Student motivation, academic self-concept, and instructional conditions in compensatory mathematics education

Patricia Elizabeth Abernethy, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the interaction of the two student personality characteristics of student motivation and academic self-concept with two instructional conditions--direct instruction and individualized instruction.^ The study included 107 students in 9th and 10th grade compensatory mathematics in an urban high school. These students completed the computational subtest of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) (1981), which assessed skills in fractions, decimals, integers and percents, the Individualized Styles Questionnaire (Deci & Ryan, 1982) which assessed three motivational orientations of students (intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation), and the Self-Perception Profile for Children (Harter, 1985) which taps students' domain-specific judgment of their competence as well as a global perception of their self-concept.^ The length of the study was 25 teaching days. The mathematics content of the study included the skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions and decimals. At the end of the study, the mathematics computational subtest of the CTBS was readministered.^ Results indicated that students in the individualized instruction condition who had low intrinsic motivation scores received a significantly lower CTBS posttest computational score than students who were in the middle or high intrinsic motivation groups. The evidence demonstrated that students in the direct instruction condition who had middle extrinsic motivation scores received a significantly higher CTBS posttest computational score than students in the lower or higher extrinsic motivation groups. The results indicated also that there were no significant differences in the CTBS posttest computational scores among levels of amotivation. In all cases, there was no interaction of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, or amotivation and instructional conditions.^ In this study, students who obtained a higher score in extrinsic motivation obtained a higher score in academic self-concept. The variable of academic self-concept was also the only significant predictor variable related to the CTBS posttest computational score.^ The variables included here are important as they target individual student personality characteristics which can interact with instructional conditions in high school compensatory mathematics classes. ^

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Abernethy, Patricia Elizabeth, "Student motivation, academic self-concept, and instructional conditions in compensatory mathematics education" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8918436.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8918436

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