The development of an academic self-perception instrument for elementary pupils in intermediate grades
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument for assessing the factors which comprised the academic self-perceptions of a student. The instrument was developed and tested under several conditions. The three steps involved 1) the development of the instrument; 2) a pilot study in which the scores were factor analyzed, to extract items with sufficient loadings for validating; and 3) a validation study of the revised instrument. The instrument was designed as a one hundred item paper and pencil, self-report measurement in which a respondent indicated his response to a question by marking a point on a four-point scale.The reliability determined for the Academic Self-Perception Instrument (ASPI) was computed at the developmental stage. The instrument showed a reliability coefficient of .79 with significance at the .05 level. It was found in this early stage of testing that the ASPI was as valid and as reliable a measure of self-concept of ability as any other instrument. The work to improve the instrument and its reliability could not completely overcome the problems of validity which stemmed from the lack of a universal definition of self-concept as a learner. Although the Academic Self-Perception Instrument suffered from the drawbacks common to all self-concept instruments, the ASPI seemed to be useful when used within its own working definition.To ascertain content validity, the content of the situations was drawn from the literature and some of the subject areas common to both the Metropolitan and Iowa Achievement Tests. The concurrent validity testing yielded a correlation of .78 when correlated with the Brookover Self-Concept of Ability Test and -.17 when correlated with the Maryland Concept as a Learner Scale. It was concluded that the Academic Self-Perception Instrument was as reliable and as valid as the two instruments tested, when used within its own working definition.The four-point scale was designed to record the responses of the student, relative to how he perceived his academic ability and behaviors. The following points were designated on the scale: (0) Never, meaning at no time; (1) Sometimes, meaning now and then; (2) Often, meaning much of the time; and (3) Always, meaning all the time.Two groups of students were selected for the testing. The Pilot group consisted of 262 fifth and sixth graders. The Pilot instrument consisted of twenty-five times per situation and yielded eight subscores and a total score. There were four subtests (the four situations). They were as follows: 1) the child's perceptions of himself and his ability to learn; 2) the child's perceptions of what he believes his parents think of his ability to learn; 3) the child's perceptions of what he believes his peers think of his ability to learn; and 4) the child's perceptions of what he believes his teachers think of his ability to learn.The data were factor analyzed. The items were rotated by the Oblique Bi-quartimin Criterion and fifteen items were extracted. The analyses revealed that there was one basic construct with two intercorrelated factors with an intercorrelation of .447. The basic construct was named Academic Self-Perception and the two factors were designated as 1) those general feelings and behaviors the student had of himself as a learner; and 2) the specific areas of perceptions the student had of himself as a learner.The analyses showed that the two factors remained stable under the four situations and the intercorrelations among the obtained factors were substantial. The items which comprised Factor I were composed of items which described one’s perceptions of his ability to learn in general, while the items which comprised Factor II seemed to hinge on one’s verbal ability.The Validation Testing was composed of 245 different fifth and sixth graders. The sixty item scale (15 items per situation) was administered and factor analyzed. Both the factors again remained stable across all four situations. The data revealed that the two situations which produced the most reliable factors in the child’s perceptions of his academic ability were the child’s perceptions of his teachers and peers.