Educational motivation plays a major role in academic achievement and the formation of a positive self–concept in students. Educational motivation is the set of internal and external factors that help a person to achieve learning goals; motivation creates energy in the learners and leads their activities; therefore, the higher the motivation of individuals to learn and study, the more active they will be to reach their ultimate goal. Educational motivation has different pathways to inclusive behaviors. The lack of purposefulness in performing an activity also causes anxiety in individuals. Furthermore, self–concept is among the basic notions in psychology. Based on the theory of self–concept, i.e., related to self–assessment, self–concept is a network of positive and negative beliefs as well as beliefs about self–acceptance or rejection. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of self–directed learning strategies training on self–concept in students with low academic motivation.
This was a quasi–experimental study with a pretest–posttest–follow–up and a control group design. The statistical population of this study included all low–motivated students of the ninth grade who were studying in the ordinary schools of Yazd City, Iran, in the 2017–2018 academic year. To select the research sample, 40 students with low academic motivation were selected by convenience sampling method and randomly assigned to two experimental groups (20 subjects) and a control group (20 subjects). After conducting the pretest and grouping, 8 sessions of self–directed learning strategies were provided to the experimental group. Then, both groups completed the research inventory again, as the posttest. After one month, the follow–up assessment was implemented. Hartlerchr('39')s Hearing Inventory (1981) and the Self–concept questionnaire of Chen (2004) were used to collect data in this research. Hartlerchr('39')s Hearing Inventory includes 33 items and aims to study academic motivation among students. In a study by Leper et al. (2005), a re–test performed on 208 subjects after 6 weeks indicated a high positive correlation (0.74) between two stages of the test. This questionnaire’s reliability was obtained by Zahiri and Rajabi, with Cronbachchr('39')s alpha coefficient of 0.92. The Self–concept questionnaire of Chen includes 15 items, and the individualchr('39')s mental image is measured. Chen (2004) reported the reliability of this test through internal consistency for three subscales to be 0.75, 0.82, and 0.82, respectively. Besides, the reliability of this questionnaire was obtained by Marashian with Cronbachchr('39')s alpha coefficient of 0.92. The obtained data were analyzed by repeated–measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in SPSS.
The repeated measures ANOVA results suggested a significant interaction between the pretest, posttest, and follow–up scores in the level of academic self–concept between the groups (p≤0.001). Furthermore, the Bonferroni posthoc test results revealed a significant difference in the mean scores of academic self–concept between pretest, posttest, and pretest–follow–up stages (p≤0.001). In other words, the level of self–concept in the experimental group has significantly increased; however, there was no significant difference between the posttest and follow–up scores of self–concept. Accordingly, the effectiveness of teaching autonomous learning strategies on the self–concept of students with low academic motivation remained stable.
The present study findings emphasized the importance of autonomous learning strategies in the formation of a positive self–concept. Thus, it is suggested that self–taught learning in the school curriculum be included as the necessary educational skills to use cognitive strategies and metacognitive strategies by students.
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