2,292 research outputs found

    Girls get smart, boys get smug: Historical changes in gender differences in math, literacy, and academic social comparison and achievement

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    Girls’ lack of self-belief has frequently been cited as a major barrier to advancement in both empirical research and in the popular imagination. With girls now outcompeting boys at almost every educational level, this paper considers if girls still have lower self-concept than boys, if this changes when controlling for academic ability, and what mechanisms explain gender differences. We compare and contrast rational choice, contrast, and assimilation approaches to self-concept and juxtapose historical trajectories in gender differences in self-concept and achievement to distinguish between them. We do this in five age cohorts born between 1981 and 1993 (N = 66, 522) for math, literacy, and general academic domains. Results suggest that there are still significant differences in self-concept between equally able boys and girls and that a mix of assimilation and contrast mechanisms likely explains the size and direction of these effects

    Girls get smart, boys get smug: Historical changes in gender differences in math, literacy, and academic social comparison and achievement

    Get PDF
    Girls’ lack of self-belief has frequently been cited as a major barrier to advancement in both empirical research and in the popular imagination. With girls now outcompeting boys at almost every educational level, this paper considers if girls still have lower self-concept than boys, if this changes when controlling for academic ability, and what mechanisms explain gender differences. We compare and contrast rational choice, contrast, and assimilation approaches to self-concept and juxtapose historical trajectories in gender differences in self-concept and achievement to distinguish between them. We do this in five age cohorts born between 1981 and 1993 (N = 66, 522) for math, literacy, and general academic domains. Results suggest that there are still significant differences in self-concept between equally able boys and girls and that a mix of assimilation and contrast mechanisms likely explains the size and direction of these effects

    What effect did the global financial crisis have upon youth wellbeing? Evidence from four Australian cohorts

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    Recent research has suggested significant negative effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on mental health and wellbeing. In this article, the authors suggest that the developmental period of late adolescence may be at particular risk of economic downturns. Harmonizing 4 longitudinal cohorts of Australian youth (N = 38,017), we estimate the impact of the GFC on 1 general and 11 domain specific measures of wellbeing at age 19 and 22. Significant differences in wellbeing in most life domains were found, suggesting that wellbeing is susceptible to economic shocks. Given that the GFC in Australia was relatively mild, the finding of clear negative effects across 2 ages is of international concern

    The big-fish-little-pond effect and overclaiming

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    Using the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, we investigate whether students’ relative ability in mathematics (in comparison to their school peers) is linked to their tendency to overclaim. Although the estimated effect size is modest (around 0.1 standard deviations) we find empirical support that being a big fish in a small pond is linked to overclaiming, with this robust to different analytic approaches and model specifications. Thus, being one of the highest academic achievers within a school may push young people's beliefs in their own abilities too far, straying into overconfidence and making claims about their knowledge and skills that they cannot justify

    Overclaiming. An international investigation using PISA data

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    This paper investigates the phenomena of overclaiming – the propensity for individuals to claim more knowledge about an issue or topic than they really (or could possibly) do. Using Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from nine Anglophone countries and over 40,000 young people, we examine teenagers’ propensity to claim knowledge of three mathematics constructs that do not really exist. We find substantial differences in young people’s tendency to overclaim across countries, genders, and socio-economic groups. Those who are most likely to overclaim are also found to exhibit high levels of overconfidence and believe they work hard, persevere at tasks, and are popular amongst their peers. Together this provides important new insight into overclaiming, how this differs across groups, and how it relates to other psychological constructs

    Inclusion of an Introduction to Infrastructure Course in a Civil and Environmental Engineering Curriculum

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    Civil infrastructure refers to the built environment (sometimes referred to as public works) and consists of roads, bridges, buildings, dams, levees, drinking water treatment facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, power generation and transmission facilities, communications, solid waste facilities, hazardous waste facilities, and other sectors. Although there is a need to train engineers who have a holistic view of infrastructure, there is evidence that civil and environmental engineering (CEE) programs have not fully addressed this increasingly recognized need. One effective approach to address this educational gap is to incorporate a course related to infrastructure into the curriculum for first-year or second-year civil and environmental engineering students. Therefore, this study assesses the current status of teaching such courses in the United States and identifies the incentives for, and the barriers against, incorporating an introduction to infrastructure course into schools’ current CEE curricula. Two distinct activities enabled these objectives. First, a questionnaire was distributed to CEE programs across the United States, to which 33 responses were received. The results indicated that although the majority of participants believe that offering such a course will benefit students by increasing the breadth of the curriculum and by providing a holistic view of CEE, barriers such as the maximum allowable credits for graduation, the lack of motivation within a department—either because such a course did not have a champion or because the department had no plans to revise their curriculum—and a lack of expertise among faculty members inhibited inclusion of the course in curricula. Second, three case studies demonstrating successful inclusion of an introduction to infrastructure course into the CEE curriculum were evaluated. Cases were collected from Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and West Point CEE programs, and it was found that the key to success in including such a course is a motivated team of faculty members who are committed to educating students about different aspects of infrastructure. The results of the study can be used as a road map to help universities successfully incorporate an introduction to infrastructure course in their CEE programs

