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«by SHALJAN AREEPATTAMANNIL A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Education in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of ...»

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ACADEMIC SELF-CONCEPT, ACADEMIC MOTIVATION, ACADEMIC

ENGAGEMENT, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: A MIXED METHODS

STUDY OF INDIAN ADOLESCENTS IN CANADA AND INDIA

by

SHALJAN AREEPATTAMANNIL

A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Education

in conformity with the requirements for

the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Queen‘s University Kingston, Ontario, Canada September, 2011 Copyright © Shaljan Areepattamannil, 2011

ABSTRACT

This study, employing sequential explanatory mixed methods research design, examined: 1) the academic self-concept, academic motivation, and academic achievement of Indian immigrant adolescents in Canada in comparison to their peers in India; 2) the mediational role of academic motivation in the association between academic self-concept and academic achievement among Indian immigrant adolescents and Indian adolescents; and 3) the perspectives, beliefs, and recommendations of Indian immigrant adolescents and Indian adolescents in regard to classroom environments/instructional practices affecting their academic engagement and achievement. Surveys were administered among secondary students in Canada (N = 355) and India (N = 363) to assess their academic self-concepts, academic motivation, and academic achievement. Eight focus group interviews were conducted, four each in Canada and India, to glean the perceptions and views of Indian immigrant and Indian adolescents. Descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) revealed that the Indian immigrant adolescents in Canada did not differ markedly from their counterparts in India. When non-standardized GPA scores were used, English and overall school GPAs and verbal self-concept were associated with group separation in DDA. When standardized GPA scores were used, however, verbal self-concept alone was associated with group separation in DDA. Mediation analyses indicated the mediational role of intrinsic motivation in the association between academic selfconcept and academic achievement among Indian immigrant and Indian adolescents.

Extrinsic motivation as well mediated the relations between academic self-concept and academic achievement for the Indian immigrant adolescents in Canada. Focus group discussions suggested that the Indian immigrant and Indian adolescents were primarily extrinsically motivated toward school and academics. Further, both the ii Indian immigrant and Indian adolescents perceived their classroom teachers as controlling rather than autonomy-supportive. Implications of the findings for educational practice and future research are discussed.

–  –  –

I am deeply indebted to Dr. John G. Freeman, my doctoral supervisor. As a teacher, advisor, and mentor, he has been a guiding inspiration. His measured insight and humour have tremendously informed my thinking about and enjoyment of the process of writing this dissertation. I cannot begin to count the ways in which his unrelenting support, constant encouragement, and care have impacted upon this work.

I am humbled by his unyielding generosity and guidance.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Drs. Don A. Klinger and Stephen O. Gyimah, my doctoral supervisory committee members, for their invaluable comments and advice.

I am also extremely grateful to Drs. Ian M. Janssen, Robert M. Klassen, John R. Kirby, and Jonathan W. Rose for their thoughtful and constructive comments.

I am unquantifiably indebted to my parents, wife, and children for their unfailing love and support.

I would like to thank the many researchers, particularly Drs. Edward Deci, Andrew J. Fuligni, Herbert Marsh, Johnmarshall Reeve, Richard Ryan, and Carola Suárez-Orozco, whose research and writing have informed my thinking on the ideas and issues I tackle in this dissertation.

Final recognition goes to all Indian immigrant and Indian adolescent students who participated in the study.

–  –  –

Abstract

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Purpose of the Study

Definition of Key Terms

Academic Self-Concept

Academic Motivation

Collectivist Cultures

Indian Adolescents

Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Individualist Cultures

Rationale

Overview of the Dissertation

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

Academic Self-Concept

The Shavelson, Hubner, and Stanton Model

The Marsh/Shavelson Model

The Internal/External Frame of Reference (I/E) Model

Academic Self-Concept and Academic Achievement

Academic Motivation

Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

v Types of motivation.

Academic Motivation and Academic Achievement

Classroom Learning Environments

Conclusion

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

Data Collection

Quantitative Data Collection

Participants.

Procedures.

Measures

Demographic questionnaire.

Self Description Questionnaire-II.

Academic Motivation ScaleHigh school version.

Qualitative Data Collection





Participants.

Procedures.

Data Analysis

Quantitative Data Analysis

Handling missing data

Preliminary analyses.

Main analyses

Qualitative Data Analysis

CHAPTER 4: QUANTITATIVE FINDINGS

Preliminary Results

–  –  –

Correlational Analyses

Main Results

Descriptive Discriminant Analysis

Mediating Effect of Academic Motivation on the Relationship between Academic Self-Concept and Academic Achievement for Indian Immigrant Adolescents

School self-concept and academic achievement.

