Perception of Teacher Emotional Support and Parental Education Level: The Impacts on Students’ Math Performance
thesisposted on 14.10.2010, 10:30 by Kwong Yeung
There is a paucity of research juxtaposing parental education level and teacher emotional support in a single study which examines their relative impacts on students’ academic achievements. Therefore, the first objective of this dissertation is to study the influence of parental education level, in comparison to the influence of teacher emotional support, on students’ math performance, by using more representative data and a rigorous statistical method. The second objective is to identify and examine how some important psychological traits (both affective and cognitive) mediate the effects of social factors on students’ math performance. The third objective is to examine whether those relationships are moderated by gender. Hong Kong’s survey data is extracted from the Program of International Students Assessment (2003) as organized by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on the math performances of 4,478 students at the age of fifteen. Measurement invariance was first tested, and then followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Two structural models were tested by Structural Equation Modeling using Linear Structural Relations (LISREL) 8.5 which is computer software for SEM. Results indicated that first, parental education level affects children’s math scores by providing home education resources and enhancing children’s math self-efficacy, and second the Self Determination Theory is applicable in supporting the hypothesis that teachers affects their students’ math scores by providing a cooperative learning environment, which in turn, enhances students’ affective and cognitive factors. Three important mediators, namely cooperative learning environment, math self-efficacy, and home education resources are concluded as significant mediating factors upon the effects of parents and teachers on students’ math performance. The perceived support from parents and teachers are not significantly different across gender in Hong Kong. This is consistent with recent studies that differences favoring males in mathematics achievement are disappearing. Theoretical contributions and practical implications are discussed in the final part of the dissertation.