Personal epistemology refers to individuals’ beliefs about the nature of knowledge or knowing. Each particular belief is called an “epistemic belief”. The aim of the present study was to examine the hypothesis proposed by Nomura & Maruno (2011, in Japanese) that students’ personal epistemology determines their view of their classes and that students’ behavior in class is one of the effects of students’ personal epistemology of the teaching and learning processes. First, a scale of epistemic beliefs, based on a survey of 745 undergraduate students (Study 1), was constructed and validated. Second, a class was conducted for undergraduate students (79 male, 80 female), using inquiring and answering. It was found that the students who had a higher estimate of the nature of knowledge-to-use (the extent of taking conditions into account and wide applicability) viewed the class as collaborative and reported that inquiring and answering in the class was effective. Moreover, their self-reports accommodated differences between others’ opinions and their own in the discussion phase. The results are discussed from the viewpoint of epistemic beliefs regarding a class as a collaborative activity.
The present study reports a cross-temporal meta-analysis exploring age and survey-year differences in the average scores obtained on Rosenberg’s (1965) Self-Esteem Scale in Japan. An examination of refereed journals published in Japan from 1980 to 2013 resulted in the selection of 256 studies involving 48,927 participants. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant effects of both age level and survey year on the average self-esteem scores. The self-esteem scores of junior high and high school students were lower than those of the other age groups, whereas the adults had higher self-esteem scores than did the other age groups. Survey year had a significant negative effect on the average self-esteem scores. The effects of survey year differed by age level. The average self-esteem scores of the junior high and high school students and the adults decreased linearly with survey year, whereas a curvilinear decrease with survey year was found in the college students’ scores. Several translations of Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale are available in Japan. The results of the present study indicated that the number of choices in the scale had an effect on the average self-esteem scores among the junior high, high school, and college students, and also the adults.
The purposes of the present study were to classify 3 patterns of procrastination and to examine the academic performance of 3 groups of students who had frequently engaged in each of those patterns. Variables that have been shown to influence academic performance, including assumed competence and achievement goals, were also investigated. Undergraduates (N=292; males, 62%; average age, 20.6 years) from 2 universities completed a questionnaire. The results were as follows: (a) The pattern of procrastination in which negative emotions consistently arise was not shown to be harmful to the students’ academic performance, but it appeared that procrastination patterns that consistently included negative emotions worsened the students’ academic performance in an attempt to avoid failure. (b) Optimistic patterns of procrastination worsened academic performance. Those who engaged in this pattern of procrastination had poor academic performance and hence low competence, and they recovered their assumed competence by demeaning others. (c) The pattern of procrastination that included planning and positive feelings was associated with favorable academic performance. This suggests that planned procrastination might facilitate academic performance because this pattern could function as a distraction when clarifying goals for tasks.
In the present study, answers on questionnaires completed by 397 junior high school students (207 boys, 190 girls) were examined, in order to study the relation between the students’ inferences about a reprimander’s motive and their attitudes toward help seeking. Differences in that relationship were also examined with respect to the students’ reported level of narcissism. The results suggested that the reprimander’s inferred prosocial motive positively influenced the students’ cognition of optimum helping. In contrast, an inferred self-centered motive negatively influenced the students’ cognition of optimum helping, whereas it had a positive influence on the students’ cognition of stigma. Moreover, the results from the students who scored high on narcissism showed weaker effects of the inferred prosocial motive and a stronger effect of the inferred self-centered motive.
The purpose of the present study was to examine elementary school teachers’ experiences in their first year of teaching in Japan. Participants were 9 new teachers (FYTs; 6 women and 3 men): 2 first-grade teachers, 4 third-grade teachers, 2 fourth-grade teachers, and 1 sixth-grade teacher. The teachers cooperated with semi-structured and successive interviews 4 times during the year. Data from the interviews were analyzed using the Modified Ground Theory Approach. In the first interview, the teachers were unsure and explained that they knew that children have various aspects. Through their experiences in this first year, they came to terms with their own teaching style. During the year, they experienced conflicts about their perception of teaching; also, what was necessary for teaching became apparent to them. When the teachers had many difficulties with their classes and little support from colleagues, they felt burdened with the extent of their responsibilities as classroom teachers. At first, the shock and stress of this new environment often disturbed the teachers’ developmental processes, but this problem lessened over time. The teachers’ relationships with their colleagues and the children’s parents improved or worsened their experience, depending on the circumstances. These results suggest that it is important for new elementary school teachers to develop independence.
The present study examined effects of a reciprocal teaching (RT) intervention on small group learning processes in elementary mathematics classes, and interactive effects of reciprocal teaching and children’s social motivation (prosocial goals; Nakaya, 2007, in Japanese). The participants, 101 fifth grade children in a public elementary school, were divided into small groups. The design was a 2 (group: reciprocal teaching vs. control) X 2 (prosocial goal: high vs. low) design; the dependent variables were academic achievement and positive cognition of group learning (involvement/understanding and deep thinking). The results indicated that the reciprocal teaching intervention group showed significant improvement in academic performance compared to the control groups. Among the children with low prosocial goals, positive cognition of group learning (involvement/understanding) increased following the reciprocal teaching intervention. Moreover, a qualitative analysis revealed that the percentage of deep learning discourse was higher in the reciprocal teaching groups than in the control groups. These results suggest that the effects of the reciprocal teaching intervention on learning processes were mediated by the degree of the children’s prosocial goals.