Secondary school students’ chemistry self-concepts: gender and culture, and the impact of chemistry self-concept on learning behaviour
While science self-concepts of secondary school students have received considerable attention, several important aspects of chemistry self-concepts have not yet been understood: gender relations, the impact of students' cultural backgrounds, and the impact of chemistry self-concept on learning processes. In the present study, (i) we could confirm our hypothesis that chemistry self-concept is strongly related to learning goal orientations. This part of the study built upon knowledge from educational psychology. Our results open the field for practical interventions designed to influence chemistry self-concepts. (ii) We investigated the gender relations in chemistry self-concept with a special focus on students’ cultural backgrounds. The results show that chemistry self-concept differs from science self-concept: the gender gap traditionally described in the literature could not be found. Instead, the study suggests that an interaction of gender and cultural background might influence chemistry self-concepts. (iii) We were interested in the influence of the context of chemistry classroom and language on self-concept. In line with the literature, we found that a good relationship with the chemistry teacher seems to have a positive impact on chemistry self-concept. Also, the perception of chemistry language and chemistry self-concepts were strongly correlated. Suggestions are made for practical interventions based on these findings.