The Motives for Learning in Elementary Students: The Parents and Teachers Agency
According to conception of cultural and historical development, motives represent essential structural component of any kind of activity. Learning at school is a kind of collective joint activity according to activity theory. Motives might be conformed and evaluated during learning process as its essential element. Different motive might be acquired during interactions within learning process. Pupils might share their motives, but also might present differential variants of combinations of types motives: external and internal motives. The objective of this chapter is consideration of formation and assessment of motives of pupils. The authors propose the qualitative way of analysis of the sphere of motives by specifically organized interview with teachers and parents. The procedure of interactive drawings with pupils is proposed as a new and original way for analysis of motives. The study was accomplished in a private school in the Puebla city, Mexico, with the pupils of the third grade of primary school. The results show the presence of both external and internal motives in pupils. External motives can be divided into three groups: motives, which support the learning process, motives, which are indifferent to the learning process and motives, which become serious obstacles for cognition. Different strategies of analysis of the motives permit to understand better participation of different factors in conformation of the sphere of motives at school age. The data of the study have pointed out that the methods of qualitative assessment permitted to obtain important information about the sphere of motivation of pupils for learning activity as internal motives of learning activity. Other motives were external and were related to diverse external aspects of school live as friends, classroom, kindness of the teacher, playing games and so on. Positive external motivation is the predominant type of school motivation within included population of the third school grade of private primary school. Three initial years of education at primary school are not enough for formation of internal motives of study. At the same time, it is possible to observe that positive attitude of parents and teacher may influence on positive motives of the pupils. In all observed cases, we may conclude the presence of positive motivation of children. The motivation of the pupils was external and internal types. The motivation of the teacher was academic and internal. The motivation of the parents was positive of both external and internal types, exactly as the children. We might conclude that system of teaching based on activity theory is capable of introducing of initial positive motivation in pupils and teacher therefor it is possible to expect gradual changes of children’s motivation into profound internal interest for future studies.
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