It is becoming increasingly clear that non-cognitive psychological processes are important for students’ school achievement, even to the point where their influence may be stronger than that exerted by the parents, teachers, or the school atmosphere itself. Non-cognitive psychological variables refer to varieties of self-beliefs and goal orientations – such as anxiety, confidence, self-efficacy, and self-concept – which are often seen as dispositional and motivational in nature. It is particularly important to highlight the role that confidence and self-efficacy play in school achievement, as these two self-beliefs are related to metacognitive processing – the awareness of what you know and what you do not know. Self-concept, meanwhile, tends to exert its influence on an individual’s choice of tertiary level courses.
This book suggests that by focusing on students’ self-beliefs, the education system may be in a position to improve cognitive performance, since individual students’ self-beliefs may be more malleable than the cognitive processes involved in acquiring academic knowledge. Focusing on these non-cognitive psychological processes is also likely to be more effective in improving performance than system-wide interventions involving changes in policy for both public and private sector educators. This book will be useful to educational researchers, school leaders, administrators, counsellors, and teachers, in guiding students’ attitudes towards learning and school performance. It will also provide students in psychology and education with broad and nuanced insights into the drivers of school achievement. This book was originally published as a special issue of Educational Psychology.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Quest for the best non-cognitive predictor of academic achievement Lazar Stankov and Jihyun Lee
1. Confidence: the best non-cognitive predictor of academic achievement? Lazar Stankov, Suzanne Morony, and Yim Ping Lee
2. Juxtaposing math self-efficacy and self-concept as predictors of long-term achievement outcomes Philip David Parker, Herbert W. Marsh, Joseph Ciarrochi, Sarah Marshall and Adel Salah Abduljabbar
3. The reciprocal relations between self-concept, motivation and achievement: juxtaposing academic self-concept and achievement goal orientations for mathematics success Marjorie Seaton, Philip Parker, Herbert W. Marsh, Rhonda G. Craven and Alexander Seeshing Yeung
4. Interaction between cognitive and non-cognitive factors: the influences of academic goal orientation and working memory on mathematical performance Kerry Lee, Flora Ning and Hui Chin Goh
5. Self-efficacy and achievement goals as motivational links between perceived contexts and achievement Yi Jiang, Juyeon Song, Minhye Lee and Mimi Bong
Jihyun Lee is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, specialising in educational psychology, large-scale assessment, measurement, and quantitative research methods. She has worked as a large-scale test/survey developer at the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ, USA, and has previously held an academic position at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. At UNSW, she teaches assessment courses to pre-service and in-service teachers, and researches non-cognitive factors (especially self-beliefs and interests), and their impact on school achievement.
Lazar Stankov is Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia. Among his most well-known research is the establishment of auditory ability in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence, the proposition of dual-task ability as part of human intelligence, the measurement of the relationship between confidence and ability, and the cross-cultural differences in social norms, social attitudes, personality, and conservatism. His recent work includes identifying the best non-cognitive predictors in students’ academic achievement, and the development of psychological scales for young people prone to be sympathetic towards extreme militant mindsets.