Teaching students to adopt mastery goals

“…when science teachers use discourse that focuses on mastery, improvement, effort and the inherent value of science, students are likely to adopt mastery goals. In contrast, when teachers consistently talk about relative ability, grades, extrinsic outcomes and test scores, students are likely to adopt performance goals.” (pp.99-100)

“Mastery goals are predictors of deep processing, persistence and effort, whereas performance goals, specifically performance-avoidance goals (to the goal of not appearing incompetent, in order to avoid the negative judgments of others), are predictors of surface processing and disorganisation (Elliot, McGregor, & Gable, 1999).Thus, a mastery approach to learning is more likely to promote effective problem solving, reasoning and learning in the science classroom.” (p.100)

The cognitive strategies and motivational beliefs that students employ are largely determined by how they are assessed (Paris, Lawton, & Turner, 1992). When exams focus on memorising facts and direct recall of factual information, students are unlikely to engage in higher-order cognitive strategy use, and conceptual change is unlikely to occur. In contrast, when assessments are focused on solving real-world problems, and build upon prior knowledge, students are more likely to engage in higher-order thinking, to use deep cognitive processing strategies, to think creatively and to experience conceptual change.” (p.101)

“…the types of assessments that students are given in science education affects the cognitive strategies that adolescents will apply when studying science.” (p.101)

“…we recommend that classroom assessment be focused away from examinations designed to determine factual knowledge and toward assessments that require higher order thinking, reasoning and problem solving (Treagust, Jacobowitz, Gallagher, & Parker, 2001). The use of performance assessments, such as concept mapping, portfolios, dynamic assessments, interviews and computer-based assessments, are on the rise (Bell, 2007). We encourage a continuation of this trend toward assessments that require critical thinking in the science classroom.” (p.108)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold, mine) Eric M. Anderman , Gale M. Sinatra & DeLeon L. Gray (2012): The challenges of teaching and learning about science in the twenty-first century: exploring the abilities and constraints of adolescent learners, Studies in Science Education, 48:1, 89-117
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057267.2012.655038

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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