The Effect of Grade Level on Elementary School Students’ Motivational Beliefs in Science

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The aim of this study was twofold: first, to investigate the effect of grade level on students’ motivational beliefs (self-efficacy, intrinsic value, mastery goals and performance goals) in science, and second to examine the relationships between students’ motivational beliefs and their science grades. The Turkish version of the Approaches to Learning Instrument (mastery goals and performance goals) and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (self-efficacy and intrinsic value) were used as data collection instruments. Elementary school students in Grades 6 through 8 participated in the study.
The data obtained from the measuring instruments were analyzed by using Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVA) and correlation analyses. Results of the analyses revealed that grade level has a significant effect on students’ motivational beliefs and as grade level increases student motivation in science declines. Accordingly, 6th grade students are found to be more self-efficacious in science and they show more intrinsic interest in science and study science course for the reasons of learning and mastering as well as showing their abilities to others compared to 7th grade and 8th grade students. Concerning the motivational level of 7 and 8 graders, results also showed that 7 graders’ motivational beliefs are more favorable than 8 graders. Moreover, results revealed significant positive relationships between all motivational belief variables and science grade in all grade levels except for the performance goal orientation. Additionally, significant positive relationships were found among all motivational belief variables.


Keywords: Science Education, Grade Level, Motivational Beliefs
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Effect of Grade Level on Elementary School Students’ Motivational Beliefs in Science, The, ,


Savaş Güngören

Elementary Science Teacher, Elementary Science Education, National Educational Government Department
Bolu, Turkey

I am an elementary science teacher in a public school in Turkey. I graduated from Elementary Science Education Department at Middle East Technical University (METU). I am going to graduate from Elementary Science and Math Education Department with Master of Science degree from METU at March 2009. I am interest in student motivation and science education.

Semra Sungur

Assistant Professor, Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey


Ref: L09P1432