An inquiry into a cadre of Chinese university students' perceptions of the features of autonomy in motivation for learning during their senior high schooling period

Li, Zhide (1995) An inquiry into a cadre of Chinese university students' perceptions of the features of autonomy in motivation for learning during their senior high schooling period. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF (Migrated (PDF/A Conversion) from original format: (application/pdf)) - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (23Mb)
  • [img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

In the People's Republic of China, students in the university-track senior high schools are prepared for the Nationwide Entrance Examination for Higher Education Institutions (NEEH), which is held at the end of three-year senior high schooling period. Owing to the selective nature of the NEEH, only those whose marks in the NEEH are above certain score control lines are eligible for admission into a higher educational institution. The purpose of this study was to investigate a cadre of Chinese university students' perceptions of the features of autonomy in motivation for learning in university-track senior high schools. The investigation was conducted around two major research questions: 1) what the students perceived as the features of their learning behaviour and emotional experience with respect to the degrees of autonomous versus controlled motivation for learning; and 2) what the students perceived as the features of their learning environment with respect to that as being autonomy supportive versus controlling. -- This study was based on the reflective in-depth interviews between interviewer and interviewee contact. A self-report questionnaire with open-ending questions was developed and administered personally as a preparatory stage of the investigation to break down the major research questions into more detailed questions. The investigation was designed and conducted in the theoretical framework of E. L. Deci and R. M. Ryan's (1985a, 1987) Self-determination Theory. Five graduate students in an eastern Canada university participated in the investigation. The methodology of phenomenological approach was employed in conducting the interviews, analyzing the interview data and presenting the cases. Cases were analyzed and discussed in the light of the Self-determination Theory. -- Findings of this study include the following. (1) The learning behaviour of the participants during their senior high years fell into the degrees of introjected regulation and identified regulation along the continuum of internalization and integration of an extrinsic regulation from heteronomous control to autonomous self-determination. Two of five participants originally approached learning with intrinsically motivated attitudes; they reported some behavioral features such as genuine interest, curiosity, and spontaneity in learning, which were related to intrinsic motivation of learning. (2) Perceptions of emotional experience were congruent with the autonomous versus controlling learning behaviour of the individuals. Those whose learning behaviour exemplified more controlled features perceived less positive emotions than those whose learning behaviour exemplified less controlled features. (3) Learning environment in university-track senior high schools was perceived as controlling with the features: a) the pre-set goal of learning that all students should try to obtain good marks in the NEEH; b) academic ranking as the major feedback form perceived as mainly controlling, and c) peer competitions for promoting one's academic rank, which was perceived as mainly controlling. The learning environment at home/in the family, in four cases, was featured with parents' expectations and encouragement of obtaining high marks in the NEEH. In three cases, the form of feedback at home was parents' comments on academic marks and ranks which reflected their sole concern with respect to their children's academic performance. Four participants perceived pressure of a different level from home of urging them to gain as high marks as they could in the NEEH. One participant perceived no parent involvement in her learning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4469
Item ID: 4469
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 152-159.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: China
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Motivation in education--China; High school students--China--Attitudes; Autonomy (Psychology); Achievement motivation--China

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics