Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2014, 2, 22-26
Published Online May 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/jss
How to cite this paper: Tsai, C.-R. (2014) Predictors of Hands-On Learning: Students’ Problem Approach Attitude, Problem
Solving Confidence, and Problem Solving Style Relevant to Parental Monitoring. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 22-26.
Predictors of Hands-On Learning: Students’
Problem Approach Attitude, Problem
Solving Confidence, and Problem Solving
Style Relevant to Parental Monitoring
Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, 162, Heping East Road Section 1,
Received January 2014
Helicopter parents prevail in this current society, their monitoring practice was assumed to take
their children away from many hands-on engagements and affect children’s problem solving skills.
Accordingly, this study conducted a questionnaire survey to those vocational high school students
who had ever experienced project making, and there were 456 effective questionnaires collected
for confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The results showed that: 1)
parental monitoring was negatively correlated to problem solving confidence, problem solving
style, and problem approaching attitude. 2) Students’ problem solving confidence, problem solv-
ing style, and problem approach attitude were positively associated with hands-on learning atti-
tude. The results implied that parents ought to give children more opportunities to behave them-
selves, so children would have higher foci of hands-on practice which special needed in vocational
Parental Monitoring, Hands-On Learning Attitude, Problem Solving Confidence, Problem
Solving Style, Problem Approach Attitude
The level of parental monitoring is used to interpret the mentally interact between parents and their children [1 ].
There are plenty of studies on how the parents access the children’s information, the readiness of their interac-
tion, etc. In these days, present studies of parental monitoring are focusing on the influences of parental moni-
toring and schooling , self-control of children , and academic achievement . The former studies show
that parental monitoring effects on the teen’s problem solving skills . However, there is no study focuses on
the relationship of parental monitoring, hands-on learning attitude, problem approach attitude, problem solving
confidence, and problem solving style. Hands -on learning is regarded as an efficient way of learning science and
math, due to the implement of experiential education . The present empirical researches show that there are
significant correlations between hands-on learning attitude, problem approach attitude, problem solving confi-
dence, and problem solving style  .
This study conducted a questionnaire survey to those vocational high school students who had ever expe-
rienced project making, to understand the relationship between hands-on learning attitude, problem approach at-
titude, problem solving confidence, problem solving style, and parental monitoring.
2. Theoretical Background
2.1. Parental Monitoring, Problem Approach Attitude, Problem Solving Confidence, and
Problem Solving Style
The results of “An investigation of interpersonal problem solving approaches with respect to attachment styles”
support that the attachment styles was negative correlation with their problem solving skills . The result of
further studies supported that parents do effect their children’s problem solving skills  and academic self-
efficacy . The three hypotheses were proposed to guide this study as follows.
H1-1: Parental monitoring is positively correlated with problem approach attitude.
H1-2: Parental monitoring is positively correlated with problem solving confidence.
H1-3: Parental monitoring is positively correlated with problem solving style.
2.2. Problem Approach Attitude, Problem Solving Confidence, Problem Solving Style,
and Hands-On Learning Attitude
Problem solving skills include how the individual awareness, evaluates, plans, and makes a decision, and the
problem approach attitude, problem solving confidence, and problem solving style is correlated to learning atti-
tude . Thus, another three hypotheses guided this study were proposed as follows.
H2-1: Problem approach attitude is positively correlated with hands-on learning attitude.
H2-2: Problem solving confidence is positively correlated with hands-on learning attitude.
H2-3: Problem solving style is positively correlated with hands-on learning attitude.
3. Research Design
3.1. Research Model
The main purpose of this study is to explore the relationship of hands-on learning attitude, problem approach at-
titude, problem solving confidence, problem solving style, and parental monitoring. According to the former re-
search mentions above, the research model is shown in Figure 1.
3.2. Research Procedure
To achieve the purpose of this study, a questionnaire survey to those purposive sampled vocational high school
students who had ever experienced project making were conducted. The questionnaires were collected anony-
mously by teachers, and the teachers would ensure that the participants were fully understood the procedures
and the purposes of this research.
Figure 1. Research hypotheses.
3.3. Data Collection and Pa rti cipa nts
The purposive sampling was adopted in this study. To achieve the purposes, 10th grade to 12th grade vocational
school students were chosen as study subjects. A total of 493 questionnaires were returned, 456 of which replied
all items completely. Of the respondents, 44.5% were female and 55.5% were male. All of the participants had
the experience of project making curriculum, 24.6% were 10th grade, 41.2% were 11th grade, and while 34.2%
were 12th grade.
