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Motivational teaching in chemistry classroom

Alisa Delić (2018) Motivational teaching in chemistry classroom. MSc thesis.

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    Motivation to learn is a motivation reflected in the context of academic learning through the students' behaviour. It is an extremely important aspect of learning as it activates the learning process and furtherly directs it towards its goal. Based on the self-determination theory students can be encouraged towards a more autonomous form of learning at any given point of the continuum of extrinsic motivation, if appropriate teaching methods are being used. Based on the dichotomy of extrinsic-intrinsic motivation various teaching methods can be divided into intrinsic and extrinsic motivational stimulation. On the basis of the lesson, and independently from the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, teaching methods can be furtherly divided into didactic and psychological motivational encouragements. Both types are constantly intertwined and actualise the psychological and didactic principles of teaching. With the use of various types of encouragements, the students' attention can be increased and attained. The situational interest is what draws the students' attention here and now. This can lead to forming of individual interest and consequently towards a long-lasting motivation. As motivation is a very important part of the learning process is it even more important in the process of teaching chemistry because it is a complex and abstract science. The overall motivation for learning chemistry is usually quite low as students deal with difficulties in understanding the subject. Chemistry is complex due to the nature of chemical concepts, which can be described on the macroscopic, submicroscopic as well as the symbolic level. The different teaching methods influence the motivation of the students to a certain degree. The chemical education encompasses specific didactic approaches such as experimental work, visualisation tools (models, animations, submicrorepresentations, etc.), which can function as efficient didactic motivational encouragements. With their use we can invoke situational interest, motivate students and consequently improve their academic achievements. Motivation namely accounts for 10% of the academic achievement and is therefore essential for learning. Based on the given issues, the main goal of this master thesis is to form guidelines for the motivational encouragement in the teaching of chemistry. The data on the level of motivation for the learning of chemistry, the differences based on sex and academic achievement, the frequency of use of various teaching methods, the interest invoked by the use of various teaching methods, and the correlation between the motivation and invoked interest due to the use of teaching methods, was collected on the sample of 228 9th graders, with the average age of 14.4 years (SD = 0.38). Based on the above mentioned data it has been concluded, that the students' motivation for learning chemistry is medium high. The level of extrinsic motivation is slightly higher than that of the intrinsic one. On average, the students are mostly motivated by grades. It was also established that the female students are, in the case of intrinsic as well as extrinsic motivation, more motivated to learn chemistry as their male peers. The differences in the level of motivation were also seen in terms of academic achievements. The more academically successful students are, more intrinsically and extrinsically motivated they are. It has been established that the teachers most frequently, that is during every lesson, use the conventional teaching styles and methods. Therefore, the frequency of use of certain teaching methods will be dealt with in the next segment. On average, every lesson is executed with the use of the frontal teaching method, once per week the students are working individually, whereas pair or group work is used once every 6 months. When discussing a new topic, the teachers normally use the traditional writing on the blackboard and discussion with students as their teaching method, and the students write in their notebooks during almost every lesson. As a part of the experimental work the teachers demonstrate various experiments to their students on a weekly or monthly basis, whereas the students execute the experiments independently in pairs or in groups only once a year or once every 6 months. Approximately once a month the teachers use models as a part of their lecture, whereas they do not use computer based models at all. The students never make models of their own as a part of their learning. Approximately once a month the teachers use analogies and examples from real life to explain certain topics. Once a week a real life example is used to explain the triple nature of chemical phenomena. It has been shown that among all of the teaching methods used in the questionnaire only demonstrational or independent experimental work always invoke the learning interest in students. Among the teaching methods which commonly invoke the students' interest are also: discussion, pair or group experimental work, real life examples, animations, videos, explanations, photographs and drawings, group work and field trips. The correlation between the frequency and the invoked interest was fairly strong and positive only in the case of the use of the electronic board, PowerPoint presentations, examples of use in real life and historic background. In the case of group work, independent experimental work, pair or group experimental work, as well as field trips, the difference between frequency and invoked interest was obvious. It has been shown, that there are differences in the degree of invoked interest due to the use of various teaching methods between female and male students, as well as between the levels of their academic achievement. The various teaching methods provide more encouragement for female students as well as for male students with higher academic achievement. Lastly, it has been therefore established that the degree of invoked interest for learning chemistry due to various teaching methods is mostly connected to the degree of motivation. Due to our interest that the students would be properly scientifically literate, motivated and eager to learn chemistry, guidelines have been created to help teachers form efficient teaching methods.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: motivation to learn, situational interest, motivational teaching, chemistry classroom, academic achievement, primary school
    Number of Pages: 61
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Iztok DevetakMentor
    izr. prof. dr. Mojca JuriševičComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11976009)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5045
    Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2018 10:41
    Last Modified: 13 Apr 2018 10:41
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5045

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