Towards the development of an instrument for the measurement of pupils’ academic self-concept in science.

G. Hardy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Background. Although today there are a number of scales measuring different sub-domains of academic self-concept, there is a near absence of scales which specifically focus on the measurement of academic self-concept in science. This is in contrast to the position of science as a core subject within the English National Curriculum at all four Key Stages (DfEE, 1999). Aims. This study was designed to develop an instrument for the measurement of academic self-concept in science. Unlike other scales, which have tended to visualise science as a homogenous single global subject, this instrument takes account of the multidimensionality of science by conceiving academic self-concept in science as possessing a number of discrete and distinctive components including procedural and conceptual elements. Sample. Data were collected from 1487 pupils from eight English secondary schools. Pupils were aged between 11 and 16 years of age. Method. A 48 item self-completion questionnaire was designed and employed. Structural equation modelling was utilised to test and validate the multidimensionality of the scale. Results. The outcomes show that academic self-concept in science for secondary aged pupils is heterogeneous in nature and presents a consistent, stable and valid set of measures. It argues that learners have a multidimensional self-concept ‘profile’ which represents their psychological response to being a learner of science. Conclusion. An instrument has been developed and validated for the measurement of academic self-concept in science for secondary aged pupils (11 – 16 years). Carrying out model fit analysis using LISREL 8, the instrument has been shown to be extremely robust in measures of fit and construct validity, and has also shown itself to be invariant across sex and age subgroups. This research concludes that there is evidence to suggest that academic self-concept in science is multidimensional and that such a scale would provide valuable additional information on academic self-concept for researchers and education practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Learning, Johannesburg
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
EventInternational Conference on Learning - Johannesburg, South Africa
Duration: 25 Jun 200828 Jun 2008

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Learning
CityJohannesburg, South Africa
Period25/06/0828/06/08

Keywords

  • Science education, Academic self-concept, Confirmatory factor analysis

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