The Choice of Track Matters: Academic Self-Concept and Sense of Purpose in Vocational and Academic Tracks

Heidur Hrund Jónsdóttir*, Kristjana Stella Blöndal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Students’ school success and general well-being can improve when they believe in their academic abilities and are aware of the purpose of their studies. This paper explores the development of Icelandic students’ academic self-concept and sense of purpose in their learning. The focus is directed at the period from the end of compulsory school through the upper secondary level, with an emphasis on students’ track and school-type. Using survey and registered data spanning four years, models of mixed ANCOVA indicate that change in both constructs was the result of the interaction between time and school-type and track. Academic self-concept and sense of purpose decreased among academic students in all-academic schools but increased among vocational students. This suggests that students comparing themselves to their fellow students has a stronger effect on how their attitudes toward themselves and their education develop than the different status of tracks and school-types.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Other keywords

  • Academic self-concept
  • big-fish-little-pond
  • differentiation-polarization
  • sense of purpose
  • tracking

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