► First comprehensive instrument measuring students’ multiple achievement emotions. ► Findings corroborate Pekrun’s control-value theory of achievement emotions. ► Need to differentiate between various discrete emotions. ► Achievement emotions linked to motivation, strategies, self-regulation, performance. Aside from test anxiety scales, measurement instruments assessing students’ achievement emotions are largely lacking. This article reports on the construction, reliability, internal validity, and external validity of the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ) which is designed to assess various achievement emotions experienced by students in academic settings. The instrument contains 24 scales measuring enjoyment, hope, pride, relief, anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, and boredom during class, while studying, and when taking tests and exams. Scale construction used a rational–empirical strategy based on control-value theory of achievement emotions and prior exploratory research. The instrument was tested in a study using a sample of university students ( 389). Findings indicate that the scales are reliable, internally valid as demonstrated by confirmatory factor analysis, and externally valid in terms of relationships with students’ control-value appraisals, learning, and academic performance. The results provide further support for the control-value theory and help to elucidate the structure and role of emotions in educational settings. Directions for future research and implications for educational practice are discussed.
Although many studies have examined the relation of academic motivation to school achievement using the Self-Determination Theory perspective, the results have been inconsistent. The present investigation represents the first systematic attempt to use a meta-analysis and controlled, longitudinal studies to examine the relations of specific types of motivation to overall academic achievement. The meta-analysis (Study 1) pointed toward a potentially important role of intrinsic motivation in predicting school achievement. Three empirical studies of high school and college students in Canada (Studies 2 and 3) and in Sweden (Study 4) showed that intrinsic motivation was the only motivation type to be consistently positively associated with academic achievement over a one-year period, controlling for baseline achievement. Amotivation was significantly associated with lower academic achievement in Studies 3 and 4. Interestingly, intrinsic motivation was also associated with reduced amotivation in two of our studies and it was reciprocally associated with higher school achievement in another study. Overall, our findings highlight the unique importance of intrinsic motivation for the future academic success of high school and college students.
► Proposed “agentic engagement” as a new theoretical concept. ► Developed and validated a new measure of the agentic engagement construct. ► Agentic engagement correlated with students’ constructive motivational status. ► Agentic engagement independently predicted student achievement. While a consensus has emerged to characterize student engagement during learning activities as a three-component construct featuring behavioral, emotional, and cognitive aspects, we propose adding agentic engagement as an important new aspect, which we define as students’ constructive contribution into the flow of the instruction they receive. High school students (237 females, 128 males) from Taiwan completed surveys of their classroom motivation and the four hypothesized aspects of engagement while grades were obtained at the end of the semester. Structural equation modeling analyses showed that agentic engagement was both a distinct and an important construct, one that was associated with students’ constructive motivation, related to each of the other three aspects of engagement, and predicted independent variance in achievement. The discussion highlights the important, though currently neglected, ways that students contribute constructively into the flow of the instruction they receive, as by personalizing it and by enhancing both the lesson and the conditions under which they learn.
Although the Expectancy-Value Model offers one of the most influential models for understanding motivation, one component of this model, cost, has been largely ignored in empirical research. Fortunately, recent research is emerging on cost, but no clear consensus has emerged for operationalizing and measuring it. To address this shortcoming, we outline a comprehensive scale development process that builds and extends on prior work. We conducted a literature review of theory and existing measurement, a qualitative study with students, a content alignment with experts, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and a correlational study. In the literature and across our studies, we found that cost was salient to students, separate from expectancy and value components, contained multiple dimensions, and related to student outcomes. This work led to proposing a new, 19 item cost scale with four dimensions: task effort cost, outside effort cost, loss of valued alternatives cost, and emotional cost. In addition, to extend existing cost measures, careful attention was taken to operationalize the cost dimensions such that the scale could be easily used with a wide variety of students in various contexts. Directions for future research and the implications for the study of motivation are discussed.
