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The influence of subject disciplinary studies on students' implicit theories of intelligence and achievement goals in one Swedish upper-secondary school

Journal article
Authors Anna-Carin Jonsson
Dennis Beach
Published in Education Inquiry
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 50-67
ISSN 2000-4508
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 50-67
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/20004508.2016.12...
Keywords Keywords: implicit theories of intelligence, achievement goals, upper-secondary school
Subject categories Pedagogy, Educational Sciences

Abstract

Abstract: The influence of subject disciplinary studies on pupils’ implicit theories of intelligence and achievement goals in one Swedish upper-secondary school Upper-secondary schooling in Sweden is organised for pupils aged 16-19 in 17 different national study programs. Of these 3 are theoretical programs with mainly academic content. They prepare for further (higher education) studies. The present investigation looks at the influence from these programs on 845 upper-secondary students’ implicit theories of intelligence and achievement goals. These theories have been shown by international research to have significant influence on pupils learning and achievement which is important knowledge for teachers and teacher students. The hypothesis is that exposure to one of the programs, the Natural Science Program, a) increases individual's beliefs about intelligence as fixed and inherited b) weakens the pupils tendency to choose mastery goals, and c) increase performance approach and the adoption of avoidance goals. This can have negative effects on pupils’ achievement. We have investigated this using 3 x 3 between-subject ANOVA. The investigation showed that beliefs in intelligence as fixed and inherited increased among pupils who spent two or three years at the Natural Science Program and that they also showed a stronger focus on both performance avoidance and performance approach goal orientations compared with other academic program pupils.

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