ERG SES D 02, Poster Session - PechaKucha
This study aims at investigating to what extent study program choices and educational and professional expectations with a strong emphasis on mathematics knowledge and skills can be explained by, on the one hand, some teaching practices, on the other hand, by motivational variables such as self-efficacy, self-concept and task value in mathematics. More precisely, drawing on the self-expectancy value model, the stage-fit environment theory and the self-determination theory, we will implement a longitudinal study aimed at measuring whether some teaching practices (perceived by students) directly or indirectly predict performances and motivational variables at the end of grades 11 and 12, and impact on educational and professional expectations. In addition, a moderating effect of gender will be tested.
Previous studies (Goffin, Quittre, & Lafontaine, 2010; OCDE, 2012, 2014; Jacobs & Simpkins, 2005) have shown that girls with a level of performance similar to boys less often take advanced courses or university degrees in maths and science. Moreover, they are less confident in their own abilities than boys. Studies focused on mathematics (Dweck, 1986; Lafontaine & Monseur, 2009) have shown that teachers have on average lower expectations for girls and underestimate high achieving girls in mathematics.
How can we explain these differences between boys and girls? Why do girls less often choose math courses or math career? In this study, we will investigate these questions by questioning motivational beliefs and student’s perceptions of classroom environment.
According to the expectancy-value model (Eccles, 2009), students choices (such as study program selection, for example) and performances are influenced by their individual expectations for success and the value they attach to the task. Expectations are linked to motivational variables like self-efficacy (people’s beliefs of their ability to perform a given task) and self-concept (“beliefs of self-worth associated with one’s perceived competence” (Pajares & Miller, 1994)). Mathematics self-efficacy is more related to specific tasks than mathematics self-concept is. Task value depends on four components: attainment value, intrinsic value, utility value and costs.
Numerous studies (Ferla, Valcke, & Cai, 2009; Pajares & Miller, 1994) have provided evidence that self-efficacy is a good predictor of mathematics ability and that self-concept directly influenced math interest. In addition, some studies (Lent, Lopez, & Bieschke, 1991; Michaelides, 2008) have also shown that self-efficacy predicted math interest and orientation choices. Wang and Eccles (2012) suggested that expectancies were more predictive of mathematics ability and that task value was more predictive of orientation choices.
The self-determination theory (Ryan, & Deci, 2000) presents three basic psychological needs that have to be fulfilled: needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness. According to the stage fit-environment theory (Eccles et al., 1993), if students perceive that the classroom environment meets their personal needs, their performance and the development of their motivational beliefs will be improved. A recent study (Wang, 2012) also showed that this good fit between “psychological needs” and “classroom environment” has an impact on orientation choices and career expectations. Wang and Eccles have identified the five aspects of math classroom environment that are most closely linked to developmental needs: teacher expectations, promoting cooperation, support of autonomy, teacher-student relationships and teaching for meaning. Some studies (Lipowsky et al., 2009; Wang, 2012) have shown that classrooms characteristics can directly or indirectly impact on math ability, orientation choices and career expectations. For example, Wang (2012) suggested that teaching for meaning directly predicts math subjective task values and that teacher social support predicts math expectancies
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