The study examined children’s and their parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of the malleability of the child’s academic competencies. A total of 103 third- and sixth-graders and their parents and teachers were asked to rate how much the child could improve her/his competencies in mathematics and Finnish. The participants were asked to use intrapersonal and interpersonal criteria in their ratings, i.e., to rate the child’s potential for improvement in comparison with his/her own current competencies and in relation to her/his peers’ competencies. The results showed a tendency that older children’s perceptions were closer to their parents’ and teachers’ views than those of younger children. Children of academically educated parents showed a stronger correlation with their teachers’ and parents’ intrapersonal perceptions than children of vocationally educated parents. The results also suggested that the teachers and parents trusted in boys’ intrapersonal potential in Finnish more than in girls’ but there were no gender-differences in their perceptions concerning mathematics. In all, the children’s intrapersonal perceptions of their improvement potential were the most optimistic, followed by their parents’ and lastly by their teachers’ perceptions.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Bourdieu P., Passeron J.-C. (1977) Reproduction in education, society and culture. Sage Publications, London
Droege K. L., Stipek D. J. (1993) Children’s use of dispositions to predict classmates’ behavior. Developmental Psychology 29: 646–654
Dweck C. S. (1999) Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia
Dweck C. S. (2006) Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House, New York
Eccles J. S. (1993) School and family effects on the ontogeny of children’s interests, self-perceptions, and activity choices. In: Jacobs J. E. (eds) Nebraska symposium on motivation 1992: Developmental perspectives on motivation.. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pp 145–208
Eccles J. S., Jacobs J. E., Harold R. D. (1990) Gender role stereotypes, expectancy effects, and parents’ socialization of gender differences. Journal of Social Issues 46: 183–201
Frome P. M., Eccles J. S. (1998) Parents’ influence on children’s achievement-related perceptions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74: 435–452
Goodnow J. J., Collins W. A. (1990) Development according to parents: The nature, sources, and consequences of parents’ ideas. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hove
Henderson V. L., Dweck C. S. (1990) Motivation and achievement. In: Feldman S., Elliott G. (eds) At the threshold: The developing adolescent.. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 308–329
Jussim L., Eccles J. S. (1992) Teacher expectations II: Construction and reflection of student achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63: 947–961
Kamins M. L., Dweck C. S. (1999) Person versus process praise and criticism: Implications for contingent self-worth and coping. Developmental Psychology 35: 835–847
Kärkkäinen R., Räty H., Kasanen K. (2008) Children’s notions of the malleability of their academic competencies. Social Psychology of Education 11: 445–458
Kärkkäinen R., Räty H., Kasanen K. (2009) Parents’ perceptions of their child’s resilience and competencies. European Journal of Psychology of Education 24: 405–419
Kasanen K., Räty H. (2008) ‘Do the very best you can’: The third-grade class test. Social Psychology of Education 11: 193–208
Kasanen K., Räty H., Eklund A.-L. (2009) Elementary school pupils’ evaluations of the malleability of their academic abilities. Educational Research 51: 27–38
Kasanen K., Räty H., Snellman L. (2003) Learning the class test. European Journal of Psychology of Education 18: 43–58
Lahelma E. (2005) School grades and other resources: The ‘failing boys’ discourse revisited. Nordic Journal of Women Studies 13: 78–89
Lareau A. (1989) Home advantage: Social class and parental intervention in elementary education. Falmer Press, London
Miller D. T., Ross M. (1975) Self-serving biases in the attribution of causality: Fact or fiction?. Psychological Bulletin 82: 213–225
Mueller C. M., Dweck C. S. (1998) Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 75: 33–52
Mugny G., Carugati F. (1989) Social representations of intelligence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Nicholls J. G. (1990) What is ability and why are we mindful of it? A developmental perspective. In: Sternberg R. J., Kolligian J. (eds) Competence considered.. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 11–40
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development): (2007) PISA 2006: Science competencies for tomorrow’s world. OECD, Paris
Räty H., Kasanen K., Honkalampi K. (2006a) Three years later: A follow-up study of parents’ assessments of their children’s competencies. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 36: 2079–2099
Räty H., Kasanen K., Kärkkäinen R. (2006b) School subjects as social categorisations. Social Psychology of Education 9: 5–25
Räty H., Snellman L. (1998) Social representations of educability. Social Psychology of Education 1: 359–373
Räty H., Snellman L., Kasanen K. (1999) Children’s representations of ability and their changes during the first school year. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 43: 249–258
Räty H., Vänskä J., Kasanen K., Kärkkäinen R. (2002) Parents’ explanations of their child’s performance in mathematics and reading: A replication and extension of Yee and Eccles. Sex Roles 46: 121–128
Rytkönen K., Aunola K., Nurmi J.-E. (2005) Parents’ causal attributions concerning their children’s school achievement: A longitudinal study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 51: 494–522
Spinath B., Spinath F. M. (2005) Development of self-perceived ability in elementary school: The role of parents’ perceptions, teacher evaluations, and intelligence. Cognitive Development 20: 190–204
Stipek D. J., Daniels D. H. (1988) Declining perceptions of competence: A consequence of changes in the child or in the educational environment?. Journal of Educational Psychology 80: 352–356
Stipek D., Mac Iver D. (1989) Developmental change in children’s assessment of intellectual competence. Child Development 60: 521–538
Wigfield A., Eccles J. S., Yoon K. S., Harold R. D., Arbreton A. J. A., Freedman-Doan C. et al (1997) Change in children’s competence beliefs and subjective task values across the elementary school years: A 3-year study. Journal of Educational Psychology 89: 451–469
Yee D. K., Eccles J. S. (1988) Parent perceptions and attributions for children’s math achievement. Sex Roles 19: 317–333
About this article
Cite this article
Kärkkäinen, R., Räty, H. & Kasanen, K. How are children’s perceptions of the malleability of their academic competencies related to their teachers’ and parents’ views?. Soc Psychol Educ 13, 557–573 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-010-9126-y
- Malleability (perceptions of competencies)
- Parent’s educational level