This study compared levels of mathematics achievement between Canadian and Hong Kong Chinese children and explored the relations between perceptions of children’s competence and mathematics achievement. The Canadian sample was made up of 125 4th-grade children who were randomly selected from five schools in Calgary. A comparative sample of 128 children was drawn from five Chinese-speaking schools in Hong Kong. Parents, teachers and children rated children’s competence and a mathematics achievement test was given to the children. Hong Kong Chinese children outperformed their Canadian peers in the mathematics test. However, ratings of children’s scholastic/mathematical abilities by Canadian respondents were significantly higher than those by Hong Kong Chinese informants. The Harter Self-Perception Profile Scale revealed that the aspects of themselves considered most important for sense of general self-worth were for Canadian children: physical appearance and social acceptance, for Hong Kong children: behavioural conduct and scholastic competence. Discussion centres on the contributions that expectations and evaluations of competence and self-worth make to the large difference in the mean levels of mathematics achievement between children in the two cultures. Copyright © 1996 British Psychological Society. Copyright © 2000 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
|Journal||British Journal of Educational Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1996|