Showing posts with label models. Show all posts
Showing posts with label models. Show all posts

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beyond IQ: Update on forthcoming MACM model (Jan 2 instead?)

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research
[Double click on image to enlarge]

Last week I announced the forthcoming "Beyond IQ: A Model of Academic Competence and Motivation (MACM) project post. To give a "hint" at the content and scope of this post regarding the MACM proposal, I'd like to draw readers attention to an excellent recent article by Byrnes and Miller (2007) in the journal Contemporary Educational Psychology.

My forthcoming MACM model post is concerned with addressing contemporary calls for a more comprehensive school learning aptitude model/framework. The "opportunity-propensity" model of school achievement of Byrnes and Miller is an excellent example of a similar (and more ambitious) attempt to provide a large heuristic framework (represented in the visual model above) from which to understand school learning. According to Byrnes and Miller, their model is grounded, in part, on the following:

  • "As any comprehensive handbook of educational research illustrates (e.g., Alexander & Winne, 2006), the field of educational psychology is subdivided into distinct research areas such as motivation, instruction, reading achievement, math achievement, and so on. Scholars who specialize in one of these areas tend not to specialize in others. In addition, researchers within each of these areas often focus on specific components of some predictor of achievement (e.g., motivational goals) to the exclusion of other components of that same predictor (e.g., motivational attributions), and also rarely include constructs from other research areas in their studies (e.g., domain-specific skills and aptitudes). Because the problem of student achievement is so complex, it makes sense that various subgroups of researchers would try to make this problem initially more tractable by examining individual or small sets of factors in their studies of achievement. Indeed, much has been learned about these aspects of achievement in the process. However, the continued tendency to focus on a limited number of predictors within each study of achievement has led to two related problems. One is that scientists and policy makers do not have a sense of how all of the various pieces of the achievement puzzle fit together. A second problem is that the relative importance of various predictors is still largely unknown because researchers have not typically included adequate controls in their studies." (p. 599- 600).
I couldn't agree more. The Byrnes and Miller model is an attempt, in the spirit of the "educational productivity" modeling work of Wahlberg and colleagues, to articulate a complete model of school learning.

My forthcoming MACM proposal is less ambitious and deals primarily with the non-cognitive ability portions of these larger models. In the Byrnes and Miller model, and in accordance with the spirit of the late Richard Snow, they refer to these learner characteristics as "propensities". As they stated in their article:

  • Propensity factors, in contrast, are any factors that relate to the ability or willingness to learn content once it has been exposed or presented in particular contexts. Thus, cognitive factors such as intelligence, aptitude, cognitive level, and pre-existing skills would qualify, as would motivational factors such as interest, self-efficacy, values, and competence perceptions (Byrnes, 2003; Corno et al., 2002; Eccles, Wigfield, & Schiefele, 1998; Jones & Byrnes, 2006; Sternberg, Grigorenko, & Bundy, 2001). Self-regulation is a hybrid of cognitive (e.g., beliefs) and motivational (e.g., efficacy) orientations (Pintrich, 2000), so it would also qualify as a propensity factor. We further assume that when the opportunity and propensity conditions are fulfilled in an individual (i.e., they have been exposed to content in an effective manner and were willing and able to take advantage of this learning opportunity), higher achievement will follow directly. As a result, opportunity factors and propensity factors are considered to be proximal causes of achievement.
Stay tuned. I may "move up" the date of the launch of the Beyond IQ" A Model of Academic Competence and Motivation" to January 2nd.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Parenting, race, SES and cognitive development

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It is no secret that I'm a firm believer that researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers need to pay closer attention to large-scale, national, longitudinal studies that use multiple indicators and complex statistical model testing to understand important child development issues. One such study, which is now producing some high quality and interesting research articles (and which I previously blogged about re: impact of school retention policies) is the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.

Although not the easiest read, I found the conceptual model (see figure above) and literature review in the following article of interest. I love conceptual models that provide a means by which to organize data, research, etc. that pass through my mind.

  • Raver, C. C., Gershoff, E. T., & Aber, J. L. (2007). Testing equivalence of mediating models of income, parenting, and school readiness for white, black, and hispanic children in a national sample. Child Development, 78(1), 96115. (click here to view)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

CHC theories and models - clarification note

I'm often asked to explain how Cattell-Horn Gf-Gc and Carroll's Three-Stratum "theories" can be subsumed under a single theoretical umbrella....aka...CHC (Cattell-Horn-Caroll) Theory.

I've typically responded by indicating that CHC theory is the broad umbrella term for the most empirically supported psychometric structural theory of intelligence, and Cattell-Horn and Carroll simply have two different "flavors" of frameworks (models) for organizing and explaining the underlying structural elements. Stated more simply....CHC theory is the broad umbrella term that subsumes these two promient models.

I just ran across a quote that, I believe, supports my arm-chair distinction between the related concepts of a theory and a model. Below is a small section from the introduction of the following article. I think it supports the idea of a broad CHC theory under which there are two prominent specifications/organizations of the primary elements of the theory....aka, the Cattell-Horn and the Carroll models. I hope this helps.

Karr, C. A., & Larson, L. M. (2005). Use of theory-driven research in counseling: Investigating three counseling psychology journals from 1990 to 1999. Counseling Psychologist, 33(3), 299-326.

  • "The definition of theory used for this study was “a general principle formulated to explain a group of related phenomena” (Chaplin, 1985, p. 467). For the purposes of this study, a model was construed as “a description of the assumed structure of a set of observations” (Everitt &Wykes, 1999, p. 119). Although similar, the former utilizes a general tenet to explain related interactions, while the latter describes the expected observable interactions in more detail. By definition, theories and models are similar in function and scope. Forster (2000) stated that the best way to distinguish theories and models is to discuss each in conjunction with predictive hypotheses. In his conceptualization, the three are hierarchically arranged, with “theories at the most general level, models applied to concrete systems in the middle, and predictive hypotheses at the lowest level, which result from fitting models to data” (Forster, 2000, p. 233). He emphasized that “the essential point of this tripartite distinction is that predictive accuracy is a property of predictive hypotheses at the very bottom of the hierarchy, and is traded-off against the truth at the next level up—the level of models” (Forster, 2000, p. 233). In this way, both theories1 and models are tested by the utilization of tailored predictive hypotheses" (p. 300).