Latest Research News on Students’ Achievement : Mar 2022

Students’ achievement values, goal orientations, and interest: Definitions, development, and relations to achievement outcomes

Students’ achievement task values, goal orientations, and interest are motivation-related constructs which concern students’ purposes and reasons for doing achievement activities. The authors review the extant research on these constructs and describe and compare many of the most frequently used measures of these constructs. They also discuss their development during childhood and adolescence. They review the research on the relations of these constructs to achievement outcomes, and their relations to each other both contiguously and over time. Suggestions for future research include testing theoretically derived predictions about how students’ achievement values, goal orientations, and interest together predict various achievement outcomes; and examining how their relations with one another become established and change over time.[1]


A pattern analysis of students’ achievement goals

Cluster analysis procedures were used to classify 257 5th- and 6th-grade students on basis of their mastery, ego, and work-avoidant goal orientations. The results identified 3 clusters of students with different achievement profiles in science. Students who exhibited a pattern in which mastery goals were stronger than the other 2 goals, showed the most positive achievement profile. In contrast, students who were high on both mastery and ego goals did not perform as well academically; students low on both mastery and ego goals showed the most negative achievement profile. Additional analyses revealed that the cluster analysis provided a more distinctive and internally consistent set of findings than did pattern analyses that were based on median split procedures.[2]


Social Predictors of Changes in Students’ Achievement Goal Orientations

Declines in students’ achievement motivation across the transition to middle school may be explained by characteristics of both the academic and social environment of the new school. This study proposes that students’ sense of belonging in middle school and their endorsement of social responsibility, relationship, and status goals in that setting should explain, in part, changes in their achievement goal orientations between 5th and 6th grades. Longitudinal survey data from 660 students indicated that, on average, endorsement of personal task goals declined, whereas endorsement of ability goals increased across the transition. Increases in task goal orientation were associated with perceiving both a task and an ability goal structure in 6th grade classes, along with sense of school belonging, and endorsing responsibility goals. Increases in ability goal orientation were associated positively with perceiving an ability goal structure in classes, with relationship and status goals, and negatively with school belonging.[3]


The Cooperative Elementary School: Effects on Students’ Achievement, Attitudes, and Social Relations

This article reports the results of a 2-year study of the cooperative elementary school model which used cooperation as an overarching philosophy to change school and classroom organization and instructional processes. The components of the model include: using cooperative learning across a variety of content areas, full-scale mainstreaming of academically handicapped students, teachers using peer coaching, teachers planning cooperatively, and parent involvement in the school. After the first year of implementation, students in cooperative elementary schools had significantly higher achievement in reading vocabulary. After the second year, students had significantly higher achievement in reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, language expression, and math computation than did their peers in traditional schools. After 2 years, academically handicapped students in cooperative elementary schools had significantly higher achievement in reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, language expression, math computation, and math application in comparison with similar students in comparison schools. There also were better social relations in cooperative elementary schools, and handicapped students were more accepted socially by their nonhandicapped peers than were similar students in traditional schools with pull-out remedial programs. The results also suggest that gifted students in heterogeneous cooperative learning classes had significantly higher achievement than their peers in enrichment programs without cooperative learning.[4]


Using Research on Employees’ Performance to Study the Effects of Teachers on Students’ Achievement

The study reported here used general ideas about employees’ performance to develop and test a model of teachers’ effects on students’ achievement in mathematics using data from the longitudinal files of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). A general model of employees’ performance suggests that the effects of teachers on students’ achievement can be explained by three general classes of variables: teachers’ ability, motivation, and work situation. This article discusses how these general classes of variables can be operationalized in the NELS:88 data set and presents estimates of models of the combined effects of these classes of variables on students’ achievement. The analyses revealed that teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and expectancy motivation have direct effects on students’ achievement in mathematics and that the size of these effects depends on the average levels of ability of students in a school.[5]


Reference

[1] Wigfield, A. and Cambria, J., 2010. Students’ achievement values, goal orientations, and interest: Definitions, development, and relations to achievement outcomes. Developmental review, 30(1), pp.1-35.

[2] Meece, J.L. and Holt, K., 1993. A pattern analysis of students’ achievement goals. Journal of educational psychology, 85(4), p.582.

[3] Anderman, L.H. and Anderman, E.M., 1999. Social predictors of changes in students’ achievement goal orientations. Contemporary educational psychology, 24(1), pp.21-37.

[4] Stevens, R.J. and Slavin, R.E., 1995. The cooperative elementary school: Effects on students’ achievement, attitudes, and social relations. American educational research journal, 32(2), pp.321-351.

[5] Rowan, B., Chiang, F.S. and Miller, R.J., 1997. Using research on employees’ performance to study the effects of teachers on students’ achievement. Sociology of education, pp.256-284.

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