4. Research Instruments
4.1. Research Tool
The study constructs were measured using multiple items, and they all designed fully anchored, ﬁve-point, Li-
kert-type scales that ranged from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. The measuring items of parental mon-
itoring were adapted from previously validated research by “parent involvement inventory” (Illinois State Board
of Education, 1994) , students’ problem approach attitude were adapted from previously validated research
by Heppner (1995) , problem solving confidence were adapted from previously validated research by Zhang
& Schwarzer (1995) , problem solving style were adapted from previously validated research by Sternberg
(1997) , and hands-on learning attitude were adapted from previously validated research by Wittman (2010)
4.2. Reliability and Validity Analyses
The total samples of this study were 456. The whole fit of the structural equation modeling was assessed by χ2 =
612.63, and the degree of freedom is 164. To evaluate the consistency of the variables, a reliability analysis of
the questionnaire was conducted using Cronbach’s α. The reliability coefficient for the entire questionnaire was
0.849, while 0.725 were parental monitoring, 0. 833 were problem solving confidence, 0.686 were problem
solving style, 0.879 were problem approach attitude, hands-on learning attitude were 0.821. According to the
Cronbach’s α values above, that indicates that a measure of internal reliability is acceptable.
5. Research Results
5.1. Correlation Analyses
The result of Pearson product-moment correlation coefﬁcients are presented in Table 1. It shows that there were
signiﬁcant positive correlations among hands-on learning, problem approach attitude, problem solving confi-
dence, problem solving style, and parental monitoring and that there was a certain degree of correlation among
these continuous variables.
After testing the reliability and validity of the model, this study estimated the prediction and explanatory abil-
ities of the structural equation model. The result shows that hypotheses H1-1, H1-2, H1-3, H2-1, H2-2, and H2-3
were supported. These results indicated that the parental monitoring had a direct significant positive correlation
with hands-on learning students’ problem approach attitude, problem solving confidence, and problem solving
style. Furthermore, hands-on learning, students’ problem approach attitude, problem solving confidence, and
problem solving style had direct significant positive correlations with each other.
Table 1. The correlation matrix.
Parental monitoring 1
Problem approach attitude 0.151** 1
Problem solving confidence 0.161** 0.529** 1
Problem solving style 0.198** 0.442** 0.344** 1
Hands-on learning attitude 0.143** 0.255** 0.329** 0.243** 1
p < 0.001***, p < 0.01**, p < 0.05*.
Figure 2. Path coefﬁcient analysis.
5.2. Structural Model Testing
A structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test the hypotheses of this study. The whole fit of the
structural equation modeling was assessed by χ2 = 612.63. Since χ2 is inclined to be affected by sample size,
therefore, other fit indices were calculates in this research. The values of RMSEA were 0.078, which indicates
that the measurement model was a reasonable model fit. Others indices were greater than or near 0.9, which in-
dicates that the structural model is acceptable (NFI = 0.92; NNF I = 0.93; CFI = 0.94; IFI = 0.94 ; RFI = 0.91;
GFI = 0.88; AGFI = 0.85). In summary, the results indicate that the researching model is adequate.
5.3. Path Coefﬁcient Analysis
Since the result of reliability analyses, validity analyses, and structural model testing shows that the researching
model is adequate. The results of path analysis were listed as follow. Figure 2 shows the parental monitoring
had a direct signiﬁcant positive correlation with students’ problem approach attitude (t = 1.97, β = −0.10), prob-
lem solving confidence (t = 2.88, β = −0.15), and problem solving style (t = 3.87, β = −0.23). Furthermore, stu-
dents’ problem approach attitude, problem solving confidence, and problem solving style had a direct significant
positive correlation with hands-on learning attitude (t = 1.97, β = 0.07; t = 5.23, β = 0.30; t = 3.67, β = 0.22).
The hypotheses of the study tend to explain the relations of hands-on learning attitude, students’ problem ap-
proach attitude, problem solving confidence, problem solving style, and parental monitoring. The main findings
of the study are as followed. The results of this study support the hypotheses, that is parental monitoring was
negatively correlated to problem solving confidence, problem solving style, and problem approaching attitude.
Besides, other results indicate that students’ problem solving confidence, problem solving style, and problem
approach attitude were positively associated with hands-on learning attitude.
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