How are children’s perceptions of the malleability of their academic competencies related to their teachers’ and parents’ views?

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Riitta Kärkkäinen.

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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

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Keywords

  • Malleability (perceptions of competencies)
  • Intelligence
  • Gender
  • Parent’s educational level
  • Teachers