    Cross-cultural generalizability of social and dimensional comparison effects on reading, math, and science self-concepts for primary school students using the combined PIRLS and TIMSS data

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    Previous cross-cultural studies of social and dimensional comparison processes forming academic self-concepts (the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) and Internal-external frame-of-reference (I/E) models) have mostly been based on high-school students and two subject domains. Our study is the first to test the cross-cultural generalizability of both comparison processes across reading, mathematics, and science by combining of the TIMSS and PIRLS 2011 databases (15 OECD countries, 67,386 fourth-graders). Consistent with the I/E model, high achievement in mathematics/reading had positive effects on self-concept in the matching domain but negative effects in the non-matching domain. Extending the I/E model, students engaged in assimilating comparisons between science and reading (i.e., achievement in one subject had positive effects on self-concept in the other) but contrasting comparisons between mathematics and science. Strong BFLPEs (negative effects of class-average achievement on self-concept) were found for mathematics but were smaller for reading and science. The results generalized well across all countries

    Ultraviolet and Optical Observations of OB Associations and Field Stars in the Southwest Region of the Large Magellanic Cloud

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    Using photometry from the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) and photometry and spectroscopy from three ground-based optical datasets we have analyzed the stellar content of OB associations and field areas in and around the regions N 79, N 81, N 83, and N 94 in the LMC. We compare data for the OB association Lucke-Hodge 2 (LH 2) to determine how strongly the initial mass function (IMF) may depend on different photometric reductions and calibrations. We also correct for the background contribution of field stars, showing the importance of correcting for field star contamination in determinations of the IMF of star formation regions. It is possible that even in the case of an universal IMF, the variability of the density of background stars could be the dominant factor creating the differences between calculated IMFs for OB associations. We have also combined the UIT data with the Magellanic Cloud Photometric Survey to study the distribution of the candidate O-type stars in the field. We find a significant fraction, roughly half, of the candidate O-type stars are found in field regions, far from any obvious OB associations. These stars are greater than 2 arcmin (30 pc) from the boundaries of existing OB associations in the region, which is a distance greater than most O-type stars with typical dispersion velocities will travel in their lifetimes. The origin of these massive field stars (either as runaways, members of low-density star-forming regions, or examples of isolated massive star formation) will have to be determined by further observations and analysis.Comment: 16 pages, 10 figures (19 PostScript files), tabular data + header file for Table 1 (2 ASCII files). File format is LaTeX/AASTeX v.502 using the emulateapj5 preprint style (included). Also available at http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~joel/papers.html . To appear in the February 2001 issue of the Astronomical Journa

    A multination study of socioeconomic inequality in expectations for progression to higher education: the role of between-school tracking and ability stratification

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    Persistent inequalities in educational expectations across societies are a growing concern. Recent research has explored the extent to which inequalities in education are due to primary effects (i.e., achievement differentials) versus secondary effects (i.e., choice behaviors net of achievement). We explore educational expectations in order to consider whether variations in primary and secondary effects are associated with country variation in curricular and ability stratification. We use evidence from the PISA 2003 database to test the hypothesis that (a) greater between-school academic stratification would be associated with stronger relationships between socioeconomic status and educational expectations and (b) when this effect is decomposed, achievement differentials would explain a greater proportion of this relationship in countries with greater stratification. Results supported these hypotheses

    Physical self-concept changes in a selective sport high school : A longitudinal cohort-sequence analysis of the big-fish-little-pond effect

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    Elite athletes and nonathletes (N = 1,268) attending the same selective sport high school (4 high school age cohorts, grades 7-10, mean ages varying from 10.9 to 14.1) completed the same physical self-concept instrument 4 times over a 2-year period (multiple waves). We introduce a latent cohort-sequence analysis that provides a stronger basis for assessing developmental stability/change than either cross-sectional (multicohort, single occasion) or longitudinal (single-cohort, multiple occasion) designs, allowing us to evaluate latent means across 10 waves spanning a 5-year period (grades 7-11), although each participant contributed data for only 4 waves, spanning 2 of the 5 years. Consistent with the frame-of-reference effects embodied in the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE), physical self-concepts at the start of high school were much higher for elite athletes than for nonathlete classmates, but the differences declined over time so that by the end of high school there were no differences in the 2 groups. Gender differences in favor of males had a negative linear and quadratic trajectory over time, but the consistently smaller gender differences for athletes than for nonathletes did not vary with time
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