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ERIC Number: ED516402
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 126
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2793-7
Development of Perceived Instrumentality for Mathematics, Reading and Science Curricula
Garcia, Steve L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Perceptions of instrumentality (PI) are the connections one sees between a current activity and a future goal. With high PI, one is motivated to persist with quality effort because the current activity, even when difficult, is perceived as aligned with, and progress toward, the goal. Conversely, with low PI, one is motivated to relinquish effort in pursuit of other, more meaningful goals. In view of the alarming dropout rates in this country, it appears that PI research has much to offer in understanding students' motivations to stay in school and hence to become employed in their field of choice. Because academic achievement motivation can be affected by gender and ethnicity, particularly for specific components of the curriculum, and because curricular content varies across grade levels and school settings, this line of research offers significant potential for understanding and improving student outcomes. This research examined the development of PI among suburban 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders from a school district in the southwestern United States. Twelve hundred students completed a one-time paper and pencil survey measuring the perceived instrumentality of mathematics, literacy and science courses in terms of the students' occupational choices. MANOVA was used to determine factors that may affect students' overall PI and individual subject PI. Grade, gender, ethnicity, occupational choice, expectancy and value were the independent variables. A school setting variable was examined for effects on 12th graders. For the 8th through 12th grade sample, significant main effects were observed for grade, gender, minority status, occupational choice and expectancy on PI. Results show that PI is highest in the 6 th grade. Males reported higher Math PI than females. Females reported higher Reading PI and Science PI than males. Minority students reported lower overall PI and Science PI than non-minority students. Students who aspire to professional careers report the highest PI; and students who expect to achieve their occupational choice score higher than those who do not. Among 12th graders, significant two-way interaction effects on PI were observed between school type and gender; school type and occupational value; and, occupational expectancy and value. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 6; Grade 8; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A