Young adolescents’ perceptions of teachers’ and peers’ multiple classroom supports were examined in relation to motivational outcomes (interest and social goal pursuit). Responses from sixth ( = 120), seventh ( = 115), and eighth ( = 123) grade students concerning four dimensions of support (expectations for specific behavioral and academic outcomes, provisions of help, safety, and emotional nurturing) indicated that social supports differ as a function of students’ sex, grade level, teacher, and classroom, and in their relations to interest and social goal pursuit. Relations of students’ perceptions to motivational outcomes differed as a function of source of support. In addition, students’ perceptions of teacher and peer supports differed as a function of teacher and classroom. In general, findings confirm the utility of a multi-dimensional approach to social support that acknowledges the independent as well as interactive contributions of teachers and peers to student motivation.
► Interest in engaging further with particular science topics provides an effective task related measure of student interest in science. ► Personal value, enjoyment and interest in science are predictive of students’ interest in engaging further with science topics. ► Enjoyment of science is not dependent on high levels of science knowledge. ► Relations between science knowledge and enjoyment of science vary across countries with different cultural traditions. Recent research has expanded understanding of the contribution of emotions to student engagement and achievement. Achievement emotions can be conceptualized as general ways of responding to achievement settings or specific emotional states aroused during a specific learning activity. Emotion processes can be distinguished as positive or negative, activating or deactivating. Using data from an international survey of science achievement (PISA 2006; > 400,000 15-year-old students from 57 countries), relations between the positive, activating achievement emotion of enjoyment and a number of variables that combine with enjoyment to define students’ engagement with learning science are examined. Previously, we reported that enjoyment is central to relations between interest in science, value and knowledge, and students’ reported current and future engagement. The embedded attitudinal items from PISA 2006 allow testing of how enjoyment contributes to a more direct measure of engagement with science by assessing students’ interest in finding out more about the specific topics used to measure their science achievement. In this investigation, structural equation modeling is used to test predictions based on four-phase model of interest development, and control-value theory of achievement emotions.
Student amotivation is a state of motivational apathy in which students harbor little or no reason to engage in classroom learning activities; it is a motivational deficit that is strongly associated with maladaptive functioning. Using a self-determination theory framework, we designed and implemented a teacher-focused intervention to help experienced teachers develop a motivating style that could increase students’ psychological need satisfaction and decrease their psychological need frustration, which are the twin causes of level of amotivation. Sixteen secondary school physical education teachers were randomly assigned into either an experimental or a control group, and their 598 students reported their need satisfaction, amotivation, and engagement at the beginning, middle, and end of a semester. Compared to teachers in the control group, teachers in the experimental group were scored by objective raters and perceived by students as more autonomy supportive and as less controlling. The students of the teachers in the experimental group reported greater psychological need satisfaction, greater engagement, and lesser amotivation than did students of teachers in the control group. We conclude that the intervention was successful in helping teachers decrease student amotivation.
Adopting a combination of expectancy-value and achievement goal theories, this study examined the role of self-efficacy, task value, and achievement goals in students’ learning strategies, task disengagement, peer relationship, and English achievement outcome. A sample of 1475 Year-9 students participated in the study. A structural equation model showed that while task value predicted only mastery goals, self-efficacy predicted each of the three types of achievement goal. Mastery and performance-approach goals were both positive predictors of deep learning and peer relationship. Mastery goals were also negatively associated with task disengagement and positively associated with surface learning. In contrast, performance-avoidance goals were a positive predictor of surface learning and task disengagement but a negative predictor of peer relationship. On the whole, these findings suggest that, like mastery goals, performance-approach goals can generate adaptive outcomes.
Recent developments in self-determination theory research in the educational setting (e.g., ), suggest that teachers’ interpersonal style should be considered as consisting of three dimensions: autonomy support, structure and interpersonal involvement. Based on this theoretical proposition, the purpose of the present study was to test the effects of a training program for three physical education newly qualified teachers on the aforementioned teachers’ overt behaviors and students’ psychological needs satisfaction, self-determined motivation and engagement in sport-based physical education. After a baseline period of four lessons, the teachers attended an informational session on adaptive student motivation and how to support it. The training program also included individualized guidance during the last four lessons of the cycle. Results revealed that from pre- to post-intervention: (1) teachers managed to improve their teaching style in terms of all three dimensions, and (2) students were receptive to these changes, as shown by increases in their reported need satisfaction, self-determined motivation and engagement in the class.
► Similar factors influence commitment of practicing and pre-service teachers. ► Pre-service teachers display higher commitment and lower stress. ► Practicing teachers were more confident than pre-service teachers in managing classroom behavior. ► Occupational commitment influences decisions to leave the profession. The purpose of the present study was to explore the occupational commitment and quitting intention of practicing and pre-service teachers. We used a cross-sectional survey design to examine the impact of teachers’ self-efficacy, job stress, and contextual factors on occupational commitment and quitting intention of 434 practicing teachers and 379 pre-service teachers. Results revealed that similar factors—self-efficacy, job stress, and teaching context—influence the occupational commitment and quitting intention of practicing and pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers displayed higher levels of commitment and less overall stress than practicing teachers. We conclude the article with implications for theory and practice, and suggest avenues to extend this line of career stage research.
What can be done to promote student–instructor interaction in a large lecture class? One approach is to use a personal response system (or “clickers”) in which students press a button on a hand-held remote control device corresponding to their answer to a multiple choice question projected on a screen, then see the class distribution of answers on a screen, and discuss the thinking that leads to the correct answer. Students scored significantly higher on the course exams in a college-level educational psychology class when they used clickers to answer 2 to 4 questions per lecture (clicker group), as compared to an identical class with in-class questions presented without clickers (no-clicker group, = 0.38) or with no in-class questions (control group, = 0.40). The clicker treatment produced a gain of approximately 1/3 of a grade point over the no-clicker and control groups, which did not differ significantly from each other. Results are consistent with the generative theory of learning, which predicts students in the clicker group are more cognitively engaged during learning.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of emotions in academic settings, especially in how emotions shape student engagement and learning. This special issue highlights new research in this area and aims to inspire others to join us in conducting empirical research on emotions in education. Using a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, all contributions share a unique focus on the linkages between students’ emotions and their academic engagement. What is particularly important about this set of papers is their consideration of how and why student emotions emerge, how these emotions in turn shape students’ engagement and achievement, and the ways in which students can harness emotional resources for facilitating their engagement and achievement. In this introduction to the special issue, we briefly highlight each of the manuscripts and suggest several directions for future research.
Self-concept and self-efficacy are two of the most important motivational predictors of educational outcomes. As most research has studied these constructs separately, little is known about their differential relations to peer ability, opportunities-to-learn in classrooms, and educational outcomes. We investigated these relations by applying (multilevel) structural equation modeling to the German PISA 2006 data set. We found a correlation of ρ = .57 between self-concept and self-efficacy in science, advocating distinguishable constructs. Furthermore, science self-concept was better predicted by the average peer achievement ( ), whereas science self-efficacy was more strongly affected by inquiry-based learning opportunities. There were also differences in the predictive potential for educational outcomes: Self-concept was a better predictor of future-oriented motivation to aspire a career in the sciences, whereas self-efficacy was a better predictor of current ability. The study at hand provides strong evidence for the related but distinct nature of the two constructs and extends existing research on students' competence beliefs toward social comparisons and opportunities-to-learn. Further implications for the relevance of inquiry-based classroom activities and for the assessment of competence beliefs are discussed.
In educational research, characteristics of the learning environment (e.g., social climate, instructional quality, goal orientation) are often assessed via student reports, and their associations with outcome variables such as school achievement or student motivation then tested. However, studying the effects of the learning environment presents a series of methodological challenges. This article discusses three crucial elements in research that uses student reports to gauge the impact of the learning environment on student outcomes. First, from a conceptual point of view, it is argued that ratings aggregated at the relevant level (e.g., class or school level), and not individual student ratings, are of primary interest in these studies. Second, the reliability of aggregated student ratings must be routinely assessed before these perceptions are related to outcome variables. Third, researchers conducting multilevel analyses need to make very clear which centering option was chosen for the predictor variables. This article shows that conclusions about the impact of learning environments can be substantially affected by the choice of a specific centering option for the individual student ratings.
