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Postgraduate Thesis: Enhancing academic self-concept and academic achievement of vocationalstudents: a longitudinal intervention studyin mainland China
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TitleEnhancing academic self-concept and academic achievement of vocationalstudents: a longitudinal intervention studyin mainland China
 
AuthorsYang, Lan
杨兰
 
Issue Date2012
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
AbstractWhile much is known about the achievement of high ability students, much less research has focused on their lower ability peers. In addition, although academic self-concept, locus of control and learning approaches have been demonstrated to be important personal variables that influence learning outcomes, less effort has been made to integrate these variables simultaneously to understand the complexity of low-achievement. The present research aimed to not only identify key causes of the low-achievement of academically disadvantaged students, but also provide appropriate and productive enhancement approaches to foster low-achieving students’ school success by conducting a pioneering longitudinal experimental study particularly in mainland China. The participants were low-achieving junior secondary students who had recently enrolled in Secondary Vocational Education (SVE) in mainland China (total N = 724). It was found that compared with normal- and high-achieving students in mainstream secondary education, students in SVE were characterized with less achieving motives, less internal-oriented control beliefs and particularly lower academic self-concepts. In addition, the academic self-concept of SVE students was found to be the most significant predictor of their academic achievement (p< .001) compared with achieving approach (p< .05) and locus of control (p> .05). These findings, in light of the 3P learning model, revealed the likely major role of academic self-concept in affecting academic achievement among adolescent students in SVE. In particular, Study 2, a comparative study, confirmed that vocational students had the lowest English self-concept of the groups studied. Hence, the focus of Study 3 (a longitudinal intervention) was on English self-concept. By incorporating recent advances in Western feedback enhancement approaches and the construct-validity approach to fully explore the intervention effects, Study 3 demonstrated that the researcher-administered treatments (performance feedback and combined feedback) in natural classroom settings successfully enhanced participants’ English self-concept, the targeted facet. Importantly, both the competence and affect components within the English self-concept of targeted students also gained statistically significant improvements from the two feedback treatments, compared with those of students who received no particular treatment. An interesting finding was that the two feedback treatments appeared similarly significant in changing the competence component of English self-concept. However, the internally-focused performance feedback was less effective in changing the affect component of English self-concept compared with the combined feedback. Non-significant transfer effects were found on untargeted facets of academic self-concept among participants receiving only the performance feedback. A slightly significant transfer effect was found on Chinese self-concept (one control facet) among participants receiving the combined feedback, indicating the power of the combined feedback to influence a facet that is closely related to the targeted facet. The present findings provided important cross-cultural empirical evidence to support sound within-network validity of the feedback intervention in a vocational setting. Impressively, the English achievements of students in both experimental classes also gained statistically significant improvements. Based on key research designs of the present intervention, future implications of the two feedback treatments to cultivate positive academic self-beliefs and enhance learning among vocational and non-vocational secondary school students are discussed.
 
AdvisorsPolat, F
 
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
 
SubjectSelf-perception - China - ongitudinal studies.
Academic achievement - China - Longitudinal studies.
Vocational school students - China - Longitudinal studies.
 
Dept/ProgramEducation
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorPolat, F
 
dc.contributor.authorYang, Lan
 
dc.contributor.author杨兰
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
dc.date.issued2012
 
