The effect of within-school transitions on academic motivation and self-concept

Year: 2005

Author: Green, Jasmine, Martin, Andrew, Marsh, Herb

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Early adolescence is a time of significant change and transitions. During early adolescence children experience the physical, psychological and social changes associated with puberty. At about the same time as these general developmental challenges, students make the normative transition to the high school environment, which is typically characterised by differences in school size, structure, teaching strategies and academic standards. Furthermore, within high school there are important transitions as students move from junior high to middle high and then to senior high school. A wealth of research has shown that these normative school transitions tend to be associated with differences in academic motivation and self-concept. Despite the proliferation of research and literature in this field, particularly concerning the 'causes' of the observed motivational decline, mixed findings still dominate this field. Less integral to research on school transitions has been the investigation of transition-related effects on academic motivation and self-concept from a longitudinal perspective. This paper provides a detailed analysis and discussion of the current issues that surround this area as well as an outline of the proposed study that aims to investigate academic motivation and self-concept in a diverse selection of Australian schools across pre-determined year levels.