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Session Overview
PAP-20: Goals and Goal Orientation
Time: Thursday, 30/Aug/2012: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Session Chair: Kara Ann Makara, University of Michigan
Location: 251


Culture, context, and gender as antecedents of personal goals in social learning contexts

Dirk Tempelaar1, Bart Rienties2

1Maastricht University, Netherlands, The; 2University of Surrey, UK

In this empirical study, we investigate antecedents of personal goals in social learning contexts. Goals are operationalized by a new framework developed by Wosnitza and Volet (2009), that applies a two-facet design, distinguishing three types of achievement goals: performance, mastery, and affect; and four goal orientations: self dominant, self using others for own benefits, others benefiting from self, and others & self confounded. A sample of 4530 first year university students in a collaborative learning program based on principles of problem-based learning is used to investigate antecedents of personal goals. As conceptualisation of the contextual component, students from two international programs, liberal arts and business & economics, both attracting a culturally diverse body of students, are investigated. Cultural influences are operationalized in two, related, manners, both based on Hofstede’s framework of cultural differences (Hofstede, 1980, 1986): by using Hofstede’s cultural indices, and by applying the GLOBE culture clustering (House et al., 2004). In agreement with other empirical studies (see Kimmel & Volet, 2010, for a review), we find strong contextual and modest cultural influences on personal goals. Business students’ personal goal levels are uniformly at higher levels than those of liberal arts students and surprisingly, the differences are largest for the socially oriented goals, rather than the individually oriented goals. Female students achieve higher goal levels than male students, with one single exception: the goal constellation with strongest individual benefits.

High School Students’ Peer Social Networks, Achievement Goals, and Academic Achievement: Their Relationships and Predictive Influence

Kara Makara, Stuart Karabenick

University of Michigan, United States of America

Peer social networks are an important component of the school context in which adolescents develop their academic motivation. Students’ academic motivation is influenced by perceptions of belongingness and peer support, as well as socialized by one’s friends and peer group. Research on school social networks and access to peer social capital suggest that students’ position in their peer social network may also impact their academic motivation and achievement. Students (n = 732) at a U.S. Midwestern high school completed surveys on their academic Achievement Goals and peer social network relations at the beginning and end of the school year. Social network analysis was used to calculate three measures of students’ network position. The relationships between social network position, achievement goals, academic achievement (GPA) and the reciprocal influences between them over the school year were analyzed using cross-lagged structural equation modeling. In addition to relationships among the variables, there were two key findings regarding how they predicted change over the year. First was the critical role of academic achievement as a predictor—students who began the school year with higher GPA positively predicted changes in academic mastery goals, in the number of students they listed, and in how central they were in the school peer network. Second, mastery goals positively predicted changes in academic achievement over the school year. There were fewer than expected relationships, however, between academic goals and students’ social network position.

Achievement Goals and Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis

Linda Wirthwein1, Jörn Sparfeldt2, Martin Pinquart1, Ricarda Steinmayr1

1Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany; 2Universität Trier, Germany

Achievement goals have extensively been examined within the last two decades. Research especially focused on different achievement goal models (in particular: 2-, 3-, or 4-factor model) as well as on the association with academic achievement. However, the results regarding the association between achievement goals and academic achievement are inconsistent. Two recently published meta-analyses (Huang, in press; Hulleman, Schrager, Bodmann, & Harackiewicz, 2010) focused on the association between achievement goals and achievement outcomes in both school and university settings. The two meta-analyses differed to some extent, for example, regarding the identified moderator variables. The present meta-analysis serves to clarify those heterogeneous findings by considering more studies, i.e. from 1980 to 2011. Our systematic literature search identified 186 correlational studies from 217 independent samples (N = 81 947). Analyses revealed small but statistically significant associations between different achievement goals and achievement outcomes (r = –.12 to r = .13; all p < .01), with the exception of performance goals (r = .01, p > .05). Furthermore, depending on the specific achievement goal, different moderator variables turned out to be statistically significant. Compared to the analyses by Huang (in press) and Hulleman et al. (2010), we identified additional and, in part, different moderators for the association between achievement goals and academic achievement. We conclude that both learning goals and performance-approach goals show mainly positive associations with academic achievement outcomes. The implications for future research are discussed with regard to the relevance of achievement goals in educational settings.

Part-time employment and full time education in England: the case for a dynamic model of motivational interference

David Wellings

Institute of Education, United Kingdom

Since the 1990s a growing commitment to part-time work whilst in full time education has become the norm for learners in full-time 16-18 courses in England. The existing literature on this topic reveals a general consensus regarding the motives for, and the impacts of, working part-time whilst in full time education. Motivation theory offers an alternative perspective, and the concept of ‘motivational interference’ allows us to examine the relative values attached to academic and work goals and their influence on student motivation and behaviour. The research employed a conceptual framework to estimate the expectancies, values and self-regulated learning of students taking two 16-18 vocational courses; Advanced GNVQs and AVCEs. Self-report measures were administered to 250 Business Advanced GNVQ and Business AVCE students at three institutions over a three year period. These were followed by interviews with 15 GNVQ and 50 AVCE students. The main findings were firstly, that course value and self-regulated learning were the two main dimensions of motivation in this sample of students. Secondly, that students’ course values were guided by a play-off between the perceived achievability of the course they were taking and their estimation of the loss of earnings and relevant work experience. Thirdly, that they were able to actively manage conflicting academic, work and leisure goals in response to the changing demands of the course. This suggests the need for a dynamic model of motivational interference to reflect changes in the relative importance of academic, work and social goals over time.

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