Participation in School-Based Co-Curricular Activities and Student Development: A Motivation and Engagement Perspective

Project Number
OER 09/13 GAD

Project Duration
December 2013 - March 2019


Despite the emphasis on holistic development and the recognition that school-based co-curricular activities (CCAs) are an important platform to facilitate this development, the role of school-based CCA participation in Singaporean students' academic, social, psychological, and character development has not been systematically studied. Critical reviews of the current literature suggest that most of the studies pertinent to CCAs were conducted in American or European settings, focused on assessing the amount of activity participation (e.g., frequency, duration), based on cross-sectional samples, and overlooked the mechanisms through which CCA participation may promote outcomes. To advance the field, scholars have recently called for studies that assess both the quantity and quality of CCA participation, center on the motivational aspects of this participation, adopts longitudinal designs, and examines the moderating and mediating processes in the link between CCA participation and adolescent development. Informed by these substantive-methodological recommendations, the proposed study adopts contemporary motivation and engagement theorizing and research (self-determination, expectancy-value, achievement goals) to examine Singaporean students' participation in school-based CCAs and its potential impacts on academic and non-academic outcome factors over time. Adopting a multicohort-multioccasion sampling design, recognized to be a 'gold standard' in longitudinal designs to track individuals' development, the study will involve multiple cohorts of primary and secondary school students (N = 4800, 12 schools) who will complete the survey eliciting their CCA participation, motivation, engagement, perceptions of CCA-related socio-contextual attributes, and academic and non-academic outcome indicators (e.g., school belonging, educational aspiration, leadership skills) on multiple occasions throughout an academic year. Main data analyses will harness the sophistication of latent variable analyses including latent growth modeling, longitudinal structural equation modeling, and moderated mediation modeling. With the focus on malleable factors, such as motivation and engagement, findings of the proposed project are expected to hold important implications on the development and implementation of educational policy and practice seeking to optimize the effectiveness of CCA programs in facilitating Singaporean students' holistic functioning.

Funding Source

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