Don’t Aim Too High for Your Kids: Parental Overaspiration Undermines Students’ Learning in Mathematics
This article set out to answer the following question: How does parental overaspiration effect the academic performance/achievement of students over time? The study sets out to further allay the problems of previous studies claiming that parental aspiration increases the academic performance of students. These issues include asking if high performing children lead to high parental aspiration or if high parental aspiration leads to high performing children. This study also seeks to define properly parental aspiration, overaspiration, and properly test academic achievement.
To address this question, the study defines parental aspiration, parental expectation, and parental overaspiration as the desires or goals that the parents have for the student’s future, the realistic beliefs that the parents have for the child’s future, and the extent by which parental aspiration surpasses parental expectation, respectively. A standardized mathematics test was the determinant of academic performance. After defining the terms, the study then applied specific methods to control for variables. Researchers identified a group that was indicative of the population of Bavaria. From low-track, mid-track, and high-track schools, students of Grade 5 were selected for the trail, which was to last until Grade 10. This being said, the study was longitudinal and intergenerational. Multiwave data was used. Reciprocal effects were checked, and an additional robustness check was performed for further scientific scrutiny. To begin the study, the effect of parental aspiration was confirmed with previous studies. Next, the study looked at parental overaspiration using the same definitions, controls, and techniques. Data was able to be replicated.
It was found, when looking at parents aspiration and its effect on student performance over time that there was a positive correlation between the two. It was found too that parental aspiration decreased over time and child performance increased. Accounting for reciprocal effect, there was found to be a coupling between the two such that a decrease in parental aspiration by one unit led to students increasing their math score by . 811. Thus, parental aspiration does generally lead to an increase in academic performance. However, effects of overaspiration seem to leak into these results.
Also found was a negative reciprocal association between parental overaspiration and a child’s achievement, such that the more successful a student is, the more their parents will increase their aspirations. This links overaspiration to achievement and may create counfounding results due to its cyclic nature.
The results to test for parental overaspiration’s effects on students’ academic performances found that overaspiration negatively correlated to math scores and intelligence. It was found that parental overaspiration decreased over time to meet, or come closer to, their parental expectations. It was also found that parents with children in high-track schools tended to have higher aspirations and overaspirations alike.
Therefore, there are both positive and negative effects on a student’s academic performance that are created by the parents aspirations, whether realistic or unrealistic. It is noted that the next step would be to observe the exact effects of parental overaspiration on a broader scale, now knowing it is detrimental to performance in mathematics. Possible low self-esteem, test anxiety, or negative emotions could be produced in children that would lead to a low test performance.
We Look Like Our Names: The Manifestation of Name Stereotypes in Facial Appearance
The main question of this study was to determine if perception of faces can affect social perceptions, can social perceptions affect faces? The study hypothesizes that the associations between faces and social perceptions should be similar to a two-way street, give and take, situation. Thus, can a social tag, a name, affect our facial identity?
The study addresses this question by performing 8 studies seeking to find in order: whether face-name matching effect exists, can the data be replicated, is the data not due to other confounds, can computers match faces like humans can, can people of other cultures identify people of culturally different faces and names, what characteristics lead to face-name associations, what facial regions lead to the association, and what is the role of name usage in face-name matching.
The studies testing the name-face matching effect chose pictures of various people with common names and had volunteers match the face to a multiple choice selection of names. It was found that 28% of the time, volunteers had selected the right face-name combination. This was compared to the 20% chance. They found that this was replicated in another cultural setting, indicating that this phenomenon is universal. They concluded that because correct selection occurred above chance and was statistically significant, they could argue the name-face matching effect is valid.
The studies testing for possible confounds specifically tested placement of the names. They used a black square to cover the face and had participants select only a name. This test group selected names in accordance with chance (20%). The experiment group, given the same conditions as the test of the name-face matching effect chose the correct face to name 24% of the time, slightly above chance.
The next study set addressed what processes led to the matching effect. A cross-cultural study was performed, giving participants of one culture names and faces from another culture. This was compared to how well participants of that culture matched names and faces from their own culture. Same names and faces were used for both tests. It was found that the participants of the same culture of the names and pictures identified the pairs at a greater rate than the participants from the other culture. This indicated that there is a social and cultural component to face-name matching.
Hairstyle was tested as a potential factor that gave indication to a greater name-face match percentage. This was tested against inner facial features and the full face. It was found that all tests, hairstyle, inner face, and full face, were matched to the correct name greater than chance.
Software was used to determine potential hot spots of facial feature that may indicate connections of name to face. This would indicate that some facial qualities may change in response to social expectations. Hot spots did arise.
Finally, the role of name usage was tested. Photos of people that went by nicknames were tested against photos of people that went by their given names. Face-name match occurred lower than the rate of chance in the test group that was given photos of people that went by nicknames. Face-name match occurred at a rate higher than chance in the test group that was given photos of people that went by their given name.
This put together, we share features with people who share our names. In addition features widely controllable by people, like their hair, indicate enough about a person to be able to identify their name. In addition, for people to accurately match face, they must be aware of face-name expectations and the person’s face must match this face-name expectation. It is possible that people who were given nicknames were given so because their names did not represent them well enough.
Creating Birds of Similar Feathers: Leveraging Similarity to Improve Teach-Student Relationships and Academic Achievement
The main questions this study sought to answer was if their experimental technique to improve similarities worked, then what would be the consequence and effect on teacher-student relationships (TSRs). This study sought to re-answer this question to mitigate the negatives of prior studies using correlation to analyze real similarities and other studies creating ficticious similarities. They hypothesized increasing similarities would improve TSRs by increasing perceptions of the students of similarity with the teacher and by increasing the perception of the teacher of similarity with the students. This improved TSR was hypothesized to promote success over control groups.
The experimental technique employed actively improving perception of existing similarities as a means to improve TSRs. The experiment was conducted at a large high school in the U. S. with participants of various races and a generally even gender split. Teacher participants were mostly white and were of an equal gender split. Data was measured via point scale surveys. Students were asked about the similarities they thought they shared with their teacher and how much they enjoyed learning from their teacher. Midquarter and finals grades were observed. Teachers were asked about their perceived similarities to students. Teachers and students initially filled out “ get-to-know-you” surveys. The control group viewed a list of 5 similarities they shared with students in another school and the test group viewed a list of 5 similarities they shared with the teacher. Statistics were used to measure the outcome and control for variables.
It was found that each test group made teachers and students perceive each other to be more similar. Students and teachers did perceive improved TSRs after the experimental amplification of similarities. This did not have any effect on grades, and the report attempts to explain this is due to the brevity of the experimental procedure and timing of graded work assignments. The report, however, cedes to evidence indicating that TSRs were not compellingly improved after experimental treatment.
Once final quarter grades were reported, test subjects did experience a fifth of a letter grade boost from the control groups, indicating that there may have been a benefit to improving similarity perception between students and teachers.
To determine if subgroups were more affected by the intervention than other subgroups, races were analyzed. It was shown that no subgroup was particularly advantaged or disadvantaged by the intervention, but underserved students did perceive a greater similarity to their teachers than their peers who were in the control group. In addition, underserved students’ final grades were higher than their control counterparts and were more likely to receive more positive comments from their educators. It was proposed that this could be the basis of future experiments.
The study further acknowledges the limitations of the study on a relatively small scale. It continues to note that mediation, the underlying method used, can be a tool in the future to foster positive TSRs. It also notes that when the teacher perceives the students as more similar, underserved student grades improve, potentially having a wide range of future research and future applications.