Publication Date

2003

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Shumow, Lee||Schmidt, Jennifer A. (Jennifer Anne)

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

LCSH

School children--Wisconsin--Attitudes||Elementary school teachers--Wisconsin--Attitudes

Abstract

Important goals in education are to help students develop an autonomous orientation toward learning, an intrinsic motivational orientation, and positive perceptions of their competence. Teachers play a significant role in facilitating those goals. The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of the classroom climate from both the teachers' and students' perspective within the context of two suburban elementary schools. The study also examined the relationship between students' perceptions of the classroom climate and their motivational orientation and perceptions of competence in the areas of mathematics and reading. In addition, gender differences in perceptions of competence were explored, as were grade-related trends in motivational orientation and perceptions of competence. Fourth- and fifth-grade teachers and their students completed self-report measures. Results indicated that there was a positive relationship between teachers' and students' perceptions of the classroom climate for fifth-grade males. However, this relationship was not statistically significant for the overall sample. The correlation matrix indicated a significant positive relationship between students' perceptions of classroom climate and intrinsic motivation and perceptions of competence in mathematics and reading. However, perceptions of classroom climate only predicted intrinsic motivation in mathematics. Intrinsic motivation and perceptions of competence in the same academic subject area were strongly related, as were intrinsic motivation and perceptions of competence across subject areas. However, intrinsic motivation in one area detracted from the prediction of perceptions of competence in the other subject area across all regression models. There was a statistically significant negative relationship between grade level and intrinsic motivation in both mathematics and reading in the correlation matrix. However, gender differences and grade-related patterns did not emerge in any of the regression models. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also addressed. Several implications for teachers can be drawn from these findings. Teachers can make a difference in students' outlook toward academics and their perceptions of their abilities. When teachers are autonomy-supportive in the classroom, students can benefit by becoming more intrinsically motivated and being more positive about their abilities. These effects can have a positive, enduring impact on their future approaches to facing challenges.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [114]-126).

Extent

ix, 146 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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