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Intrinsic motivation of pre-service primary school teachers for learning chemistry in relation to their academic achievement

[journal article]

Juriševič, Mojca; Glažar, Saša Aleksij; Razdevšek Pučko, Cveta; Devetak, Iztok

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Abstract Our experience suggests that pre-service primary school teachers have problems with learning science, and that this negative attitude towards science influences their future teaching. On that premise the purpose of the study was to determine the level of the pre-service primary school teachers' intrinsic motivation for learning science in relation to some other subjects. The focus of the research was on the intrinsic motivation for learning Chemistry and its correlation to students' academic achievements in Chemistry. The study included 140 first year pre-service primary school teachers who completed the questionnaire about their intrinsic motivation and a knowledge test about general Chemistry concepts. Their results show that students are more or less equally motivated for Chemistry as for any other subject, but that the intrinsic motivation plummets as the level of abstraction in individual subjects, such as Chemistry and Mathematics, increases. It has been similarly established that of the three levels of chemistry learning, namely, macroscopic, submicroscopic, and symbolic, students were the least motivated to study concepts at the symbolic level. The correlation between the level of motivation and the knowledge test results is not strong; nevertheless, it is statistically significant, while the correlation between motivation and the mark achieved in Chemistry is statistically not significant. The research results will assist us in our future search for more effective approaches to motivating students to study science. They can also be of assistance in encouraging students to devise educational strategies which will help them motivate their own students for science learning.
Classification Primary Education Sector; Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics
Free Keywords chemistry education; intrinsic motivation; pre-service primary school teachers
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 87-107
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 30 (2008) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690601148517
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)