09 SES 11 B, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Attitudes Towards Mathematics and Science
Parallel Paper Session
If children start shaping a representation of different jobs at an early age, notably through their play, it’s only at about the age of 15 that they express some conscious career expectations (Dumora, 2004). From this age, young people are therefore aware of a series of factors that might affect their choice. In fact, various studies have shown that characteristics like gender, socio-economical status and school achievement are strongly related to the career or educational expectations. Some of these studies, based on secondary analysis of PISA data, have shown that girls are more ambitious than boys (Marks, 2010; McDaniel & Buchmann, 2007; Sikora & Pokropek, 2011), that young people from less privileged socio-economical background and those who have difficulties at school have lesser educational and career expectations (Buchmann & Park, 2009; Dupriez, Monseur & Van Campenhoudt, 2009; Marks, 2010). Studies with PISA data have also shown that in highly segregated educational systems, the school social and academic intakes influence expectations (Dupriez, & al., 2009; Buchmann & Park, 2009). Further, in such systems, young people seem to have more realistic ambitions (Buchmann & Park, 2009).
Additionally to these studies, the socio-cognitive research on motivation (see notably the model of Eccles & Wigfield, 2002 and the model of Lent, Brown & Hackett, 1994) have shown the influence of interest attached to the task, as well as utility and self-efficacy (or self-concept) on the choice of students to select some studies or to favour a career rather than another. Despite of the clear interest of the various researches based on these models (Eccles, Barber & Jozefowicz, 1999; Durik, Vida et Eccles, 2006; Sheu, Lent, Brown, Miller, Hennessy & Duffy, 2010), we can regret that most of them don’t take actual performance of students into account.
Some motivation variables, closed to those implicated in these models, are included in the contextual questionnaires of PISA 2003 centred on mathematics. Then, the PISA data-base offers the interesting opportunity to analyse the impact of motivation factors on expectations, when performance is taken into account (as well as other individual variables such as gender and ESCS). Furthermore, some of the studies mentioned above used career expectations or educational expectations as dependent variable. We chose to study both to underline potential differences.
Buchmann, C. & Park, H. (2009), Stratification and the formation of expectations in highly differentiated educational systems. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 27, 245-267. Dupriez, V., Monseur, C. & Van Campenhoudt, M. (2009). Etudier à l’université : le poids des pairs et du capital culturel face aux aspirations d’études. Les Cahiers de Recherche en Education et Formation, 75. Durik, A. M., Vida, M., & Eccles, J. S. (2006). Task values and ability beliefs as predictors of high school literacy choices: A developmental analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(2), 382-393. Eccles, J. S., Barber, B. L., & Jozefowicz, D. (1999). Linking gender to educational, occupational and recreational choices: applying the Eccles at al. model of achievement-related choices In W. B. Swann, J. H. Langlois & L. A. Gilbert (Eds.), Sexism and stereotypes in modern society (pp. 153-192). Washington: American Psychological Association. Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivation beliefs, values and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109-132. Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D, & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45, 79-122. Marks, G.N. (2010). Meritocracy, modernization and students’ occupational expectations: Cross-national evidence. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 8, 275-289. McDaniel, A., & Buchmann, C. (2007). Cross-national gender gaps un educational and occupational expectations: a study of patterns and causes. Population Association of American Annual Meeting, New-York. Sheu, H-B., Lent, R.W., Brown, S.D., Miller, M.J., Hennessy, K.D., & Duffy, R.D. (2010). Testing the choice model of social cognitive career theory across Holland themes: a meta-analytic path analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76, 252-264. Sikora, J. & Pokorek, A. (2011). Gendered Career Expectations of students: Perspectives from PISA 2006. Education Working Papers, 57, OECD Publishing.
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