COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Collective school-type identity: predicting students' motivation beyond academic self-concept

Michel Knigge, Bettina Hannover
International Journal of Psychology: Journal International de Psychologie 2011 June 1, 46 (3): 191-205
22044232
In Germany, according to their prior achievement students are tracked into different types of secondary school that provide profoundly different options for their future educational careers. In this paper we suggest that as a result, school tracks clearly differ in their social status or reputation. This should translate into different collective school-type identities for their students, irrespective of the students' personal academic self-concepts. We examine the extent to which collective school-type identity systematically varies as a function of the school track students are enrolled in, and the extent to which students' collective school-type identity makes a unique contribution beyond academic self-concept and school track in predicting scholastic motivation. In two cross-sectional studies a measure of collective school-type identity is established and applied to explain motivational differences between two school tracks in Berlin. In Study 1 (N = 39 students) the content of the collective school-type identity is explored by means of an open format questionnaire. Based on these findings a structured instrument (semantic differential) to measure collective school-type identity is developed. In Study 2 (N = 1278 students) the assumed structure with four subscales (Stereotype Achievement, Stereotype Motivation, Stereotype Social, and Compensation) is proved with confirmatory factor analysis. This measure is used to compare the collective school-type identity across school tracks and predict motivational outcomes. Results show large differences in collective school-type identity between students of different school tracks. Furthermore, these differences can explain motivational differences between school tracks. Collective school-type identity has incremental predictive power for scholastic motivation, over and above the effects of academic self-concept and school track.

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