27 SES 05 C, Disciplinary Cultures, Learning Strategies and Communities of Inquiry
Achievement goal theory focuses on the purpose of engaging in a learning process (Middleton & Midgley, 1997). The theory differentiates between mastery goals that correspond to the will to improve ability, learn new things or master subjects as intellectual growth, performance-approach goals, which correspond to the desire to demonstrate ability and outperform others as a proof of one’s own success and performance-avoidance goals that correspond to the will to not be outperformed by others by avoiding any comparison (Darnon et als., 2010). The goal structure of the classroom and the perception of the teachers’ goal structure by the students are important within achievement goal theory. This involves the students’ perceptions of the purpose for approaching academic tasks and successful achievement. Further, teachers’ practices are important where rules, norms and routines implemented by the teacher influence the students’ perception of goal structure (Wolters, 2004).
Studies assessing goal structures have found significant differences between classrooms with high or low mastery goals. In classrooms where mastery goals were highly pronounced and performance goals were low, the teacher showed the students more support, respect, positive affect and encouraged students to help each other with schoolwork. In classrooms low in mastery goals but high in performance goals the students seemed to concentrate on listening to the teacher and perform individually work (Patrick et als., 2011).
Research has proved that there is a decline in motivation in grade level transition that can be explained by the change in achievement goals students perceive teachers to emphasize in different grades and changing classroom contexts (Anderman, 1999). Gottfried et als. (2001) also found that intrinsic motivation within different disciplines such as math, reading and science declines between the ages of 9 to 16 but this was not the case for social studies. Jonsson et als. (2012) found striking differences on teachers beliefs of ability dependent on subcultural discipline. The study investigated how achievement goals are expressed among students at the Swedish upper-secondary school dependent in relation to disciplinary culture as expressed in terms of which upper-secondary school study program they attend (natural science or social science) and how long time they have spent on the program. It explores the relations between different achievement goals and the possibility the students believe they have in improving their grades in a specific subject discipline (mathematic or social science). The aim of the study is to study the relations between achievement goals of different types (avoidance, performance and mastery) from different perspectives (personal, teacher and classroom) and if different subcultural disciplinary norms and values influence the students? achievement goals.
There are two main research questions. The first question concerns the relations between the students’ personal, the teacher and the classroom achievement goal orientation. If for example the student is high in mastery goal, is there a relation to reported high mastery goals orientation among the teachers, alternative within the classrooms, both or non? The second research question explores the effect of exposure to different disciplinary cultures on achievement goal orientation dependent on exposure to different programmes and changes due to grade level transition at the Swedish upper-secondary school.
Anderman, L.H. (1999). Classroom goal orientation, school belonging, and social goals as predictors of students? positive and negative affect following the transition to middle school. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 32, 89-103. Darnon, C., & Dompnier, B., Gilliéron, O., & Butera, F. (2010). The interplay of mastery and performance goals in social comparison: A multiple-goal perspective. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 212-222. Friedel, J.M., Cortina, K.S., Turner, J.C., & Midgley, C. (2010). Changes in efficacy beliefs in mathematics across the transition to middle school: Examining the effects of perceived teacher and parent goal emphases. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 102-114. Jacobs, J.E., Lanza, S., Osgood, D.W., Eccles, J.S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Changes in children?s self-competence and values: Gender and domain differences across grades one through twelve. Child Development, 73, 509-527. Jonsson, A-C., Beach, D., Korp, H & Erlandsson, P. (2012). Teachers’ implicit theories of intelligence: Influences from different disciplines and scientific theories, European Journal of Teacher Education, 35, (4), 387-400. Middleton, M., & Midgley, C. (1997). Avoiding the demonstration of lack of ability: An under-explored aspect of goal theory. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 710-718. Midgley, C-, Kaplan, A., Middleton, M., Urdan, T., Maehr, M.L., Hicks, L., Anderman, E., & Roeser, R.W. (1998). Development and validation of scales assessing students? achievement goal orientation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 23, 113-131. Gottfried, A.E., Fleming, J.S., & Gottfried, A.I. (2001). Continuity of academic instrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 3-13. Patrick, H., Kaplan, A., & Ryan, A.M. (2011). Positive classroom motivational environments: Convergence between mastery goal structure and classroom social climate. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 367-382. Wolters, C. A. (2004). Advancing achievement goal theory: Using goal structures and goal orientations to predict students? motivation, cognition, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 236-250
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