Math self-concept and academic achievement.

Verbal self-concept and academic achievement.

Mediating Effect of Academic Motivation on the Relationship between Academic Self-Concept and Academic Achievement for Indian Adolescents... 82 School self-concept and academic achievement.

Math self-concept and academic achievement.

Verbal self-concept and academic achievement.

CHAPTER 5: QUALITATIVE FINDINGS

Academic Engagement

Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Indian Adolescents

Academic Environments

Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Indian Adolescents

CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION

Research Questions

Overarching Ideas

vii Implications for Practice

Limitations of the Study and Implications for Future Research

Final Thoughts

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A: LETTER OF INFORMATION (SURVEY)

APPENDIX B: LETTER OF CONSENT (SURVEY)

APPENDIX C: DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

APPENDIX D: ACADEMIC MOTIVATION SCALE (HIGH SCHOOL VERSION)

APPENDIX E: SELF DESCRIPTION QUESTIONNAIRE – II (SDQ - II)............ 188

APPENDIX F: VERBAL SCRIPT OF IN-CLASS RECRUITMENT

PRESENTATION

APPENDIX G: STANDARDIZED PATH COEFFICIENTS FROM

CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS FOR THE ACADEMIC SELFCONCEPT ITEMS

APPENDIX H: FACTOR LOADINGS OF EXPLORATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS

WITH OBLIQUE ROTATION OF ACADEMIC MOTIVATION SCALES.......... 192

APPENDIX I: INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN A FOCUS GROUP

INTERVIEW

APPENDIX J: LETTER OF INFORMATION (FOCUS GROUP)

APPENDIX K: LETTER OF CONSENT (FOCUS GROUP)

APPENDIX L: FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW GUIDE

APPENDIX M: DESCRIPTIVE DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS USING

STANDARDIZED GPA SCORES

–  –  –

Table 1. Number of Focus Group Participants by Gender in Canada and India.

........ 60 Table 2. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Among the Study Variables (Total Sample, N = 718)

Table 3. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Among the Study Variables (Indian Immigrant Sample, N = 355)

Table 4. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Among the Study Variables (Indian Sample, N = 363)

Table 5. Wilks‘s Lambda and Canonical Correlation for the Four Groups.

................ 77 Table 6. Standardized Discriminant Function and Structure Coefficients for the Four Groups

Table 7. Group Centroids

Table 8. Means, Standard Deviations, and Bonferroni Multiple Comparisons.

.......... 79 Table 9. Mediation of the Effect of School Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Table 10. Mediation of the Effect of Math Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Table 11. Mediation of the Effect of Verbal Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Immigrant Adolescents

Table 12. Mediation of the Effect of School Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Adolescents

Table 13. Mediation of the Effect of Math Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Adolescents

Table 14. Mediation of the Effect of Verbal Self-Concept on Academic Achievement Through Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, and Amotivation for Indian Adolescents

–  –  –

Figure 1. The self-determination continuum.

.

Figure 2. The follow-up explanations model.

.

Figure 3. Illustration of direct and mediation (indirect) effects.

Figure 4. A thematic model of academic engagement among Indian immigrant and Indian adolescents.

–  –  –

In the past two decades, unprecedented waves of immigration have changed the demographic composition of Canada‘s population (Statistics Canada, 2010).

According to the 2006 Census, one in five of the recent immigrants to Canada was aged 14 and under (approximately 223,200 children), while about 167,600 recent immigrants were aged 15 to 24 (Statistics Canada, 2007). Further, according to Statistics Canada (2010), China and India alone are the place of birth of more than 29% of all immigrants to Canada. In 2009 alone, the vast majority of immigrant students and their families came from China (12%) and India (10%) (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2010), and it is projected that, among all the visible minority groups in Canada, South Asians and Chinese will still be the largest visible minority groups in 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2010).

The Indian community in Canada is highly concentrated in Ontario (58%) and British Columbia (26%), with the majority of Indian immigrants living in or near Toronto or Vancouver (68%; Statistics Canada, 2007). In 2001, 23% of the Indian community were children under the age of 15 years, while 16% of the Indian community were aged 15 to 24 years (Statistics Canada, 2007). The massive waves of immigration have exacerbated gaps in academic achievement among children of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds in Canada (e.g., Anisef, Brown, Phythian, Sweet, & Walters, 2008; Areepattamannil & Freeman, 2008; Gunderson, 2007).

Although variations in children‘s cognitive abilities and skills may explain gaps in academic achievement among children of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds (Hansen, Liu, & Kučera, 2010), such abilities and skills may not fully explain their academic achievement (Graham & Hudley, 2005; Pintrich, 2003a;



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