Examining differences in teachers' achievement goal orientations by gender, socio-economic status and curricular beliefs: a latent mean analysis

Year: 2013

Author: Sproul, Janene, Harbaugh, Allen G., Thompson, Greg

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and latent mean analysis (LMA), this paper examines teachers' achievement goal orientations with respect to NAPLAN.  In 2012, teachers from South Australia and Western Australia responded to an online survey from April to June via a snowball sampling recruitment process.  Three achievement goal orientations were examined with respect to how NAPLAN results might be interpreted: mastery orientation, performance-approach orientation, and performance-avoidance orientation.  The survey instrument was an adaptation of previous instruments with a new focus on NAPLAN, a high-stakes, standardized test administered in Australian schools in years 3, 5, 7 and 9.  CFA results indicated 10 items from the survey captured the 3 goal orientations with good model fit and moderate to strong internal reliability. Extending the CFA to an LMA, demographic differences between achievement goal orientations were measured.  Analyses included demographic subsamples for gender, state, school level (primary vs. secondary), school system (Government, Independent and Catholic), socio-economic status (SES) and belief in needing to teach to the test (TTTT).  Preliminary results indicate that gender, system, SES and TTTT demonstrated different levels of mastery orientation and performance-approach orientation, and gender, SES and TTTT demonstrated different levels of performance-avoidance orientation.  This paper demonstrates the analytic advantages of using LMA over traditional ANOVA/MANOVA for analyses of achievement goals across different subsamples.  Implications for different achievement goal orientations in various populations are discussed in relation to students' goal orientations, perceived impact on pedagogy and curriculum, and students' academic achievement.