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Title: Confidence in PISA : validating an international assessment of student self-efficacy in mathematics
Author: Pepper, David Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 0038
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Student participation and attainment in mathematics is an issue in education policies and practices for many countries. Some academics, teachers and policy makers claim that student attitudes in mathematics exercise a decisive causal influence on participation and attainment in mathematics. To ensure that education policies and practices are well-evidenced, it is important that assessments of these attitudes are sufficiently validated for such claims. The influential Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) includes assessments of student self-confidence in mathematics. This involves two sets of questionnaire items, with one set relating to self-efficacy and the other set relating to selfconcept. While the self-concept items refer to the mathematics domain as a whole, the self-efficacy items refer to individual mathematics tasks. Self-efficacy has been incorporated in models of self-regulated learning and, although one model indicates that self-efficacy may be significant for formative assessment, there is disagreement about relations between self-efficacy, participation and attainment. Although there have been several studies of mathematical self-efficacy, their assessments have generally lacked sufficient validations. The OECD validation of the PISA mathematical self-efficacy assessment itself lacks transparency and requires more evidence. The present study provides an independent validation of the assessment and uses mathematical self-concept as a point of comparison. The validation has a mixed methodology integrating evidence from the PISA 2003 data set and documentation for 41 countries with cognitive interviewing of students in England, Estonia, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. The validation identifies threats to validity that weaken extrapolation from the assessment to real-world situations, particularly in Hong Kong. These threats are traced to the formulation of the mathematics tasks in the self-efficacy items. The findings have implications for the interpretation and development of mathematical self-efficacy assessments as the basis for understanding relations with participation and attainment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available