On the generic and the specific

education ruminations

I recently readthisexcellent journal article on the structure of academic self-concept by Arens et al (2021).

The article is about different models of academic self-concept (pupils self-perceptions of their own performance or ability in school subjects), and looks in part at whether or not there is a ‘general’ academic self-concept (across subjects, example question: ‘I’m among the best in my class at all subjects’) at as well as subject-specific self-concepts (e.g. for maths, English, geography. Example question: “I get good grades in maths’).

The authors find that both are true, and that both general self-concept and subject specific self-concept predict grades (albeit that the relationship between subject-specific self-concept and grades in that subject is stronger than that between general academic self-concept and grades in a subject). Models that include a general as well as subject-specific academic self-concepts fit the data better than those that only include one of…

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