An exploration of year 10 students’ motivation, attitude and self-efficacy toward learning chemistry
Misitomu, A. I. (2012). An exploration of year 10 students’ motivation, attitude and self-efficacy toward learning chemistry (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7569
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7569
How you see the world is largely a function of where you view it from, what you look at, what lens you use to help you see, what tools you use to clarify your image, what you reflect on and how you report your world to others. (Anderson, 2000, p. 3) Chemistry education is a broad term that refers to the study of the teaching and learning of chemistry in all schools, colleges and universities. The need to understand student motivation, attitude, and self-efficacy toward learning chemistry, how best to teach and improve learning outcomes in chemistry are paramount. These needs could be met by changing teaching methods and appropriate training of chemistry instructors, within several modes, including classroom teaching, demonstrations, and laboratory activities. There is a constant need to update the skills of chemistry teachers, and in acquiring a better understanding of students’ motivation, attitude, and self-efficacy toward learning chemistry; chemistry education speaks to this need. This study explores students’ motivation, attitude and self-efficacy toward learning chemistry. It uses Year 10 chemistry students in four secondary schools in Honiara, Solomon Islands as its study participants. Its primary objective is to examine student perceptions, and to investigate associations between chemistry students' motivation, attitude, and self-efficacy. The research adopts an interpretive approach to research, and employs a mixed methodological approach using questionnaire and semi-structured interview for data collection. It uses cross tabulation, thematic and statistical analysis for data presentation, analysis and theory formation. The significant results of the study substantiate suggestions made by other research studies that student motivation, attitude and self-efficacy shape the behaviour of students toward learning chemistry. The nature of influence depends on the degree of success in prior student learning experiences. This study finds that, student motivation as a personal construct is intrinsically driven. Thus motivated students have a positive attitude toward learning chemistry and do learn effectively while unmotivated students place less effort into the learning process. This study suggests students’ attitude toward learning chemistry is shaped by past teaching and learning experiences, and the influence of parents and peers on students’ normative beliefs. In addition, intrinsically motivated students acquire a sense of self-worth and confidence, setting achievable goals and working toward achieving them. Such findings call for a contextualised chemical education for young people, driven by past changes in chemistry education in schools and the needs and interests of our young people, our future citizens. The need to develop learning and instructional materials that are holistically interwoven with the learners’ socio-cultural context with prior and intended chemistry knowledge is a worthy call. This is important for worthwhile and lifelong learning. The country's socio-cultural context could therefore be embedded into the curriculum materials (syllabus, students’ books, teachers’ guides and learning resources). The socio-cultural application of chemical knowledge, skills and principles could, therefore, be the central focus in instructional and learning materials design. This could help increase student motivation; creates positive attitude change, and help boost student self-efficacy toward learning chemistry.
University of Waikato
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