Students' behaviour and achievement tend to be influenced by their motivation. Of the various motivational constructs examined in recent research, self-concept and perceived value of schooling have been found to have significant impacts on a variety of outcomes. The aim of this paper was to investigate three well documented motivational factors (value, competence, and affect) and scrutinize the relative impact of each factor on a short-term (achievement) and a long-term outcome (student identity).
A total of 730 students from six primary schools in Western Sydney participated in the study. A survey that measured two components of self-concept (competence and affect) and another important motivational construct (value of schooling) together with a scale measuring identity was administrated to the participants. Achievement data were also collected. A total achievement score was calculated from the scores of reading and numeracy tests. This total achievement score was used as an outcome variable together with the identity measure. The relations between the motivational factors and educational outcomes was investigated by structural equation modelling.
Results showed that students' sense of competence was the strongest predictor of achievement whereas value of schooling was a strong predictor of both achievement and identity.
Educators should pay attention to enhancing students' development of their sense of competence for good achievement results and should provide a desirable learning environment to nurture students' perceived value of schooling. This way, students can enjoy both short-term and long-term benefits of education.