IDeA – project SelF (Self-regulation and Feedback)
Large-scale assessments of student achievement have repeatedly shown disparities in the achievement of students with and without migration backgrounds, as well as respective gender differences which are particularly evident in basic mathematical competencies. The project “Self-regulation and Feedback“ (SelF) deals with possible reasons for these frequently reported differences.
There are increasing indications that negative self-assessment in the sense of threat because of a certain stereotype might induce poorer performance. This phenomenon is known as “Stereotype Threat“ in psychological research. This effect implies that individual achievement will deteriorate if a relevant stereotype or a stigmatized identity is made salient in an achievement-related context. With respect to the gender differences in arithmetic performance in particular, experiments have demonstrated that girls performed poorer when prior to solving a maths task, they were reminded of the prejudice that “girls are usually poorer at this task than boys“, as compared to girls who are told that “girls are as good as boys in solving this maths task“.
In order to prevent the stereotype threat from becoming effective, the current study of the SelF-project implements certain strategies that mobilize and use self regulation skills. On the one hand, these strategies relate to IF-THEN-plans, while on the other hand, external feedback is applied. The IF-THEN-plans, alternatively known as “implementation intentions”, are a highly economic means of achieving a goal by formulating an intention such as: “If situation X occurs, I will conduct the respective act X “. This may considerably facilitate the practice of a goal-oriented behavior. In addition, external feedback can have a decisive influence on the assessment of one’s own learning achievement, especially in the self-reflection phase following work on a given task.
Findings from current research in the SelF project are aimed at providing ideas for the adaptive design of learning environments at different levels.
At the level of the learning context, the macro-level, the findings on the influence of stereotypes on achievement and motivation will create an awareness of the social factors that are effective in the context of school learning.
At the level of concrete learning processes, i.e. the micro-level, the intervention approaches examined in the study – when taking possible interaction effects with the learning context into account – can be integrated into cross-curricular instruction as adaptively implementable supportive measures.
Further information on the IDeA – project SelF