The self-reported academic self-concept of four-year-old children: Global and fixed, or nuanced and changing in the year before school?

Caroline Cohrssen
Frank Niklas
Danielle Logan
Collette Tayler
The University of Melbourne

Studies have shown that academic self-concept and academic achievement are closely related and that academic self-concept is multidimensional. Most studies on academic self-concept have been conducted with school age children and little is known about developing academic self-concept in younger children. In this study, we investigated the evolving academic self-concept of a sample of 97 four-year-old children attending four different early childhood settings across Melbourne, Australia, during the year prior to school commencement. Analysis indicated that at this age, academic self-concept remains a global construct rather than distinguishable into literacy and numeracy self-concepts, and has little connection with children’s actual performance on a range of assessment measures. In addition, children overestimated their academic self-concept to a lesser degree at the end of the year than at the start of the year. Implications for early childhood education pedagogy are discussed.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 3 September 2016.

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