Assessing Students' Academic Motivation, Emotion and Strategies

Project Number
OER 13/12 LWS

Project Duration
June 2012 - September 2015

Status
Completed

Abstract
The 21st century is characterized by globalization and technological advancements. In order to thrive in a fast-changing world, children must become confident people and self-directed learners. To this end, students not only need to acquire cognitive knowledge and skills, but also need to equip themselves with the ability to take responsibility for their own learning, manage their own emotions and handle challenging situations effectively in their study. This is consistent with the ''teach less learn more'' initiative in Singapore (Lee, 2004), which addresses cutting back the quantity of learning, increasing the quality of learning, and promoting holistic learning so that students can go beyond narrowly defined academic excellence to develop the attributes, mindsets, character and values for future success (Tharman, 2005). Therefore, adaptive achievement motivational beliefs, emotions, and strategies are not only important predictors of students' achievement, but also desirable educational outcomes in their own right. This proposed quantitative study has three major aims. First, it will comprehensively assess academic motivation, experienced emotions, and strategy use of Singapore secondary students in their math study. Students may experience various emotions in their study, such as enjoyment, hope, pride, boredom, anger, anxiety, and shame. However, most research on students' affect simply focused on general positivity of students' affect or particularly students' test anxiety. In addition, little research has extensively examined various approach and avoidance strategies that students use to deal with challenges, difficulties or failures in their study. Second, with a prospective design, this study will examine how students' motivational beliefs, emotions, strategies contribute to achievement and how they are predicted by classroom practices, such as classroom goal structure and teacher student relationship, and parenting practices, such as parental goal emphasis, warmth, and control. Third, this study will also examine students' academic motivation, experienced emotions, and strategy use in a specific alternative assessment practice, that is, graded project work. Project work aims to provide students with opportunities to collaboratively explore the inter-connectedness of subject specific knowledge and it is expected that by doing project work students will develop skills of knowledge application, communications, collaboration and independent learning (Ng, 2008). Thus, students might experience unique psychological and behavioral processes in this assessment task. In sum, the findings of this study will not only contribute to the theory and research on academic motivation and self-regulated learning, but also inform policy making on holistic education and character education in order to prepare our students for the new challenges in the 21st century.

Research Themes
Applied Cognitive Development & Motivational Studies

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
SingTeach Issue 48 (2014): Learn Positively!

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