We examined whether individual interest, as an affective motivational variable, could predict academic self-regulation and achievement, above and beyond what academic self-efficacy predicted. We tested the relationships between academic self-efficacy, individual interest, grade goals, self-regulation, and achievement of Korean middle school students ( = 500) in four different subject areas. Consistent with previous findings, self-efficacy predicted achievement both directly and indirectly via grade goals. Self-efficacy also predicted self-regulation, but only when grade goals mediated the relationship. Supporting our hypothesis, individual interest functioned as a correlated yet independent and direct predictor of self-regulation. It also predicted achievement, but only when self-regulation mediated the relationship. We thus suggest that academic self-regulation could be encouraged through the promotion of two distinct motivational sources, academic self-efficacy and individual interest. We further suggest that the pathways linking individual interest to academic self-regulation and achievement may differ from those linking academic self-efficacy to the same variables.
Achievement goal research has grown increasingly complex with the number of proposed goal orientations that motivate students. As the number of proposed goal constructs proliferates, a variety of data analytic challenges have emerged, such as profiling students on different types of goal pursuit as well as evaluating the relationships of multiple goal pursuit with different educational outcomes. The purpose of the current article is to showcase the advantages of using latent profile analysis (LPA) over other traditional techniques (such as multiple regression and cluster analysis) when analyzing multidimensional data like achievement goals. Specifically, we review the advantages of LPA over traditional person- and variable-centered analyses and then provide a critical look at three different conceptualizations of goal orientation (2-, 3-, and 4-factor) using LPA.
► MSCEIT emotion management predicts community college GPA ( = .44). ► This is partly mediated by coping: Problem-focused coping is a significant mediator. ► STEM-Y emotion management predicts eighth-grade students’ grades ( = .28). ► This is fully mediated by coping: Problem-focused coping is a significant mediator. Research examining the relationships between performance measures of emotional intelligence (EI), coping styles, and academic achievement is sparse. Two studies were designed to redress this imbalance. In each of these studies, both EI and coping styles were significantly related to academic achievement. In Study 1, 159 community college students completed the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidant coping scales. Collectively, the coping variables significantly mediated the relationship between EI and grade point average (GPA) for Emotion Perception, Emotion Facilitation of Thought and Emotion Management (but not for Emotional Understanding). Problem-focused coping was the only single significant mediator, mediating the relationship between emotion management and GPA (but not other branches and GPA). In Study 2, 293 middle school students completed the Situational Test of Emotion Management for Youths (STEM-Y) and scales measuring the same three coping strategies. In this study, the coping variables again significantly mediated the relationship between emotion management and GPA. Once again, problem-focused coping was a significant mediator. Collectively, these results suggest that better educational outcomes might be achieved by targeting skills relating to emotion management and problem-focused coping.
► Direct assessment of teachers’ enthusiasm via teacher questionnaire. ► Study combines teacher and student data. ► Two dimensions of teacher enthusiasm can be distinguished: teaching enthusiasm and subject enthusiasm. ► These dimensions differ in their meaning and context specificity. Enthusiasm is considered an important characteristic of effective teachers. However, the conceptualization of the term in the research literature is inconsistent. Whereas most studies use the term “enthusiasm” to describe features of instruction, some have used it to describe a characteristic of teachers. This research seeks to clarify the concept of teacher enthusiasm, examining its dimensionality and context specificity. The study draws on three samples of teachers who were administered questionnaire measures of enthusiasm. In two samples ( = 205 and 332), it was possible to match teacher data with data on the students taught. In another sample ( = 113), additional measures of work-related wellbeing were implemented. Confirmatory multigroup factor analyses showed that two dimensions of teacher enthusiasm can be distinguished, namely enthusiasm for teaching and enthusiasm for the subject. These dimensions differed in their meaning and context specificity. Whereas teaching enthusiasm was systematically linked to occupational wellbeing and to classroom variables, subject enthusiasm related only moderately to other measures of occupational wellbeing and was independent of characteristics of the classes taught.