Student Growth Orientation Associated with Mathematics Outcomes Over Time

Year: 2018

Author: Bostwick, Keiko, Martin, Andrew, Collie, Rebecca, Durksen, Tracy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Recent cross-sectional research has demonstrated that there may be significant overlap in factors that underpin academic growth. Specifically, researchers have found that students’ growth mindset, self-based growth goals, and task-based growth goals collectively represent an underlying growth orientation. Furthermore, this research has shown that this growth orientation is positively associated with students’ engagement and achievement in mathematics. In the current study, we corroborate and extend this previous line of cross-sectional research by examining mathematics growth orientation from a longitudinal perspective. We examined the extent to which changes in student growth orientation are associated with changes in students’ engagement and achievement in mathematics over one year.  As such, this longitudinal examination allowed us to assess the stability of the growth orientation construct and to examine its predictive utility in mathematics outcomes over time. In 2014 and 2015, Australian secondary school students (N = 2949) completed an online survey that focused on growth orientation (growth mindset, self-based growth goals, and task-based growth goals), engagement (cognitive, behavioural, and affective), and achievement in mathematics. We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and longitudinal structural equation modelling (SEM) to assess the associations between growth orientation and mathematics outcomes (engagement and achievement), while controlling for the influence of students’ demographic characteristics and prior variance in substantive variables using auto-regression. CFA results confirmed the hypothesized measurement model and all bivariate correlations among substantive constructs were in the hypothesized direction. The SEM also provided a good fit to the data. SEM results showed that, beyond the effects of covariates and prior variance (auto-regression), growth orientation significantly predicted mathematics engagement (p<.001 and="" mathematics="" achievement="" given="" the="" model="" controlled="" for="" prior="" engagement="" this="" suggests="" that="" gains="" in="" growth="" orientation="" were="" associated="" with="" outcomes="" over="" one="" year.="" these="" results="" further="" support="" evidence="" of="" an="" underlying="" drives="" multiple constructs.="" moreover="" findings="" demonstrate="" students="" is="" a="" valuable="" longitudinal="" predictor="" outcomes.="" current="" study="" has="" both="" theoretical="" practical="" implications.="" example="" whereas="" research="" tended="" to="" focus="" on="" unique="" components="" individual="" construct="" importance="" understanding="" modelling="" interrelations="" among="" constructs="" educational="" research.="" addition="" suggest="" interventions="" target="" rather="" than="" may="" also="" significant="">