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versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


CERVINI, Rubén Alberto  y  GOSENDE, Eduardo. Non cognitive characteristics, habitus, and progress learning in Mathematic of the Basic General Education (EGB) in Buenos Aires (República Argentina). Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.2, pp. 143-179. ISSN 1668-7027.

The project examines the relationship between achievement, motivation and academic self-concept connected to Mathematic, related to the effect of academic and socioeconomic characteristics of both student and school. The study analyzes the results of two standardized Mathematic tests applied to students in General Basic Education of the Province of Buenos Aires (República Argentina) at two different stages (7th and 9th years), adopting the added value approach to learning progress. The structure of the data and the purpose of measuring the contextual effect of each school or group of students require adopting a multi-level strategy for statistical analysis. From a theoretical point of view, this study is an empirical proof of the hypothesis on habitus-determination (Bourdieu, 1977, 1988, 1989) in relation to both achievement and learning progress in Mathematic. The main components of the student's habitus, which are analyzed here, are self-concept and academic motivation. One relevant result of this study is that students' academic self-concept is significantly and positively associated to differences in learning achievement among students and schools. The higher the self-concept, the higher the achievement in Mathematic. Inter-school variations reflect the grade of institutional segmentation or school habitus. As to attitudes towards Mathematics at the initial stage (7th year) it was possible to explain 65.4% and 24.3% of the variation intra-school and inter-school, respectively, in the final academic achievement or learning progress at the final stage (9th year). Although the effect of self-concept overlaps with that of socioeconomic level and gender, its incidence is important. The stronger that attitude is, the stronger the progress of the student's later learning. The rate of students' progress increases with a more favourable social origin or male gender. The contextual analysis also allowed contrasting some hypothesis of this field of study. The initial achievement average (7th year) of students impacts positively on their subsequent progress average: the higher their initial level of achievement, the faster their later progress. This inference, however, did not obtain when the socioeconomic context of the school was included in the analysis. These results confirm the central hypotheses of reproduction theory. Although statistically significant, the characteristic effect of individual self-concept upon academic achievement and learning progress is very weak when students' social origin is taken into account. The school doesn't seem to promote the increase of individual deviations from a certain state of probabilities that are objectively granted by society to the student. The school aggregation of individual habitus merely overlaps and accompanies the explanation provided by the socioeconomic composition of the school. Differences in internal institutional processes of schools influenced by various dimensions, such as curricular goals, an organizational style of management, the culture and capabilities of educators and administrators, if they exist, cannot account for the differences and inequalities in the learning progress of students. Results illustrate the rationality of the educational system in secondary basic education. At the same time, they suggest paths whereby transformations could take place. Aspects of the cultivated habitus, affective or non-cognitive dimensions as academic self-concept, are relevant to understand the level of achievement and learning progress. The challenge for the system of education is to promote them beyond social, cultural and economic factors.

Palabras clave : Mathematic; Motivation; Academic self-concept; Learning progress; Added value; Multilevel analysis; Habitus.

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