How Mindsets, Academic Performance, and Gender Predict Finnish Students’ Educational Aspirations

Jenni Laurell, Khalil Gholami, Kirsi Tirri, Kai Hakkarainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined Finnish eighth graders’ (N = 1136) educational aspirations and how those can be predicted by mindsets, academic achievement, and gender. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate how two mindset constructs (intelligence and giftedness), domain-specific academic performance (mathematics and reading), and gender relate to students’ educational aspirations on three levels (academic, vocational, and unknown). The growth mindset about giftedness was found to predict unknown aspirations, whereas the growth mindset about intelligence did not predict educational aspirations. High performance in math predicted students’ academic aspirations, but performance in reading did not predict educational aspirations. Gender-related differences were found, as boys seem to have vocational aspirations, but the effect did not penetrate all schools. Lastly, students’ aspirations differed between schools: from some schools, students are more likely to apply to university, while from other schools, students are more likely to apply to vocational education. Overall, the study demonstrated that a growth mindset does not directly predict academic aspirations, and the relationship between implicit beliefs and educational outcomes might be more complex than suggested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • mindset
  • incremental theories of intelligence and giftedness
  • adolescents
  • educational aspirations
  • academic achievement
  • Finnish education

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