Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

Self-Concept and Academic Achievement of Students at the Higher Secondary Level

Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

Self-Concept and Academic Achievement of Students at the Higher Secondary Level

Article excerpt

Abstract

Self-concept is the cognitive aspect of self and generally refers to the totality of a complex, organized and dynamic system of learned beliefs, attitudes and opinions that each person holds to be true about his or her personal existence. Self-concept and achievement are dynamically interactive and reciprocal. It is found that certain psychological factors like self-concept plays a major role in determining the academic achievement of students. Hence the need for this study. A sample of 321 students in different categories of schools following different systems of education at the higher secondary level was chosen. The findings of the study conducted revealed that students belonging to central board schools were better in their self-concept and academic achievement when compared to students from other boards. There is also a significant and positive relationship between self-concept and academic achievement of students at the higher secondary level.

Keywords: Self-concept, Academic Achievement, Psychological factors

1 INTRODUCTION

By self, we generally mean the conscious reflection of one's own being or identity, as an object separate from others or from the environment. There are a variety of ways to think about the self. Two of the most widely used terms are self-concept and self-esteem. Self-concept is the cognitive or thinking aspect of self (related to one's self-image) and generally refers to the totality of a complex, organized, and dynamic system of learned beliefs, attitudes and opinions that each person holds to be true about his or her personal existence (Purkey, 1988). According to Franken (1994), there is a great deal of research which shows that self-concept is, perhaps, the basis for all motivated behaviour. It is the self-concept that gives rise to possible selves, and it is possible selves that create the motivation for behaviour. This supports the idea that one's paradigm or world view and one's relationship to that view provide the boundaries and circumstances within which we develop our vision about possibilities. This is one of the major issues facing children and youth today (Huitt, 2004).

Self-concept and achievement are dynamically interactive and reciprocal, each is mutually reinforcing to the extent that a positive (or negative) change in one facilitates a commensurate change in the other and academic self-concept is more highly correlated with academic achievement than in general self-concept. Students with high self-concept tend to approach school related tasks with confidence and success of those tasks reinforces this confidence. The opposite pattern is likely to occur for children with low academic self-concepts.

1.1 Self-concept

The concept of self has three major components-the perceptual, the conceptual and the attitudinal. The perceptual component is the image the person has of the appearance of his body and the impression he makes on others. The perceptual component is often called the 'physical concept'. The conceptual component is the person's conception of his distinctive characteristics, abilities, background and origin and future. It is often called the 'psychological self-concept' and is composed of such life adjustment qualities, such as, honesty, self-confidence, independence, courage and their opposites. Included in the attitudinal component are the feelings a person has about himself, his attitude, his present status and future prospectus, his feelings about his worthiness and his attitudes of self-esteem, self-reproach, pride and shame.

James (1980) was the first to suggest that a person has many selves. The real self for example, is what a person really believes he is, ideal self the person he aspires to be and social self is what he believes, what others think of him and how they perceive him. The four categories of self-concept are the basic, the transitory, the social and the ideal.

1.2 Academic Achievement

Academic achievement is the amount of knowledge derived from learning. …

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