ERIC Number: EJ1020763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
Preadolescent Perceptions of Challenging and Difficult Course Activities and Their Motivational Distinctions
Schweinle, Amy; Berg, Patti J.; Sorenson, Ashley R.
Educational Psychology, v33 n7 p797-816 2013
The present research sought to determine if primary school students differentiate between classes that are challenging and those that are difficult, and how these distinctions relate to their motivation and achievement. Results indicated that there are three types of challenges/difficulties. "Challenging" classes are those that are demanding of the students but within their ability, are important and are tied to interests; students in these classes are more likely to adopt mastery goal orientations. "Purely difficult" classes are not valued, require a lot of effort, but are threatening to students' efficacy. Classes that are "difficult compared to others" are those that are more demanding for the student than other students or other classes. These classes are not valued and are also seen as a threat to efficacy. Both "purely difficult" and "difficult compared to others" classes were negatively related to achievement, and students in these classes are more likely to adopt performance avoidance goal orientations.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Preadolescents, Courses, Difficulty Level, Student Motivation, Academic Achievement, Goal Orientation, Student Attitudes, Grade 5, Elementary School Mathematics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey; Stanford Achievement Tests