Global Educational Research Journal

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Elementary school students’ motivation profiles in learning science for conceptual changing

Lily Barlia





Accepted 12th June, 2014


This study investigated motivational factors that are related to students’ engaging in learning science for conceptual change. While previous studies have recognized the resistance of students’ scientific conception to change. Few have investigated the role that non-cognitive factors might play when students are exposed to conceptual change instruction. Three research questions was examined: (a) what instructional strategies did the teacher use to both promote elementary school students’ learning for conceptual change and increase their motivation in learning science? (b) what are the patterns of elementary school students’ motivation to engage in conceptual change learning?, and (c) what individual elementary school students profiles can be constructed from the four motivational factors (i.e., goals, values, self-efficacy, and control beliefs) and how these profiles linked to engagement (i.e., behavioral and cognitive engagement) in learning of science?” Eleven sixth grade students of the 2012-2013 academic year and the teacher of a Public Elementary School in Serang District, Banten – Indonesia, in which conceptual change approach to teaching was used in daily activities were selected. Data collection for this study included student’s self-reported responses to the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) translated to Bahasa Indonesia and adapted to the sixth grade developmentally appropriate, classroom observation of students and the teacher, and structured interviews. Analysis of these data, resulted in a motivational factor profile for each student and cross case analysis for entire group. Results from this study indicate that each student has different motivation factor profile that is mostly influenced individual student to learn science. Among these motivation factors, task value and goal orientations were most important for students. The implication of these findings are that teachers need to encourage students to find learning for conceptual change a valuable task as the way to reach the goals that the students aimed that is passed the national examination (UASBN), and that students belief if they worked hard in science class is the best way to find applications for their new conceptions within their everyday life. Furthermore, students’ motivation to learn was also influenced by other factors that are not directly related to the four motivational factors assessed by the MSLQ such as the acceptability of the teacher by the class  had positive influenced on the students  learning. The Overall conclusions drawn from this study are that the elementary school teachers have to be aware of the importance of these students’ motivational factors to learning of science for conceptual understanding. 


Keywords: Student’s motivation, motivation profiles, student’s learning science, conceptual changing, elementary students’ science