Bai shan xiao wei xian : filial piety, academic self-concept, and the academic achievement of students in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Educational Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Research has long argued in favour of the influence of culture on students’ learning and achievement. New Zealand, with its recent influx of migrants and rich multicultural background, is no exception to the way in which culture can implicate how students see themselves as learners. For East Asian students, the Confucian virtue of filial piety (‘xiao’) can be a significant motivator in their academic success. Currently, there is a lack of research on the motivational qualities of filial piety in regard to the academic self-concept of students and their subsequent achievement. This study examines the relationship between filial piety, and students’ academic self-concept and academic achievement in a New Zealand intermediate school. A quantitative method of self-reporting survey was used to assess filial piety and academic self-concept from a cohort of 43 students, and was collated in conjunction with their academic achievements in Literacy (English) and Numeracy (mathematics). Regression analysis is used to examine the relationships across the variables. Results indicate that filial piety does not have a significant impact on students’ academic self-concept and their subsequent academic achievement. However, there is a consistent, positive, and significant correlation between participants’ academic self-concept across both achievement areas. These findings suggest that students’ academic self-concept can play a key role in their levels of academic achievement, and that school and home effort should focus more on encouraging the positive self-perceptions of students of all cultures within New Zealand. While filial piety does not have a statistically significant impact on students’ academic selfconcept and academic achievement in this study, future research is recommended with a larger sample in order to derive results that have greater representation of the New Zealand population.
Filial piety, Middle school students, Academic achievement, Psychological aspects, Motivation in education, Educational psychology, New Zealand