Accessibility Links

Students' self-perception of abilities 'have a big impact on attainment'

28/09/2017 Joanna

New research has demonstrated the potentially significant role that students' perceptions of their own abilities can have on their actual performance later on.

Researchers at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and the University of Michigan analysed three data sets of children aged five to 18, including 13,901 British children and 1,591 youngsters from the US, to see how self-concepts correlated to subsequent assessments of early and later academic achievement.

Children's beliefs about their maths and reading abilities were shown to explain at least some of the variance in their later test scores, even after taking into account their different demographic backgrounds and personal characteristics, as well as their overall academic achievement levels.

Of note was the fact that this trend was not solely restricted to students performing at the top levels, as even lower-performing students who had more positive views of their maths and reading abilities generally experienced higher levels of achievement.

This is indicative of the fact that students' performance in these crucial areas can be correlated to their own confidence levels and their perceptions of the subjects - factors that could be influenced by teachers as a means of ensuring that all pupils are able to perform to their full potential.

Pamela Davis-Kean, professor of psychology and research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, said: "When trying to understand the issues of low academic performance, we often examine what additional skills children need to succeed in school.

"Our findings, replicated across three data sets, show that it is important to understand the relation between children's perceptions of their abilities and later achievement."

Add new comment