Maths achievement has been thought to be interrelated with self-concept, interest, and effort. In a recent longitudinal study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology, researchers examined how these factors influence each other over time using a sample of Grade 8 (Year 9) pupils in China.
A total of 702 pupils in
Grade 8 from 14 classes in two public schools in East and South China completed
an assessment of their maths achievement, homework self-concept, interest and
effort at six weeks after the start of the school year and at the end of the
school year. The analysis showed that:
- Reciprocal effects were found between maths self-concept
and achievement, effort and achievement, as well as interest and effort.
- In particular, the authors found that higher
homework interest led to higher subsequent effort, and higher prior effort
could promote higher homework interest.
- Moreover, self-concept
had no significant effect on subsequent interest, but prior interest led to
higher self-concept, possibly reflecting the positive homework attitude among
The authors suggest that the reciprocal effects indicated that simultaneously improving homework self-concept, interest, effort and maths achievement is a more effective approach. Specifically, attention should be paid to how homework interest and effort can be promoted more effectively.
Source: Reciprocal effects of
homework self-concept, interest, effort, and math achievement (October 2018), Contemporary Educational Psychology
Self-regulated learning has been regarded as essential for effective learning. Research suggests that self-regulated learning is associated with academic performance, but different self-regulated learning strategies are not equally effective. Addressing the gap that occurred for Chinese pupils because few studies conducted in Asia were included in a previous meta-analysis, a meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Psychology has investigated what the most effective strategies for Chinese pupils were.
Using Chinese academic databases, Junyi Li and colleagues analysed 264 independent samples that involved 23,497 participants from 59 studies. In order to be included in this meta-analysis, studies had to be conducted in real teaching situations; studies based on online learning environments were excluded. Furthermore, participants had to be primary, middle, or secondary school pupils in China. The effect sizes of self-regulated learning strategies on academic achievement were analysed. The results showed that:
- Among the self-regulated learning strategies, self-efficacy (ES = +0.70), self-evaluation (ES = +0.72), and task strategies (ES = +0.60) had relatively large effect sizes on academic achievement.
- On the other hand, the effect sizes of goal orientation (ES = +0.09) and attributions (ES = +0.27) were relatively small.
- The effect sizes of self-regulated learning on science (ES = +0.45) were larger than those on language (ES = +0.29).
authors suggest that task strategies supported learning by reducing a task to
its key parts, that self-evaluation helped learners compare results with their
goals, and that self-efficacy helped learners to use their resources.
Source: What are the effects of self-regulation phases and strategies for Chinese students? A meta-analysis of two decades research of the association between self-regulation and academic performance (December 2018), Frontiers in Psychology
An article published in Educational Research Review examines the effects of self-assessment on self-regulated learning (SRL) and self-efficacy in four meta-analyses.
To understand the
impact of pupils’ assessment of their own work, Ernesto Panadero and colleagues
from Spain analysed 19 studies comprised of 2,305 pupils from primary schools
to higher education. The meta-analyses only included studies published in
English that contained empirical results of self-assessment interventions in
relation to SRL and/or self-efficacy, had at least one control group, and had
- Self-assessment had a positive effect on SRL strategies serving a positive self-regulatory function for pupils’ learning, such as meta-cognitive strategies (effect size= +0.23).
- Self-assessment had a negative effect on “Negative SRL”, which is associated with negative emotions and stress and is thought to be adverse to pupils’ learning (effect size=-0.65).
- Self-assessment was also positively associated with SRL even when SRL was measured qualitatively (effect size = +0.43).
- Self-assessment had a positive effect on self-efficacy (effect size= +0.73), the effect being larger for girls.
The authors suggest
that self-assessment is necessary for productive learning but note that the results
have yet to identify the most effective self-assessment components (eg,
monitoring, feedback, and revision) in fostering SRL strategies or
Source: Effects of
self-assessment on self-regulated learning and self-efficacy: Four
meta-analyses (November 2017), Educational
Research Review, Volume 22.
Research published in JAMA Pediatrics has found there are a wide range of different approaches that can be effective in improving self-regulation skills (the ability to control emotions, avoid inappropriate or aggressive behaviour and engage in self-directed learning) in children and teenagers.
Anuja Pandey and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of evaluations of interventions designed to improve pupils’ self-regulation. Data from 49 studies with a total of more than 23,000 pupils ranging in age from 2 to 17 years was examined. The interventions were classified as curriculum-based programmes (n=21), mindfulness and yoga interventions (n=8), family-based programmes (n=9), exercise-based programmes (n=6) and interventions focused on social and personal skills (n= 6). The researchers found that most interventions (n=33) were successful in improving pupils’ ability to manage behaviour and emotion. A meta-analysis showed there was a positive effect of the interventions, with a pooled effect size of +0.42.
There was no age group in which interventions were more effective. While a curriculum-based approach was most commonly used to deliver interventions, the study found that self-regulation interventions can be effective in family settings targeting parenting practices and sibling relationships.
Source: Effectiveness of universal self-regulation–based interventions in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis (April 2018), JAMA Pediatrics Doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0232
Adding a self-regulation intervention to a school readiness programme can improve self-regulation, early academic skills and school readiness in children at higher risk for later school difficulties, according to the results of a study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
Robert J Duncan and colleagues looked at the effect of adding a self-regulation intervention to the Bridge to Kindergarten (B2K) programme – a three-week summer school-readiness programme – in the US state of Oregon. The B2K programme is aimed at children with no prior preschool experience, and therefore considered to be at risk for later school difficulties.
Children from three to five years old were randomly assigned to either a control group (B2K only) or the intervention group (B2K plus intervention). Children in the intervention group received two 20- to 30-minute sessions per week, involving movement and music-based games that encouraged them to practise self-regulation skills.
Results from this randomised controlled trial indicated that children who received the intervention scored higher on measures of self-regulation than children who participated in the B2K programme alone. There were no significant effects on maths or literacy at the end of the programme. However, four months into kindergarten, children from the intervention group showed increased growth in self-regulation, maths and literacy compared to expected development.
Source: Combining a kindergarten readiness summer program with a self-regulation intervention improves school readiness (November 2017) Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 42, 1st Quarter 2018
A study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology looks at whether problems with sleep and self-regulation might be used to predict how children settle in at school.
The study involved 2,880 children from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Child sleep problems and emotional self-regulation were assessed via reports from mothers at three time points between birth and age five. Child attentional regulation was assessed by the mothers at two time points, and school adjustment was measured by teacher reports of classroom self-regulation and social, emotional, and behavioural adjustment at school, when the children were aged 6-7 years.
Three profiles were found. A normative profile (69% of children) had consistently average or higher emotional and attentional regulation scores and sleep problems that steadily reduced from birth to five. The remaining 31% of children were members of two non-normative profiles, both characterised by escalating sleep problems across early childhood and below mean self-regulation. Children in the non-normative group were associated with higher teacher-reported hyperactivity and emotional problems, and poorer classroom self-regulation and prosocial skills.
The researchers conclude that early childhood profiles of self-regulation that include sleep problems offer a way to identify children at risk of poor school adjustment. Children with escalating early childhood sleep problems could be an important group for interventions to support transition into school.
Source: Early Childhood Profiles Of Sleep Problems And Self-Regulation Predict Later School Adjustment (2016), British Journal of Educational Psychology.