Motivation, strategic learning and achievement in social sciences in Years 5 to 9

Year: 1994

Author: Rodwell, Ken, Moore, Phillip J.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The aim of this research was to examine the relationships among motivation, strategic knowledge and achievement in social sciences of students in Years 5, 7 and 9. Also under examination were the developmental changes in these relationships across the years identified.

Student motivation in social sciences was assessed in two ways: using a modified version of Chan's (1991) Causal Attribution Scales, and a modified version of the motive scales from Biggs' (1987) Learning Processes Questionnaire. The modifications reflected the nature of social sciences learning. For strategic learning, a 20-item scale was developed from the literature on self-regulated learning and strategic learning in the social sciences. This latter scale sought information on knowledge of particular strategies and also the frequency of student use of such strategies. Achievement data were gathered from end-of-year assessments in social sciences.

The presentation will focus on the development of the initial social sciences scales in motivation (attributions, approaches to learning) and strategic learning which employed 120 students in each of Years 5, 7 and 9. Factor analytic findings and reliabilities are reported as well as the initial results from the larger study in which some 750 students in each of the targeted years were tested.