dc.description.abstractWhile much is known about the achievement of high ability students, much less research has focused on their lower ability peers. In addition, although academic self-concept, locus of control and learning approaches have been demonstrated to be important personal variables that influence learning outcomes, less effort has been made to integrate these variables simultaneously to understand the complexity of low-achievement. The present research aimed to not only identify key causes of the low-achievement of academically disadvantaged students, but also provide appropriate and productive enhancement approaches to foster low-achieving students’ school success by conducting a pioneering longitudinal experimental study particularly in mainland China. The participants were low-achieving junior secondary students who had recently enrolled in Secondary Vocational Education (SVE) in mainland China (total N = 724). It was found that compared with normal- and high-achieving students in mainstream secondary education, students in SVE were characterized with less achieving motives, less internal-oriented control beliefs and particularly lower academic self-concepts. In addition, the academic self-concept of SVE students was found to be the most significant predictor of their academic achievement (p< .001) compared with achieving approach (p< .05) and locus of control (p> .05). These findings, in light of the 3P learning model, revealed the likely major role of academic self-concept in affecting academic achievement among adolescent students in SVE. In particular, Study 2, a comparative study, confirmed that vocational students had the lowest English self-concept of the groups studied. Hence, the focus of Study 3 (a longitudinal intervention) was on English self-concept. By incorporating recent advances in Western feedback enhancement approaches and the construct-validity approach to fully explore the intervention effects, Study 3 demonstrated that the researcher-administered treatments (performance feedback and combined feedback) in natural classroom settings successfully enhanced participants’ English self-concept, the targeted facet. Importantly, both the competence and affect components within the English self-concept of targeted students also gained statistically significant improvements from the two feedback treatments, compared with those of students who received no particular treatment. An interesting finding was that the two feedback treatments appeared similarly significant in changing the competence component of English self-concept. However, the internally-focused performance feedback was less effective in changing the affect component of English self-concept compared with the combined feedback. Non-significant transfer effects were found on untargeted facets of academic self-concept among participants receiving only the performance feedback. A slightly significant transfer effect was found on Chinese self-concept (one control facet) among participants receiving the combined feedback, indicating the power of the combined feedback to influence a facet that is closely related to the targeted facet. The present findings provided important cross-cultural empirical evidence to support sound within-network validity of the feedback intervention in a vocational setting. Impressively, the English achievements of students in both experimental classes also gained statistically significant improvements. Based on key research designs of the present intervention, future implications of the two feedback treatments to cultivate positive academic self-beliefs and enhance learning among vocational and non-vocational secondary school students are discussed.
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation
 
dc.description.thesisleveldoctoral
 
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4832987
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48329873
 
dc.subject.lcshSelf-perception - China - ongitudinal studies.
 
dc.subject.lcshAcademic achievement - China - Longitudinal studies.
 
dc.subject.lcshVocational school students - China - Longitudinal studies.
 
dc.titleEnhancing academic self-concept and academic achievement of vocationalstudents: a longitudinal intervention studyin mainland China
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
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<contributor.author>Yang, Lan</contributor.author>
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<description.abstract>&#65279;While much is known about the achievement of high ability students, much less research has focused on their lower ability peers. In addition, although academic self-concept, locus of control and learning approaches have been demonstrated to be important personal variables that influence learning outcomes, less effort has been made to integrate these variables simultaneously to understand the complexity of low-achievement. The present research aimed to not only identify key causes of the low-achievement of academically disadvantaged students, but also provide appropriate and productive enhancement approaches to foster low-achieving students&#8217; school success by conducting a pioneering longitudinal experimental study particularly in mainland China.



The participants were low-achieving junior secondary students who had recently enrolled in Secondary Vocational Education (SVE) in mainland China (total N = 724). It was found that compared with normal- and high-achieving students in mainstream secondary education, students in SVE were characterized with less achieving motives, less internal-oriented control beliefs and particularly lower academic self-concepts. In addition, the academic self-concept of SVE students was found to be the most significant predictor of their academic achievement (p&#65308; .001) compared with achieving approach (p&#65308; .05) and locus of control (p&#65310; .05). These findings, in light of the 3P learning model, revealed the likely major role of academic self-concept in affecting academic achievement among adolescent students in SVE. In particular, Study 2, a comparative study, confirmed that vocational students had the lowest English self-concept of the groups studied. Hence, the focus of Study 3 (a longitudinal intervention) was on English self-concept.



By incorporating recent advances in Western feedback enhancement approaches and the construct-validity approach to fully explore the intervention effects, Study 3 demonstrated that the researcher-administered treatments (performance feedback and combined feedback) in natural classroom settings successfully enhanced participants&#8217; English self-concept, the targeted facet. Importantly, both the competence and affect components within the English self-concept of targeted students also gained statistically significant improvements from the two feedback treatments, compared with those of students who received no particular treatment. An interesting finding was that the two feedback treatments appeared similarly significant in changing the competence component of English self-concept. However, the internally-focused performance feedback was less effective in changing the affect component of English self-concept compared with the combined feedback. Non-significant transfer effects were found on untargeted facets of academic self-concept among participants receiving only the performance feedback. A slightly significant transfer effect was found on Chinese self-concept (one control facet) among participants receiving the combined feedback, indicating the power of the combined feedback to influence a facet that is closely related to the targeted facet. The present findings provided important cross-cultural empirical evidence to support sound within-network validity of the feedback intervention in a vocational setting. Impressively, the English achievements of students in both experimental classes also gained statistically significant improvements. Based on key research designs of the present intervention, future implications of the two feedback treatments to cultivate positive academic self-beliefs and enhance learning among vocational and non-vocational secondary school students are discussed.</description.abstract>
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