Self-perceptions of academic competence: How they develop and how they relate to the intrinsic motivation for learning in English and Maths in Year six students

Year: 2001

Author: Cocks, Rachel, Watt, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Recent literature on motivation has documented that perceptions of self-competence and motivational orientations for learning are interrelated. This study focuses specifically on children’s perceptions of their scholastic abilities, how these perceptions develop and how they relate to intrinsic motivation for learning. The rationale for this study is that such an exploration will deepen understandings of the nature and mechanisms underpinning this relationship. The research design of this study consists of both quantitative and qualitative dimensions. First, questionnaires were used to gather data about the Year 6 participants’ self-perceptions of academic competence, intrinsic motivation, and affect for learning. Participants were then targeted for follow-up interviews according to a matrix of low and high competence perceptions and intrinsic motivation. Three students from each of the six focal groups identified were then selected to take part in the interviews. Following categorisation of interview responses according to emergent themes, narrative inquiry was the means of data analysis. Six narratives describe how the constructs under consideration relate to one another and highlight implications these relationships have for educational practice.