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Stimulating positive emotional experiences in mathematics learning: influence of situational and personal factors
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1535-873X
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UMSER)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UFM)
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Psychology of Education, ISSN 0256-2928, E-ISSN 1878-5174, Vol. 29, no 4, 673-691 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study aims to assess the relative importance of a large number of variables for predicting students’ positive-activating emotions during mathematics learning. Participants were 668 first-year upper secondary school students from 33 schools of different sizes and locations. Two questionnaires were distributed, one assessing students’ perceptions and beliefs about their learning situation in mathematics in general, and the other assessing the characteristics of a particular mathematics lesson and the students’ emotional experiences during this lesson. Single-construct and multivariate models for predicting students’ emotions were computed. The results show that the multivariate models were the most efficient, predicting as much as 59 % of the variance in students’ emotional experiences. The two most important constructs were students’ type of motivation and perceived degree of learning, which together predicted 48 % of the students’ emotions. Single-construct models predicted, at most, 36 %. The relative and absolute predictive ability of different motivational constructs are reported. The relationships between constructs and their implications for teaching are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2014. Vol. 29, no 4, 673-691 p.
Keyword [en]
positive-activating emotions, personal factors, situational factors, upper secondary school, multivariate
National Category
Educational Sciences Didactics Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-92559DOI: 10.1007/s10212-014-0220-yISI: 000344804300007OAI: diva2:741575
Interaktioner mellan den lärande och lärandesituationen: effekter på affektiva upplevelser och lärandeutfall.
Swedish Research Council, 721-2007-3216
Available from: 2014-08-28 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2016-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Students as scientists: a study of motivation in the science classroom
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students as scientists: a study of motivation in the science classroom
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Forskning på schemat : högstadieelevers motivation för naturvetenskap
Abstract [en]

School science and mathematics have been criticized for being difficult, de-contextualised and teacher-centred. This thesis concerns student motivation in science and mathematics in secondary school, and in particular student motivation in relation to student-teacher-scientist partnerships (STSPs) and an authentic science task called the Medicine Hunt where students help scientists to find new antibiotics. The purpose of this dissertation is to interrogate the importance of authentic tasks for motivation in the science classroom. The thesis takes a starting point in motivation theories, with self-determination theory (SDT) in focus, and also builds on the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (HMIEM). A mixed-methods approach is used first, to find out what factors are important for students’ positive emotions and experiences in the classroom, and second, to learn more about the importance of authentic tasks using student interviews and observations in combination with questionnaires that evaluate students’ motivation. The studies reveal that the notion of having learnt something and intrinsic motivation are central for students’ positive emotions. Further, many situational factors, such as teacher support, autonomy, clear goals, and novelty of the task are central for both positive emotions and experiences in science and mathematics. Regarding the Medicine Hunt, students were positive and referred most of their positive experiences to science-related aspects, and the novelty of authentic science. Teachers gave different opportunities for competence, autonomy or relatedness when implementing the project in their classrooms, and these differences were more important for students’ initiatives and outcomes than students’ initial contextual motivation for school science. Students’ contextual motivation for science can change and the Medicine Hunt arrested the well-documented decline in students’ intrinsic motivation for science during the secondary school years. This thesis argues that authentic tasks implemented as STSPs such as the Medicine Hunt can contribute considerably to school science by providing motivating situations that channel students’ positive emotions and positive experiences, and that is possible to create authentic science learning situations in which both more and less motivated students can flourish. The findings highlight the teachers’ role in supporting the students’ process of extending their understanding of what science can include and in supporting students’ confidence as they adopt a broader and more authentic view of science when learning as part of a successful authentic STSP science project. The findings also suggest that more research focussing on motivation in different authentic situations, and how students’ experiences of authentic science can affect motivation in the longer term, is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2016. 58 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 65
motivation, emotions, experiences, authentic science, student-teacher-scientist partnership, secondary school, implementation, classroom, mathematics, self-determination theory
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of natural science
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120123 (URN)978-91-7601-477-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-02, KB3A9, KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Lärandesituationens påverkan på elevers affektiva upplevelser och lärande
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3216
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Winberg, Mikael T.Hellgren, Jenny M.Palm, Torulf
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