned to special education had poorer language, fine motor skills and a lower pre-academic self-concept, self-regulatory skills and social integration. Notably, every fourth child in special education was an immigrant, 9% of whom later attended regular classes. After 2 years of schooling in either setting, the groups differed significantly in academic achievement, EFs, fine motor skills and cognitive self-regulatory skills. However, it was not - as school officials had intended - that children in special education classes had caught up, except in regard to their academic self-concept and social integration.
  • Torvik, Fartein Ask; Flato, Martin; McAdams, Tom A.; Colman, Ian; Silventoinen, Karri; Stoltenberg, Camilla (2021)
    Purpose: On average, boys have lower academic achievement than girls. We investigated whether the timing of puberty is associated with academic achievement, and whether later puberty among boys contributes to the sex difference in academic achievement. Method: Examination scores at age 16 were studied among 13,477 British twins participating in the population-based Twins Early Development Study. A pubertal development scale, a height based proxy of growth spurt, and age at menarche were used as indicators of puberty. Associations between puberty, sex, and academic achievement were estimated in phenotypic mediation models and biometric twin models. Results: Earlier puberty was associated with higher academic achievement both in boys and girls. The exception was early age at menarche in girls, which associated with lower academic achievement. More than half of the sex differences in academic achievement could be linked to sex differences in pubertal development, but part of this association appeared to be rooted in prepubertal differences. The biometric twin modelling indicated that the association between puberty and academic achievement was due to shared genetic risk factors. Genetic influences on pubertal development accounted for 7%-8% of the phenotypic variation in academic achievement. Conclusions: Pubertal maturation relates to the examination scores of boys and of girls. This can give genes related to pubertal maturation an influence on outcomes in education and beyond. Sex differences in pubertal maturation can explain parts of the sex difference in academic achievement. Grading students when they are immature may not accurately measure their academic potential. (c) 2021 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Lonka, Kirsti; Ketonen, Elina; Vermunt, Jan D. (2021)
    University students' epistemic beliefs may have practical consequences for studying and success in higher education. Such beliefs constitute epistemic theories that may empirically manifest themselves as epistemic profiles. This study examined university students' epistemic profiles and their relations to conceptions of learning, age, gender, discipline, and academic achievement. The participants were 1515 students from five faculties who completed questionnaires about epistemic beliefs, including a subsample who also completed a questionnaire that included conceptions of learning. We measured epistemic beliefs: reflective learning, collaborative knowledge-building, valuing metacognition, certain knowledge, and practical value. First, we analyzed structural validity by using confirmatory factor analysis. Second, we conducted latent profile analysis that revealed three epistemic profiles:Pragmatic(49%),reflective-collaborative(26%) andfact-oriented(25%). Then, we compared the conceptions of learning across the profiles as well as demographic information, credits, and grades. The profiles' conceptions of learning varied: Thereflective-collaborativegroup scored high on conception of learning named "construction of knowledge." Its members were more likely to be females, teachers, and mature students, and they had the highest academic achievement. Thefact-orientedgroup (mostly engineering/science students) scored highest on "intake of knowledge." Thepragmaticgroup scored highest on "use of knowledge:" During the second year, their academic achievement improved. In sum, the epistemic profiles were closely related to conceptions of learning and also associated with academic achievement.