A study in educational motivation : student's motivation related beliefs concerning co-operative education and school

O'Keefe, Barbara A. (1999) A study in educational motivation : student's motivation related beliefs concerning co-operative education and school. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In Newfoundland and Labrador schools there is a mode of delivering the curriculum which enables students to experience the world of work while still in high school. Co-operative education is a course of study that gives hands-on-training while connecting school curriculum to work skills. This study investigates the relationship between co-operative education and student educational motivation by investigating five motivational theories. -- The investigation was designed and conducted using a framework based on five theories, namely: B. Weiner's (1990) Attribution Theory, E. L. Deci and R. M. Ryan's (1985a, ) Self-Determination Theory, C. Dweck and E. Elliot's (1988) Goal Theory, M. Covington's (1984) Self-Worth Theory, and A Bandura's Self-Efficacy Theory (1977). One hundred and sixty-nine co-operative education students from twelve high schools on the Avalon Peninsula volunteered to participate in the study. A qualitative methodology was used to conduct the focus group sessions and to analyze the data collected during the sessions. -- The intent of the study was to determine if the co-operative education structure was different than a traditional classroom structure, what effects co-op has on student motivation, which elements of co-operative education influenced student motivation, were the learning experiences at a co-operative education placement different than the learning experiences in a traditional classroom setting, were these differences in the learning experiences due to the program's structure, the co-operative employer or the co-operative teacher. During the investigation the five educational motivational theories' confirmed that co-op was a mode of delivering the curriculum that fostered and enhanced student motivation and that this mode of delivery was structured differently than the traditional classroom activities. The findings confirmed that the co-operative education experiences obtained at the workplace influenced the students' educational motivation. Ninety-seven (57%) of the students reported that the combination of co-op program, the co-op placement and the co-op teacher had the greatest influence on their motivation while fifty-nine (32%) students replied that only the element of co-op placement had the greatest influence on their motivation. The remaining seventeen (11%) co-op students responded that the co-op teacher/monitor had the most influence on their motivation. It became evident during the study that there was a significant relationship between the motivation research and the elements of co-operative education. -- One hundred and sixty-nine students reported that their learning experiences and behaviours were different at the work place than in school and these differences allowed the students to change their attitudes and behaviors towards learning and achieving in school Students reported that they needed to have the same type or similar learning experiences in school. -- One hundred and sixty-two students reported they had a positive learning experience and the seven who disclosed their placement was not a great place to learn did not tell their co-operative teacher because they wanted to stay at the placement for various personal reasons. The students who had a positive learning experiences reported that the reasons were many, however, all students agreed that the following reasons were very important to a positive learning experience: how the teacher/employer taught the tasks and skills, the positive attitudes of their employers and teachers towards students' success/failure, self-worth, self-efficacy, and self determination, and the positive role modeling that was evident by both teachers and employers. It did not matter if the experiences were at the placement with an employer or in the integration sessions with the teacher, what mattered was that the learning experience needed to have teachers/employers that had a positive attitude and a learning environment that fostered confidence, belongingness, value and worth.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9088
Item ID: 9088
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 174-182.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education, Cooperative; Motivation in education

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