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Session Overview
POS-6: Learning at School
Time: Wednesday, 29/Aug/2012: 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: 0.254


Identifying efficacious students in early education classrooms – qualitative video research approach

Elina Määttä, Sanna Järvelä

University of Oulu, Finland

Many classroom teachers struggle with why some students succeed and others fail. The way children attribute their experiences of success or failure guide their actions through different classroom situations and further builds their efficacy beliefs. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate how efficacious students can be recognized in early education classrooms. The participants (n=24) were primary school students aged 6 to 8 years old. Data was collected with video observations (35 hours) and semi-structured stimulated recall interviews (n=65). In the first phase, the content analysis focuses on how students describe their success in specific situations. The second phase of the analysis addresses students’ level of confidence. The third phase focuses on the sources of confidence. Cross-tabulation and χ2 will be applied to measure the relations between level of confidence and sources of confidence. Premilinary results indicated that students experienced either low, moderate or high level of confidence. Further, the analysis suggested that students seemed to attribute their confidence to previous experiences of similar situations, modeling others and to the received feedback. This study will contribute to the methodological advancement when researching young children in early education classrooms by complementing our understanding about the meaning and nature of experienced success in different kind of learning situations in classrooms. This understanding is crucial for teachers when facilitating students learning.

Decomposing the phenomenon of “interest” in school contexts for insights in its development

Hanna Dorothea Ferdinand, Jutta Mägdefrau

Universität Passau, Germany

We aim at an empirical separation of different forms of interest and offer an explanation for their differential effects on learning and motivation. We then focus on the development of individual interest.

Person-object-interaction theory of interest (POI-Theory) suggests two forms of interest: situational interest and individual interest. An acute interest can thus be rooted in either the situation or a preexisting individual interest, with differing results. We draw on the social-psychological Elaboration Likelihood Model to explain why student-reported experiences of interest are not necessarily attended by desired outcomes (e.g. further engagement, achievement).

POI-Theory proposes a positive emotional plus a cognitive-rationally positive evaluation of the object as integral components of interest. Drawing on Self-Determination-Theory we assume need fulfillment will help to build a positive emotional representation.

In order to test our hypotheses, a six-months longitudinal study was conducted in 67 classrooms (N>1500 tenth-graders). Students were asked for their situational and individual interest repeatedly. Independent variables were the fulfillment of the needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness and individually perceived relevance of the topic as an indicator of the cognitive-rational evaluation. In a first step we validated the interest construct proposed by POI-theory. We then included the needs and relevance as predictors of change in individual interest in a latent change model. Results show that need fulfillment (especially autonomy) and perceived relevance are both influential. Since all predictors have been measured repeatedly there is ample support for the results.

Motivational structure of the elementary school students: Does the concept of motivational pattern make sense?

Mojca Juriševič

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Slovenia

This paper presents the empirical findings for the motivational structure of elementary school students. The motivational structure, as conceived in the Integrative Model of Academic Motivation (IMAM, Juriševič, 2006), comprises three main concepts (i.e., motivational components, motivational orientations, and motivational patterns) which are developed following the principle of differentiation in the process of the student’s learning development during school years. For the purpose of the study, 415 fourth and seventh grade students from Slovenian elementary schools answered the Questionnaire on Academic Motivation. On the basis of multivariate analysis, 21 academic motivation components were identified, and three latent motivation orientations were extracted: helplessness and avoidance, external motivational orientation, and intrinsic motivational orientation. Students were further clustered into specific groups representing homogeneous motivational patterns as specific combinations of the motivational orientations extracted (i.e., active, competitive, unconfident, passive, and unmotivated group of students). The results show the difference in motivational structure among younger and older students as proposed, and also the differences between clusters on the grade level by means of expressiveness of individual motivational orientations, and in combination og motivational orientations. Finally, the research findings point to the possibilities of further research and IMAM model’s development as well as of pedagogical implications for teaching.

Why don't more students do A-level Mathematics? The role of Mathematics self-efficacy on enrolment in A-level Mathematics

Catherine Porter

Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), United Kingdom

To identify strategies that can effectively encourage greater enrolment in A-level Mathematics, a better understanding of the factors that influence A-level Mathematics enrolment is required. Based on social cognitive theory, this study posits that mathematics self-efficacy (MSEF) is the primary factor that influences A-level Mathematics enrolment. The extent that MSEF influences students’ intention to enrol, and actual enrolment, after controlling for a number of pertinent factors, including previous attainment, was evaluated. Also evaluated was the extent that MSEF affects students’ actual enrolment by affecting their intention. A total of 506 male and 392 female AS Mathematics students from 11 schools voluntarily participated in this study. Regression analyses indicated that MSEF is the strongest predictor of AS Mathematics students’ intention to enrol, which in turn has the greatest impact on their enrolment, in A level Mathematics. Mediation analysis indicated that MSEF influences students’ enrolment in A-level Mathematics partly by influencing their intention to enrol. The clear implication which arises from the results of this study is that strategies aimed at increasing students’ MSEF could effectively encourage greater enrolment in A-level Mathematics. The sooner such strategies are introduced during compulsory schooling, certainly GCSE, the greater their desired impact on A-level Mathematics enrolment would likely be

Autonomy support, achievement goals, and affective engagement among students

Åge Diseth

University of Bergen, Norway

Affective engagement is an important indicator of school motivation among students. This factor may be accounted for by qualities in the learning environment as perceived by the students, as well as the students’ own motivational orientation. The two latter factors may be operationalised as autonomy support and achievement goals, respectively, and there has recently been an interest to investigate the relation between these variables. Hence, the presents study aims to investigate how the interplay between autonomy support and achievement goals predicts affective engagement. The participants were a representative sample of 2.932 students at 10th grade (lower) secondary school and 1st grade high school in Norwegian schools. These students replied to an inventory consisting of a short version of the learning climate questionnaire (LCQ) measuring autonomy support, items from the patterns of adaptive learning survey (PALS) measuring achievement goals, and finally items measuring affective engagement. A structural equation model showed that autonomy support predicted performance approach, mastery and performance avoidance. In addition, autonomy support predicted affective engagement directly as well as indirectly, via the three achievement goal variables. These results showed a consistent relation between autonomy support and achievement goals, as well as both direct and indirect effects on affective engagement. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

The mediating role of children’s self-evaluation bias on the relationship between their academic functioning and parental emotional support

Thérèse Bouffard, Sébastien Côté, Carole Vezeau

University of Québec at Montréal, Canada

The first goal of this study was to examine the relationships between the quality of emotional support parents reported providing to children, the quality of this support perceived by children and their bias of self-evaluation of competence. The second goal was to examine the relationships between these variables and children’s academic functioning and achievement. The third goal was to determine whether children’s self-evaluation bias mediates the relationship between parental emotional support and academic functioning and achievement. Participants were 524 children in Grades 4 and 5 (mean age = 10 years, 8 months), one of their parents and their teacher. Using a 2-year longitudinal design, emotional support reported by parents and children and children’s self-evaluation bias were measured at the first year of the study, while the academic functioning variables were assessed by the teacher at the second year. Results indicated that parents’ report of and children’s perception of parents’ emotional support were both linked to children’s self-evaluation bias of competence in the first year of the study. In turn, children’s bias in self-evaluation of competence at the first year was related to their school functioning and achievement at the second year. In addition children’s bias of self-evaluation mediated the relationship between parents’ report of and children’s perception of parents’ emotional support and their school functioning and academic achievement. Finding of this study suggest that it is partly through its impact on children’s self-evaluation of competence that parents’ emotional support operates on their school functioning and achievement.

The influence of motivational interferences and academic self-concept during homework

Nadine Zeidler1,2, Natalie Fischer1

1German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), Germany; 2Center for Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA)

By causing interferences motivational conflicts during learning can lead to dysfunctional learning behavior and lower skills. Results of empirical studies show that this is connected to high well-being value-orientations as well as to attractive alternatives to learning. This research adds to former research in exploring these connections concerning the homework situation and considering students’ academic self-concept as a predictor of motivational interferences. As a high academic self-concept is known to protect against helplessness, it is hypothesized that motivational interferences during homework should be less when self-concept is high. A sample of 474 students was assessed by questionnaire. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that low academic self-concept was associated with high interferences over and above well-being value-orientation and attractive alternatives. This leads to new insights for the prevention of motivational conflicts.

Development of self-regulated learning in transition from elementary school to junior high school

Mayumi Oie

Tokyo Woman's Christian University, Japan

The purpose of this research was to investigate how self-regulated learning ability was influenced by gender during the transition from elementary school to junior high school in Japan.Self-regulated learning is a major topics in research on contemporary education (Boekaerts, 1999; Zimmerman, 1989). Developmental motivation researchers have shown that as students make the transition to middle school, they often suffer decreases in self-motivation, task values, and intrinsic interest in academic tasks (Eccles, Wigfield, Flanagan, Miller, Reuman, and Yee, 1989). The present study analyzed the developmental change of self-regulated learning ability from elementary to junior high school. Another aim of the present study was to examine gender differences in SRL. Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons (1990) found that girls reported greater use of SRL strategies than boys among middle-school and high school students. The sample survey was conducted among a sample of 1687 pupils in 8 elementary schools and students in 6 junior high schools in Tokyo. Participants were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire consisting of ‘Self-regulated learning ability scale’. This study developed ‘Self-regulated learning ability scale’ to examine Japanese pupils’ and students’ self-regulated learning. Exploratory factor analysis using the unweighted least sqares extraction method with promax rotation suggested that six factors be retained. Differences among groups were assessed by applying a 4 × 2 (grade × gender) multivariance analysis of variance (MANOVA) with six subscales of self-regulated learning ability. There was statistically significant interactions between grade and gender. All main effects for grade and gender were significant.

Motivational and Emotional Regulation Strategies as Predictors for Adaptive Responses to Errors

Maria Tulis, Markus Dresel

University of Augsburg, Germany

Current models of self-regulated learning emphasize motivational processes in addition to cognitive and metacognitive strategies. The present study was designed to investigate students’ self-reported use of various emotional and motivational regulation strategies following errors in academic settings. Based on emotion regulation literature, an extension of previously examined motivational strategies is proposed. The role of different emotional and motivational regulation strategies in predicting students’ use of metacognitive strategies, effort expenditure, and adaptive dealing with errors was analyzed. Overall, findings emphasize the importance of emotional and motivational regulation strategies for adaptive responses to mistakes. In particular, cognitive reappraisal and mastery self-talk as well as strategies with a focus on situation modification (e.g. proximal goal setting, problem-focused regulation) appeared as strong predictors for individual dealing with errors. Finally, results indicate negative effects of suppression and attentional distraction on learning activities following mistakes.

Interaction Effects within the Framework of the Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions

Iris Dinkelmann, Alex Buff

Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland

The importance of emotions for school learning and the outcome thereof is beyond dispute, and in the last few years has led to a stronger focus being placed on positive emotions such as the enjoyment of learning, as is the case in the current contribution. Focusing on the domain of mathematics and based on the Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions, the poster addresses main and interaction effects of, on the one hand, control and value beliefs on enjoyment of learning, and, on the other hand, parental control and provision of structure on children’s control and value beliefs.

Data is analysed that was collected on two separate occasions (time 1/2) from approximately 400 sixth graders and their parents, who took part in the longitudinal study “TRANSITION: Parental support and motivational-affective development in the transition to lower secondary level”.

First analyses by means of multiple regressions show most of the expected main and interaction effects: Control and value beliefs positively influence enjoyment of learning. Parental control directly decreases children’s control beliefs and, at a marginal level (p < .10), value beliefs (time 1). Provision of structure directly increases value beliefs. Interaction effects of control and value beliefs on enjoyment of learning are significant. Interaction effects of parental control and provision of structure on control beliefs and, at time 2, on value beliefs exist at least at a marginal level.

The interaction effects will be closer examined by means of plotting and of simple-slope analyses. Results and their implications will be discussed.

Bridging the gap, finding roads to the transfer of self-regulated learning from higher vocational education to professional practice.

Douwe Bos1,2, Theo Dellen v.2, Alexander Minnaert2

1NHL University of applied sciences, Netherlands, The; 2Groningen University

The last two decades much attention has been paid to improve the connection between vocational education and professional practice. The intention was to establish a better cooperation Even though there is some improvement of the situation, there is still a substantial gap. Moreover, educators and researchers agree on the observation that students which are effectively regulate their own learning process, are more successful regarding their learning at school as well as in practice.

Finally, it can be observed that research on self-regulated learning merely took place in school settings.

In the end our research project will focus on the transfer of self-regulated learning from higher vocational school to professional practice. But in this first part of the project the question is in which way do students experience, express, emphasize and relate different aspects of self-regulated learning while learning in higher vocational education. In-depth interviews where used to find an answer to this question.

In this pilot study has been chosen to focus on the narrative language of the students.

The results show that there is also a clear goal orientation among the students This in a continuous interaction in which the estimation of the own self-efficacy plays an important role. In case of a friction between self-efficacy and goal, students demonstrate help seeking behaviour and changes in cooperation. These results will be discussed with respect to bridging the gap between professional education and vocational practice.

Development of a passion scale for academic activities

Takuma Nishimura, Shigeo Sakurai

University of Tsukuba, Japan

In recent years, Self-determination theory approached a conceptualizing passion. Two types of passions were proposed: harmonious passion and obsessive passion. Harmonious passion refers to a motivational tendency to freely engage in activities and leads to positive consequences. Obsessive passion refers to a motivational tendency to coercively engage and leads to negative outcomes. Passion is an important for obligatory activities, such as academic activities of junior high school students. However, such passions have not been the subject of research. Therefore, this study developed a scale to measure the passion for academic activities and verified the reliability and the validity of the scale. We also examined the influence of passion for academic activity on a person’s health. Japanese students of the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade (N = 1439; 754 boys and 685 girls) participated in a survey with regard to passion for academic activities, own health and self-learning time. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated a good fit between the model and data for harmonious passion (GFI=.97, AGFI=.94, RMSEA=.07) and obsessive passion (GFI=.97, AGFI=.95, RMSEA=.06). Cronbach’s alpha ranged between .85 and .89. We then conducted an ANOVA to investigate the differences among grades. The result indicated that obsessive passion gradually increased with the grade. This result is predictable because they have an entrance examination for high school. Moreover, a multiple regulation analysis revealed that harmonious passion results in better health, whereas obsessive passion is detrimental to wellness. As such, The Passion Scale was developed and its reliability and validity were demonstrated.

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