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Motivation for Learning Science and Mathematics: Identifying Personal and Environmental Factors
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Several theories in motivation research aim at explaining or predicting the emotional experiences and behavior of students in academic situations as well as the quality of learning outcomes. However, there are still ambiguities regarding the mechanisms of motivation, how motivation can be influenced, and what effects motivation has on learning. As a first step to examine the role of situational and personal variables involved in some of the most influential motivation theories, their relative ability to predict student behavior, emotional experiences and learning outcomes were investigated by PLS analysis of questionnaire data from 658 upper secondary school students. As to outcomes, results show that experiences of anxiety, on one hand, are orthogonal to perceived degree of learning, enjoyment, and motivated behavior, on the other. Major predictors of anxiety emotions were; Attributions, pertaining to the perceived degree of control over outcomes; the nature of relations to peers; and whether the students perceived that the goal of the lesson was understanding or ‘production’. The degree of learning, motivated behavior, and enjoyment were, in descending order, predicted by students’ achievement goals and motivation type, the teacher’s engagement,  character of feedback, autonomy support and the level of teacher demands on students. To some extent, students’ epistemological beliefs regarding the complexity of knowledge also predicted these types of outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Educational Sciences Other Natural Sciences
Research subject
educational work; didactics of natural science; didactics of mathematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51827OAI: diva2:489530
ESERA 2011, September 5th-9th 2011, Lyon
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-03 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved

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ESERA 110104 full(67 kB)326 downloads
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Winberg, Mikael
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