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ERIC Number: ED407203
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Belief about Success in the Classroom: Are There Cultural Differences?
McInerney, Dennis M.; And Others
The goal theory of achievement motivation establishes that goals stressed by schools dramatically affect whether children develop a success orientation or give up when faced with failure. This paper examines how Australian children from diverse cultural backgrounds view achievement and success in the classroom. A questionnaire derived from the Inventory of School Motivation assessed students' perceived goals in four areas: task or mastery goals, ego or performance goals, social solidarity goals, and extrinsic goals. Using Likert-type ratings of these goals, students indicated what made them feel successful and what made other people successful at school. The questionnaire was administered to 1,173 Anglo Australian students, 496 Aboriginal students, and 487 students of immigrant background in grades 7-11 in 12 rural and urban high schools in New South Wales, Australia. Participants' perceptions of success for self at school were similar across the three groups. All groups agreed that excellence and task involvement were important personal indicators of success, although Western groups were significantly more positive than the Aboriginal group. All groups were unsure of the importance of achieving power, but the Aboriginal group was most negative. The two Western groups agreed that competitive school success indicated personal success, but the Aboriginal group disagreed. The three groups were uncertain of the importance of collectivist goals and agreed that teacher recognition and token reinforcement indicated success. Results suggest that schools foster individualist but not collectivist goals. Contains 38 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia