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ERIC Number: EJ768970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1598-1037
Tongan Students' Attitudes towards Their Subjects in New Zealand Relative to Their Academic Achievement
Otunuku, Mo'ale; Brown, Gavin T. L.
Asia Pacific Education Review, v8 n1 p117-128 Apr 2007
Research indicates that affective attitudes such as liking of a subject and confidence in one's ability within a subject predict academic performance. Generally, immigrant minority students have positive attitudes and often have low academic performance. This study examines the self-efficacy and liking of subjects of New Zealand students and analyses the relationship of those attitudes towards academic performance in mathematics, writing, and reading by self-reported ethnicity. Data were obtained from the norming samples from the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning project in New Zealand. Of special interest are the relationships between attitude and performance for Pasifika and Tongan students in New Zealand. Tongan and Pasifika students had positive attitudes, but their mean scores were not significantly different to other ethnic groups except in writing for Tongan students. Tongan and Pasifika students did have lower academic performance than majority and Asian immigrant students in all three subjects. The correlation between liking and self-efficacy was fundamentally zero for Tongan and Pasifika students, while it was weakly positive for majority and Asian immigrant students. Together these results question the power of self-efficacy and liking attitudes to predict academic performance for immigrant students from agrarian or traditional societies. Further, the data suggest that "school effects" are most likely explanations for this relationship, rather than lack of attachment, opposition, or deficiency theories. (Contains 5 tables and 1 note.)
Education Research Institute, Seoul National University. Department of Education, 599 Kwanak-Ro, Kwanak-Gu, Seoul 151-748, South Korea. Tel: +82-2-880-5896; Fax: +82-2-889-6508; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand; Tonga