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ERIC Number: ED563046
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Course Placement Influences on Student Motivation
Simzar, Rahila; Domina, Thurston; Conley, AnneMarie; Tran, Cathy
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
A national initiative encourages STEM careers to prepare students to succeed in an increasingly competitive economy (National Research Council, 2011). The STEM pipeline is dependent on students' mathematics course-taking trajectories, which are determined once a student enrolls in his/her first Algebra course. Despite efforts to increase access to advanced math courses, there is a national decline in participation in these courses over the last two decades (Watt, Shapka, Morris, Durik, Keating, & Eccles, 2012). During the later high school years many students opt out of math-related disciplines (Meece, 2006). Student motivation predicts choice to "pursue" mathematics (Martin, Anderson, Bobis, Way, & Vellar, 2012), thus attending to student motivation is a necessary precursor to increasing the numbers of students choosing to pursue advanced mathematics learning. This case study uses the increasing eighth grade Algebra enrollment trends in an urban Californian school district to investigate motivational changes found between students selected into eighth grade Algebra with peers enrolled in other math courses referenced as General Mathematics. Using two waves of motivation survey data, we estimate motivational changes for eighth grade students beginning in the fall and ending in the spring. This research focuses on two questions: (1) How do achievement goals, expectancy, and task value change for eighth grade Algebra students compared with peers enrolled in General Mathematics courses? and (2) Do these motivational changes vary by mathematics achievement prior to Algebra course placement? Findings indicated that all students placed in Algebra, on average, experienced increases in maladaptive performance-avoid goals as compared with peers placed in General Mathematics. Average and low performing students placed in Algebra experienced decreases in performance-approach goals as compared with peers placed in General Mathematics. Furthermore, all students placed in Algebra experienced declines in both academic self-efficacy and task value as compared with peers placed in General Mathematics. Average and low achieving students experienced greater declines in self-efficacy and task value than high achieving peers in Algebra. Appended are: (1) Tables and figures; (2) Achievement Goal Scale Items; and (3) Expectancy Value Scale Items.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey