umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Students as scientists: a study of motivation in the science classroom
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Forskning på schemat : högstadieelevers motivation för naturvetenskap (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

School science and mathematics have been criticized for being difficult, de-contextualised and teacher-centred. This thesis concerns student motivation in science and mathematics in secondary school, and in particular student motivation in relation to student-teacher-scientist partnerships (STSPs) and an authentic science task called the Medicine Hunt where students help scientists to find new antibiotics. The purpose of this dissertation is to interrogate the importance of authentic tasks for motivation in the science classroom. The thesis takes a starting point in motivation theories, with self-determination theory (SDT) in focus, and also builds on the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (HMIEM). A mixed-methods approach is used first, to find out what factors are important for students’ positive emotions and experiences in the classroom, and second, to learn more about the importance of authentic tasks using student interviews and observations in combination with questionnaires that evaluate students’ motivation. The studies reveal that the notion of having learnt something and intrinsic motivation are central for students’ positive emotions. Further, many situational factors, such as teacher support, autonomy, clear goals, and novelty of the task are central for both positive emotions and experiences in science and mathematics. Regarding the Medicine Hunt, students were positive and referred most of their positive experiences to science-related aspects, and the novelty of authentic science. Teachers gave different opportunities for competence, autonomy or relatedness when implementing the project in their classrooms, and these differences were more important for students’ initiatives and outcomes than students’ initial contextual motivation for school science. Students’ contextual motivation for science can change and the Medicine Hunt arrested the well-documented decline in students’ intrinsic motivation for science during the secondary school years. This thesis argues that authentic tasks implemented as STSPs such as the Medicine Hunt can contribute considerably to school science by providing motivating situations that channel students’ positive emotions and positive experiences, and that is possible to create authentic science learning situations in which both more and less motivated students can flourish. The findings highlight the teachers’ role in supporting the students’ process of extending their understanding of what science can include and in supporting students’ confidence as they adopt a broader and more authentic view of science when learning as part of a successful authentic STSP science project. The findings also suggest that more research focussing on motivation in different authentic situations, and how students’ experiences of authentic science can affect motivation in the longer term, is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2016. , 58 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 65
Keyword [en]
motivation, emotions, experiences, authentic science, student-teacher-scientist partnership, secondary school, implementation, classroom, mathematics, self-determination theory
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120123ISBN: 978-91-7601-477-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120123DiVA: diva2:926640
Public defence
2016-06-02, KB3A9, KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Lärandesituationens påverkan på elevers affektiva upplevelser och lärande
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3216
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Stimulating positive emotional experiences in mathematics learning: influence of situational and personal factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stimulating positive emotional experiences in mathematics learning: influence of situational and personal factors
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Psychology of Education, ISSN 0256-2928, E-ISSN 1878-5174, Vol. 29, no 4, 673-691 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study aims to assess the relative importance of a large number of variables for predicting students’ positive-activating emotions during mathematics learning. Participants were 668 first-year upper secondary school students from 33 schools of different sizes and locations. Two questionnaires were distributed, one assessing students’ perceptions and beliefs about their learning situation in mathematics in general, and the other assessing the characteristics of a particular mathematics lesson and the students’ emotional experiences during this lesson. Single-construct and multivariate models for predicting students’ emotions were computed. The results show that the multivariate models were the most efficient, predicting as much as 59 % of the variance in students’ emotional experiences. The two most important constructs were students’ type of motivation and perceived degree of learning, which together predicted 48 % of the students’ emotions. Single-construct models predicted, at most, 36 %. The relative and absolute predictive ability of different motivational constructs are reported. The relationships between constructs and their implications for teaching are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2014
Keyword
positive-activating emotions, personal factors, situational factors, upper secondary school, multivariate
National Category
Educational Sciences Didactics Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-92559 (URN)10.1007/s10212-014-0220-y (DOI)000344804300007 ()
Projects
Interaktioner mellan den lärande och lärandesituationen: effekter på affektiva upplevelser och lärandeutfall.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2007-3216
Available from: 2014-08-28 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Motivating students with authentic science experiences: Changes in motivation for school science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Motivating students with authentic science experiences: Changes in motivation for school science
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Students’ motivation for science declines over the early teenage years, and students often find school science difficult and irrelevant to their everyday lives. This paper asks whether creating opportunities to connect school science to authentic science can have positive effects on student motivation.

Purpose: To understand how authentic science experiences can affect students’ motivation for science and students’ goals, values, beliefs and attitudes towards science.

Programme description: The Medicine Hunt brought scientists and students together to find bacteria that produce secondary metabolites with antibiotic effects. Scientists received help with collecting soil samples and teachers and students took an active role in research and worked with solving an authentic problem as a part of their ordinary school science over a course of six months.

Sample: 388 students from 18 lower-secondary school classes participating in the Medicine Hunt. Students were enrolled in grade seven to nine (13-15 years old). At this stage, science is compulsory, and all students take the same science course. The classes represented different geographical regions of Sweden.

Design and methods: Students’ filled in motivation questionnaires before and after the Medicine Hunt. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate how students’ intrinsic motivation, goals, values, beliefs and attitudes towards science changed over the project period.

Results: Students’ intrinsic motivation for school science and plans for future participation in science remained unchanged during the period they participated in the Medicine Hunt, at the same time students’ goals, values and attitudes follow the well-documented pattern of decline. Thus, the authentic experience can arrest the well-described decline in some, but not all of the motivation-related factors.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that the authentic experience can arrest some aspects in the decline in motivation towards science in the teenage years. The paper discusses the processes around students’ motivation in relation to authentic experiences. 

Keyword
motivation, authentic science, student-teacher-scientist partnership, secondary school
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120039 (URN)
Projects
Lärandesituationens påverkan på elevers affektiva upplevelser och lärande
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3216
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-05 Last updated: 2016-05-11
3. Authentic science in the classroom—how scientific are students’ experiences?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Authentic science in the classroom—how scientific are students’ experiences?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to understand how students experience taking part in an authentic research project that aimed to increase motivation for science and understanding of research. It also aims to evaluate how these experiences are related to the science content and scientific way of working introduced in the authentic research project. Twenty-four students from three Swedish lower-secondary schools were interviewed. These students were selected to provide variation in motivation for school science. Analysis of the interviews shows that most students enjoyed taking part in the project, and that students referred mainly to reasons connected to science education; the authentic nature of the task, the hands-on and inquiry-based approach, and the opportunity to learn science. It further shows that even though the three teachers had different approach and the students were selected to get largest possible variation in motivation for school science, there were few differences in students’ experiences.

Keyword
student experiences, authentic science, student-teacher-scientist partnership, secondary school, intrinsic motivation
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120040 (URN)
Projects
Lärandesituationens påverkan på elevers affektiva upplevelser och lärande
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3216
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-05 Last updated: 2016-05-11
4. Motivational variations when implementing a student-teacher-scientist partnership in the science classroom
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Motivational variations when implementing a student-teacher-scientist partnership in the science classroom
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Authentic projects, where students meet, visit or work as scientists, are getting more common in schools. Little is known about the implementation of such projects and what effect the implementation has on students’ experiences and outcomes. This paper presents a study of twelve students in three classes that participate in same student-teacher-scientist partnership (STSP) in their Swedish secondary-science classrooms. The study includes three levels: the resources the teachers have, the opportunities for motivation through competence, autonomy and relatedness students are given, and students’ initiatives, group work and outcomes. The purpose of this study is to explore the process with which an authentic project is implemented in the science classroom and how the implementation can contribute to student motivation. The results show that all teachers spend the main part of lesson time with student-centred activities and that they all give opportunities for feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness, but that they do it to different extent. Most students take initiatives towards science and/or procedure, have good dynamics of group work and have good outcomes. No clear patterns between students’ contextual motivation and their initiatives, group work or outcomes were seen, however, students in classrooms with high support were more able to overcome issues and succeed with the task. It can be concluded that the implementation is a key step when introducing authentic science in school and that it is both possible and advisable to design authentic science activities that can be part of the curriculum and reach a broad group of students. However, a good balance between novelty in topic and methods -through for example autonomy- and support, -through for example clear instructions and procedural support- should be a key component in the implementation, especially to support less self-regulated students. Implications for STSPs and similar authentic projects, as well as for other classroom situations, are discussed. 

Keyword
authentic science, secondary school, motivation, self-determination theory, student-teacher-scientist partnership
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120041 (URN)
Projects
Lärandesituationens påverkan på elevers affektiva upplevelser och lärande
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3216
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-05 Last updated: 2016-05-11

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1175 kB)390 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1175 kBChecksum SHA-512
64aca55055829693c196db60908dc52d774fa3cb8c1d0a0eb2820e6aded44c18f33b6c2904e149b1784bd90afd079046927886ba6df16fc45af1ed7a18b387aa
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
spikblad(152 kB)33 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 152 kBChecksum SHA-512
9e62bb5fa61cdd79cc6545d92ff71e6dd3992bf64ff3417e46d2241ecb036a110b3cc5718be452a9ebd17431eaeb920e9d3cc9f87aa4db58524fdcefb620d34c
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hellgren, Jenny Maria
By organisation
Department of Science and Mathematics Education
Pedagogical Work

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 423 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 3155 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf