Self-Concept

Keeping with the survey trend, we now will look at students’ self-concept in 12th grade. The researchers defined this as how one perceives oneself. Four variables were taken into account and used in the questionnaire sent to the students:

  1. I feel good about myself
  2. I feel I am a person of worth, the equal of other people
  3. I am able to do things as well as most other people
  4. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself

The scale ranges from 0 to 43, with higher scores indicating high self-concept.

AxmanNELS2

We can see that on the lower end of the scale up to 15, there are female-only scores (with the exception of a score of 0).  This tells us that female students were more willing to give themselves low self-concept scores than male students. In the middle range of scores, females and males scored themselves more closely to equal. On the very high side of the scale, males were more likely to score themselves.

Math Achievement

The National Center for Education Statistics, a U.S. Department of Education program, surveyed around 25,000 eighth graders in the spring of 1988. The researchers were measuring achievement in different subject matters and personal factors.  Subsequent surveys were conducted when these students reached tenth and twelfth grade, with a final follow up conducted two years post-grad from high school.

The data gathered for this project comes from a sub-sample of 500 students and 50 variables. We will focus on math achievement scores on a standardized test in 8th grade and 12th grade crossed with gender. This will give us an idea of the relationship between math skills and how they develop from the end of middle school to the end of high school, as well as how males perform compared to females.

AxmanNELS

From the above scatterplot, we can see a positive correlation between math achievement in 8th grade and math achievement in 12th grade. Thus, students who performed well on the standardized test in 8th grade also did well in 12th grade. More interestingly though, is the consistency between male and female scores (with the exception of a few outliers). Female students were just as likely to get high scores on the test as their male peers.