Investigating the Variables Affecting Students' Perceptions of 21st Century Skills and Problem-solving Skills
Eren Janssen, Buket
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The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of programme (IB vs non-IB) on students’ perceptions of 21st century skills (PoTCS) and problem-solving skills (PSS) in relation with English comprehension, age, achievement, and gender. It was designed as a correlational study. Research questions were evaluated based on a theoretical model. Target group of the study was lower secondary school students who follow an IB programme and another programme in Netherlands. Measurement instruments (PoTCS scale, PSS test and Demographic information questionnaire) were developed by the researcher. PoTCS scale was formed with hypothetical short scenarios as a situational judgement test items with 21 items under four factors. There were 379 students attended to the pilot study of PoTCS scale and 304 different students attended to the main study to conduct CFA and SEM. Model showed a good fit after few modifications without disturbing the initial theory, chi-squared (29, N=287) = 34.755, p=.213, CFI=.988, RMSEA=.026. According to the findings, programme had a significant direct effect on two dimensions of PoTCS and English comprehension in favor of IB students, and significant effect on PSS in favor of non-IB students. English comprehension appeared as a significant mediator between programme and PoTCS, whereas an insignificant mediator between programme and PSS. Achievement did not strengthen the effect of PoTCS on PSS. Effects of variables affecting PoTCS or PSS did not differ by gender and only using information and technology effectively had a significant difference in terms of the duration in IB in favor of longer enrollment.