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Autori: Šimunović, Mara; Reić Ercegovac, Ina; Šakić Velić, Marija; Blažev, Mirta; Burušić, Josip
Naslov: How Important Is It to Me and How Much to My Parents? Perceived Value of Academic Achievement in STEM Field
Skup: ECER 2017. - European Conference on Educational Research
Mjesto i datum: Copenhagen, Denmark, 22.-25.08.2017
Ključne riječi: STEM, task value, parental involvement, family education
In today’s education research ˝STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) problem˝ is becoming more and more relevant. Recent document ˝Encouraging STEM studies for the Labour Market˝, created on the demand of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament (2015) notes persisting shortages of skills in STEM fields despite of high labour demands for these occupations which are also expected to continuously grow. Answering why is there a lack of interest for the STEM related occupations is a problem which needs to be addressed on different social, psychological, cultural, economic and educational levels, all in attempt to identify practices that could foster students’ motivation in this field and help to increase the supply of STEM related skills on European labour market. This study addresses some of the psychological constructs that are important in better understanding of the development of achievement motivation in STEM school subjects and later motivation in choosing STEM related job. Our research evolves around Eccles’ expectancy - value model as one of the most relevant theoretical frames in explaining achievement - related choices (Eccles, 1993). This model postulates that one’s expectation of success and subjective value of the task or activity strongly predict one’s achievement related choices, but also, one’s performance. Model furthermore emphasizes parents as important socializers of these motivational beliefs (Eccles, 1992). Previous research confirmed that family has a strong influence on students’ aspirations, engagement and achievement in STEM fields (Archer, DeWitt, Osborne, Dillon, Willis & Wong, 2012 ; Gilmartin, Li, & Aschbacher, 2006 ; Stake, 2006). Parents need to be seen as crucial social agents who along with teachers have an important role in shaping students’ academic and professional aspirations in STEM domain (Chouinard, Karsenti & Roy, 2007). Although they are identified as valuable resource for improving STEM motivation, parents’ influences are still not enough explored (Harackiewicz et al., 2012). Our research questions were formed primarily around importance value of the task as a component of construct of subjective task value, that is shown to be a strong predictor of the number of math and science courses students take in high school (Simpkins, Davis-Kean, & Eccles, 2006 ; Updegraff, Eccles, Barber, & O’Brien, 1996). We aimed to examine how students perceive how important is their academic achievement in STEM fields to their parents ; what is the level of importance value students, themselves place on STEM school subjects ; and how similar are those two assessments of importance. We hypostasized that there will be significant correlation between these two assessments since the parental socialization portion of Expectancy – value model suggests that parents’ child specific beliefs and behaviors both directly and indirectly affect child self – perceptions, subjective task values, goals, performance expectations etc. Since the Eccles model of parental socialization (1983) suggests that parents values for certain activities may convey to their children through different behaviors related to these activates (for example engaging with their children in math related games at home), we also wanted to examine is parents’ encouragement of STEM interests related to positive students’ importance values of STEM subjects and do these parental behaviors play a mediating/moderating role in congruence between perceived importance values of STEM subjects for their parents and for students themselves. In addition, we searched to see what is the relation of perceived importance value of achievement in STEM school subjects for students’ parents in comparison to the importance they place on other, non – STEM school subjects. Method This study is part of a bigger research project, fully titled "STEM career aspirations during primary schooling: A cohort-sequential longitudinal study of relations between achievement, self-competence beliefs and career interests" (JOBSTEM). This project follows 1920 primary school students and their parents from 16 primary schools in Croatia. Students are grouped in three age cohorts and followed through three measurement waves. In present study we included 1238 students (643 boys and 595 girls) from the first wave of measurement who were at the time in 5th and 6th grade, aged 11 and 12. Assessments for the general STEM construct were composed from given assessments for STEM related subjects that are lectured in these grades in Croatia. These school subjects are mathematics, nature and society, geography, technical education and computer science. The perception of importance of achievement in STEM subjects and all other school subjects for students’ parents was assessed with item ˝How important is to your parents that you do well in …? ˝, with Likert’s scale from 1 to 5. For students, we measured two different components of importance value. Two items measured importance of being successful in STEM school subjects (˝How important is for you to be good in …?˝ and ˝Compared with other school subjects how important is for you to be good in…?˝) and two measured perceived usefulness of STEM school subjects (˝In general, how useful are the things you learn in …?˝ and ˝Compared with other school subjects, are the things you learn in… less or more useful?˝). All of these four items were answered on scale 1 to 7. Parental encouragement of STEM related interests was measured with 14 – items scale which assess how often parents encourage students to engage in different STEM free – time activities. The internal consistency of the scale was good (Cronbach alpha 0.91). All of the used items were adopted from Childhood and Beyond Study (CAB) (Eccles, et. al, 1987). Expected Outcomes Students reported their achievement in STEM domain to be quite important to their parents (M=4.036) and more important than success in other, non - STEM subjects (t=14.55, p<.001). However, there is a high positive correlation between perceived importance of the success to their parents in STEM and non - STEM school subjects (r =.792, p<.001). This means that parents who highly value success in STEM, highly value general academic achievement, and not just exclusively in STEM area. There is a moderate positive correlation between the perception of the importance value of STEM subjects for their parents and the importance for students, themselves (r=.406, p<.001), and slightly lower correlation with students’ perception of the usefulness of STEM subjects (r=.303, p<.001). However, despite this connection, it has been shown that students estimate that their parents value importance of achievement in STEM school subjects higher than them (t=18.54, p<.001). This discrepancy may be due to inadequate conversion of parents’ belief about the importance of STEM subjects in specific practices and behavior. Although children are aware that their parents highly value achievement in STEM domain, it seems that these beliefs are not completely internalized. This notion may be additionally explained by the finding that there are significant, but low correlations between parental encouragement of STEM interests and perceived importance of STEM school subjects for parents (.24) and overall importance value for students (.29). We also conducted an analysis of the possible mediation and moderation effect for this variable in the relationship between perceived parents' importance values and importance of STEM achievement to the students, and both effects were insignificant. It may be that although parents put high value on academic achievement in STEM fields they do not communicate it enough through specific parenting behaviors.
Vrsta sudjelovanja: Predavanje
Vrsta prezentacije u zborniku: Nije objavljen
Vrsta recenzije: Međunarodna recenzija
Izvorni jezik: ENG
Kategorija: Znanstveni
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Upisao u CROSBI: Ivan Dević (, 5. Stu. 2017. u 18:04 sati

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