Motivational goal orientation, perceptions of biology and physics classroom learning environments, and gender
- 735 Downloads
Researchers have reported persuasive evidence that students’ perceptions of their classroom learning environment account for significant variance in cognitive and affective outcomes (e.g. intrinsic motivation, self-concept, liking for particular subjects and students’ intention to drop out). The study reported in this paper investigated the relationship between students’ perceptions of classroom learning environment and motivational achievement goal orientations towards biology and physics, as well as the influence of gender. Participants (N = 1538) were high school science students from the north-eastern region of Thailand. Our results suggest that motivational goals are linked to differences in students’ perceptions of learning environment and levels of biology and physics classroom anxiety. We found that females adopted significantly higher levels of mastery and performance approach goals towards biology, while males adopted significantly higher levels of mastery and performance approach goals towards physics. Males adopted significantly higher levels of performance avoidance goals towards both biology and physics. Positive associations emerged between gender and the adoption of specific performance goals, perceived degree of competition in biology and physics classrooms, and levels of biology and physics classroom anxiety. These results suggest that motivational goal orientations and perceptions of learning environment are gender-dependent and domain-specific for the two science content areas.
KeywordsAchievement goal orientation Classroom anxiety Classroom learning environment High school students Motivation Science learning Thailand
Special thanks to Barbara E. Coon for her help and critical feedback. We are also grateful to the administrators and teachers of Nongkhai and Udon Thani secondary schools for their assistance with data collection.
- Arch, E. (1993). Risk-taking: A motivational basis for sex differences. Psychological Reports, 73(3), 6–11.Google Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Behling, O., & Law, S. K. (2000). Translating questionnaires and other research instruments: Problems and solutions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Byrne, D. B., Hattie, J. A., & Fraser, B. J. (1986). Student perceptions of preferred classroom learning environment. Journal of Educational Research, 80, 10–18.Google Scholar
- Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. L. (1986). Predicting students’ outcomes from their perceptions of classroom psycho social environment. American Educational Research, 19, 498–518.Google Scholar
- Hyde, S. J., & Durik, M. A. (2005). Gender, competence, and motivation. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Competence and motivation (pp. 375–391). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Linnenbrink, E. A. (2005). The dilemma of performance-approach goals: The use of multiple goal contexts to promote students’ motivation and learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(2), 197–213.Google Scholar
- Stevens, J. (1992). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Terwel, J., Brekelmans, M., Wubbels, T., & van den Eeden, P. (1994). Gender differences in perceptions of the learning environment in physics and mathematics eduation. In D. Fisher (Ed.), The study of learning environments (Vol. 8, pp. 39–51). Perth, Australia: Curtin University of Technology.Google Scholar
- Waxman, H. C., & Huang, S. L. (1998). Classroom learning environments in urban elementary, middle, and high schools. Learning Environments Research: An International Journal, 1, 95–113.Google Scholar