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ERIC Number: EJ1160613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Identifying Pre-High School Students' Science Class Motivation Profiles to Increase Their Science Identification and Persistence
Chittum, Jessica R.; Jones, Brett D.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v109 n8 p1163-1187 Nov 2017
One purpose of this study was to determine whether patterns existed in pre-high school students' motivation-related perceptions of their science classes. Another purpose was to examine the extent to which these patterns were related to their science identification, gender, grade level, class effort, and intentions to persist in science. We collected data from pre-high school students (Grades 5 through 7, 52.5% female, and 90.7% who self-identified as White) from 2 rural public schools in Southwest Virginia. Our analysis included data from 937 questionnaires that measured students' perceptions of empowerment/autonomy, usefulness/utility value, expectancy for success, situational interest, and caring in science class. Using cluster analysis, we identified 5 clusters (i.e., "motivation profiles") of students: (a) low motivation, (b) low usefulness and interest but high success and caring, (c) somewhat high motivation, (d) somewhat high motivation and high success and caring, and (e) high motivation. We tested the cluster stability by cluster analyzing subsamples by year of data collection and by grade level. Significant relationships existed between these motivation profiles and students' science identification, gender, grade level, science class effort, and intentions to persist in science. These findings may support science educators in targeting students with similar motivation profiles rather than adhering to the difficult and often unrealistic task of catering to each student's complex needs, individually.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL1029756