The Effects of Self-perception on Students' Mathematics and Science Achievement in 38 Countries Based on TIMSS 1999 Data
Earlier studies based on the analyses of data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) identified an interesting but conflicting finding for the effects of three self-perception measures on students' achievement in the two subjects at two different levels: within-country data generally show a positive correlation between the three measures and students' actual achievement, while at the country level, the direction is just opposite. The three measures of self-perception include how much students like the two subjects, how difficult they perceive the two subjects, and how well they think they are doing with the two subjects. Because TIMSS' sample design was a two-stage stratified design, this study uses Stata's svyreg procedure to replicate earlier analyses. We find that on individual level, when the number of books at home, school resources and indicators of school management are controlled for, the three self-perceptions demonstrate positive effects on students' achievement for most countries; while at the school level, the picture becomes mixed; For most countries, the effect of perceived easiness of the two subjects became negative. We suggest this inconsistency reflects differences in culture and in academic standards from country to country.
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