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Achievement goals and student motivation in the middle school years: Teachers' use of motivational strategies with high and low performance students

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Title: Achievement goals and student motivation in the middle school years: Teachers' use of motivational strategies with high and low performance students
Author(s): Powell, Barbara M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): DeStefano, Lizanne
Department / Program: Education
Discipline: Education
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Education, Educational Psychology Education, Secondary
Abstract: Research in the area of student motivation supports the idea that the goals which students adopt in achievement situations influence motivation for learning. Students whose goal is task mastery have more adaptive motivational outcomes than those whose goal is to demonstrate ability. Teachers, by means of the achievement goals they emphasize, create a classroom motivational structure which can influence the achievement goals which their students adopt. There is some evidence, however, that teachers within a classroom treat their high and low performing students differently. It may be that these teachers use different motivational strategies with their high and low performers. Since a mastery goal is an important predictor of adaptive student motivation for learning, the purpose of the present study was to determine whether teachers emphasize similar achievement goals with their high and low performing students.Forty-seven middle and junior high school teachers and their students participated. They completed the Motivational Strategy Use Questionnaire, indicating their perceptions about the frequency of teacher use of mastery focused motivational strategies with high and low performing students.The first hypothesis of the study, that teachers would report using motivational strategies which support a mastery goal more frequently with high performing students than with low performers was supported. The second hypothesis, that high and low performing students would differ in their perceptions of the frequency with which their teacher used these strategies was not supported. Gender and grade level predicted students' perceptions about the motivational structure of the classroom: girls tended to see their classrooms as more mastery goal focused than boys did; sixth graders perceived more of a mastery goal emphasis than eighth graders did. Also, both high and low performing students rated their teachers as significantly lower in frequency of use of mastery focused motivational strategies than teachers rated themselves.Findings suggest that teachers need to be made aware of the possible differences between their perceptions of the motivational climate of the classroom and the perceptions of their students. Further research into the grade level and gender differences in student perceptions may also help explain how these variables operate in influencing students' perceptions.
Issue Date: 1996
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/21778
ISBN: 9780591088267
Rights Information: Copyright 1996 Powell, Barbara M.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9702641
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9702641
 

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