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ERIC Number: EJ946910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Thematic versus Subject-Based Curriculum Delivery and Achievement Goals: Findings from a Single-School Study
Putwain, Dave; Whiteley, Helen; Caddick, Lee
Educational Research, v53 n4 p387-398 2011
Background: It has been claimed that thematic or integrated approaches to curriculum delivery offer a range of advantages over subject-based modes of delivery including improved pupil motivation. Purpose: This study put claims regarding pupil motivation to the test, using the achievement goals framework. This contemporary approach to understanding academic motivation distinguishes between mastery and performance goals along approach and avoidance dimensions. Sample: Participants were 217 Year 7 pupils aged 11-12 years from a single English secondary school. Design and methods: An experimental design was used, in which pupils were allocated to either a subject-based or thematic mode of delivery to the Humanities curriculum. Achievement goals were measured at the beginning and end of the school year. Non-verbal academic ability was also assessed at the beginning of the school year. Results: Pupils' motivation to improve their learning (mastery approach) declined over the course of the year for both curriculum groups. Pupils in the subject-based humanities classes reported a stronger performance-approach goal at the beginning of the school year, which declined to a similar level to that of the pupils in the thematic classes by the end of the school year. No changes were observed in mastery-avoidance and performance-avoidance goals. Conclusions: These findings, based on a single school study, suggest that the motivational advantages for a thematic-based curriculum are at best extremely limited. (Contains 1 note and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 7; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Raven Progressive Matrices