ERIC Number: ED184404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Motivational Relevance of Educational Plans: Questioning the Conventional Wisdom.
Alexander, Karl L.; Cook, Martha A.
Using two complimentary data sets, the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 and the Study of Academic Prediction and Growth, the conventional interpretation of educational plans as motives and thus determinants of educational attainment is questioned. It was found that when questioned about their educational loans: (1) as many as 20 percent of youth supply extemporaneous responses; (2) another 20 percent report goals of quite recent formulation; and (3) the remainder report long-term commitments (of at least two to five years). The last are so long-standing as to make suspect the causal ordering used in most models of adolescent attainment. That is, such plans are not properly considered as the products of high school experiences. It is also documented that senior year measures of educational goals are often quite contaminated by prior knowledge of one's actual prospects for college. Finally, the analyses make suspect the assumption that educational plans reflect exclusively, or even primarily, underlying motivation or achievement orientation. This finding makes it difficult to sustain the customary interpretation of the influences of student "plans." (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.
Identifiers: National Longitudinal Study High School Class 1972; Study of Academic Prediction and Growth