ERIC Number: ED347199
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
All Content Areas May Not Be Created Equal: Motivational Orientation and Cognitive Strategy Use in Four Academic Domains.
Young, Allison J.; And Others
Students' motivation was studied within specific academic content areas using a goal theory framework. The relationships between motivational orientation and cognitive processes within and across content areas are also considered. Six-hundred sixth and seventh graders, approximately 90% white, from two suburban middle schools participated. Students completed general and four domain-specific surveys in mathematics, English, social studies, and science. Surveys, constructed for this study, assessed individual goal orientation (learning focus or ability focus) and cognitive strategy use (surface or deep level) within each domain. Findings suggest that students differentiated their goals and strategies within the four subject matter areas. There was a significant negative relationship between learning-focused goal orientation and ability-focused goal orientation. Most gender differences occurred with respect to the English content area. In English, boys were less likely than girls to hold a learning-focused goal orientation and to report using deeper level strategies, and were more likely to use surface level strategies. Results suggest that motivation is more effectively studied in a domain-specific paradigm. Addressing motivational and cognitive issues within subject areas has the potential to add to the understanding of student decision making. Eleven tables and 8 graphs present study data, and there is a 33-item list of references. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Cognitive Processes, Educational Objectives, English, Grade 6, Grade 7, Intermediate Grades, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Learning Strategies, Mathematics, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Models, Sciences, Sex Differences, Social Studies, Student Motivation, Surveys, White Students
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for School Leadership, Urbana, IL.; Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. School of Education.
Identifiers: Content Areas; Domain Analysis; Goal Oriented Approach to Learning; Strategy Choice; Student Surveys
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).