Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of students’ ability and importance value in math and reading: A latent difference score analysis of intra-individual cross-domain differences


Informed by Eccles and colleagues’ expectancy-value theory and Möller and Marsh’s dimensional comparison theory, we examined cross-domain intra-individual differences in elementary teachers’ (N = 57) and their students’ (N = 469) ratings of students’ ability and subjective importance of math and reading. Latent difference score analyses revealed that students perceived greater intra-individual differences in their own math versus reading ability than did their teachers. Analogous results emerged for students’ and teachers’ ratings of students’ valuing (i.e., perceived importance) of math versus reading, suggesting differing dimensional comparison processes for students’ self-judgments vs. their teachers’ judgments. Cross-domain differences in teachers’ and students’ perceptions were positively associated for ratings of students’ ability but not for ratings of students’ perceived importance. Moreover, intra-individual differences varied substantially across students, in both students’ and teachers’ ratings. Students’ gender and prior achievement in math and reading contributed to this variation.

Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 25(2)