ERIC Number: ED409344
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Psychological Parameters of Students' Social and Academic Goals: A Qualitative Investigation.
Dowson, Martin; McInerney, Dennis M.
Students' goals (motives) for their schooling have been the focus of much recent research and have been shown to significantly influence important aspects of their cognitive engagement and academic achievement. This paper presents the results of a qualitative investigation into the nature and characteristics of students' social and academic goals, reporting the results of a series of structured, semistructured, and conversational interviews with students and teachers in primary and secondary schools in New South Wales, Australia. Interviews were designed to determine what goals students have and how the goals relate to each other, as well as various aspects of their cognitive engagement and academic achievement. Participants were 86 students, aged 12 to 15 years (63% Anglo-Australian), and 12 teachers from 8 schools in the Sydney metropolitan region. Results confirm that students in this sample have academic and social goals congruent with those identified in other contexts and other studies. These goals, as the literature has indicated, are salient correlates of students' motivation, cognitive engagement, and academic performance. The study further confirms that students can and do hold multiple social and academic goals in academic context, supporting the validity of a multiple goal, or interactionist, approach to goal studies. The study also supports academic and social goals as two distinct classes of goals, and it confirms the distinction between maladaptive and adaptive goals. An appendix charts students' goal descriptions and associated behaviors, affective reactions, and interview statements. (Contains 87 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia