Examining students' future time perspective: Pathways to knowledge building


  • Funding for the current study was provided by National Science Foundation Grant, REC-0546856, CAREER: Connecting with the Future: Supporting Career and Identity Development in Post-Secondary Science and Engineering.

Jenefer Husman, School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Box 873071, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. (E-mail: jenefer.husman@asu.edu)


The purpose of this study was to provide evidence for the internal structure of the domain-general and context-specific components of future time perspective (FTP) and to provide support for a top-down structure of FTP theory. The participants included 546 engineering students from a large university in the southwest of the USA. The students responded to the Future Time Perspective Scale, the Perceptions of Instrumentality Scale, and the Student Perceptions of Classroom Knowledge-building Scale. Analyses present evidence for: (a) the structural fidelity of student responses to the respective theoretical constructs, and (b) the top down, domain-general to context-sensitive relation between FTP variables and student learning behavior. The results also indicate that students' use of knowledge building strategies may be influenced by both domain-general aspects of FTP and the perceived endogenous instrumentality of coursework. Implications include support for use of valid FTP measures and the recognition of the relation between FTP and value of present school activities.