Social science students’ perceptions of motivational methods and approaches in science class

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Social science students’ perceptions of motivational methods and approaches in science class

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Terese Kumlins ...
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Publication Student essay 15hp
Title Social science students’ perceptions of motivational methods and approaches in science class
Author Kumlin, Terese
Date 2017
English abstract
How to motivate students effectively is a question teachers have asked for thousands of years. In my teaching program at Malmö University, a variety of teaching methods and approaches, that also increase motivation, have come into focus. These include: teaching at the right level, using a variety of teaching methods, seeing every student, being enthusiastic about the material, using formative evaluation, connecting lessons to students’ everyday life, and adapting classes to students’ interests. The aim of this study is to find out how secondary students in a social science program perceive teaching methods and approaches aimed at increasing motivation, and determine which methods they perceive as most/least effective. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. 23 upper-secondary students from a class at a school in southern Sweden were interviewed in four focus groups, where participants were purposefully sampled. 10 of these students were also asked to complete a questionnaire ranking the teaching methods and approaches on a scale of 1-7 (where 1 was most effective at increasing motivation and 7 least effective), and the mean values of these scores were used in the analysis. A phenomenological approach and content analysis were used to code and analyze the data. Students perceived all of the motivational methods to be effective, the most effective being teaching lessons at the right level, followed by using a variety of teaching methods, with mean values of 1.9 and 3.2, respectively. Adapting lessons to students’ interests and connecting them to everyday life were the least effective, with mean values of 5.6 and 5.7, respectively. The categories of teachers having a positive attitude towards the material and the students, and seeing every student, had the same mean value, 3.8, while formative evaluation had a mean value of 3.9. When trying to motivate students, it would thus appear more effective to make sure that lessons are taught at the right level and that teachers vary the lessons, than to adapt lessons to students’ interests or connect the material to everyday life. While this was a small study and the findings cannot be generalized to school populations, they are of high interest for the researcher.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle
Pages 33
Language eng (iso)
Subject Content analysis
Motivation
Phenomenology
Science class
Secondary school
Social science students
self-determination theory
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22204 Permalink to this page
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