AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Studying motivation in classrooms

by Kim Stroet

Institution: University of Groningen
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Record ID: 1254086
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/11370/6da2257e-77ed-49e2-a8ab-804549f830ae


For many early adolescent students, motivation for school declines after the transition toward secondary education. Kim Stroet aimed to identify how these motivational developments are affected by teaching practices, thereby intending to—ultimately—help schools diminish or counter the declines. Next to the longitudinal nature of her research, a unique asset for the domain is that studies were conducted “in” classrooms; that is, the focus was on (consequences of) what is actually going on in current educational practice instead of on, for example, how students perceive what is going on. Among prominent findings is that teaching practices do matter and can indeed alter early adolescents’ motivational developments. In this regard, firstly, results indicated the type of school students attended to matter (schools ranged from more teacher-centred, traditional school to more student-centred, innovative). Secondly, students’ motivational developments appeared positively related to their teachers supporting instead of thwarting their fundamental needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness (as defined from the perspective of “Self-Determination Theory” and measured via observations). Another main finding is that from different angles the results pointed towards the importance of teachers being consistent: Both in their individual practices and as a team of teachers working at the same school. Finally, findings suggested teachers in many respects to be bounded by the (type of) school they work at. Accordingly, to realise enduring changes in the classroom, often, instead of intervening at the level of the teacher, intervening at the level of the school would be advisable.