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ERIC Number: ED436288
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ethnicity and Individual Differences in Achievement Goals in Kindergarten Children.
Billings, Barbara L.
This study examined the effect of ethnicity on individual differences in achievement goals in a replication of the paradigm used by P. Smiley and C. Dweck (1994) to explore individual differences in achievement goals held by young children. The emphasis was on learning goals, which focus effort on mastering new tasks, and performance goals, which focus effort toward documentation of ability. Participating in the study were 39 Caucasian and 39 Hispanic kindergarten children enrolled in 6 public schools in Idaho. Subjects were asked to solve puzzles of cartoon characters, with some of the puzzles altered to prevent successful completion. Children were then asked to choose between additional challenging or no-challenge tasks. Based on their preferences for challenging versus no-challenge puzzles and their reasons for so choosing, children were categorized into learning and performance goal groups. The findings indicated that the proportions of Hispanic and Caucasian students holding learning goals were almost identical. Twenty-one (54 percent) Hispanic children held learning goals, and 22 (56 percent) Caucasian children held learning goals. Kindergartners' preferences for learning or performance goals did not vary by ethnic group. There was an unexpected effect of gender on goal preference, such that 60 percent of males preferred performance goals, with the remainder preferring learning goals; these preferences were reversed for females, with 33 percent holding performance goals and 67 percent holding learning goals. The same pattern was observed in both the Hispanic and Caucasian ethnic groups. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A