Motivation of students towards mathematics in trade vocational high schools in Ankara : an exploratory study
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The primary aim of the study is to explore the factors that affect motivation of students towards mathematics in trade vocational high schools in Ankara as perceived by their mathematics teachers. The teachers’ opinions about the common types of motivation (intrinsic or extrinsic) among students, the role and place of the goal orientation theory on students’ motivation towards mathematics lessons was investigated. This study was conducted with an exploratory mixed-methods design which included two phases. Trade vocational high schools which consisted of Accounting and Financing department were the sample of this study. In the first phase, in a trade vocational high school in Çankaya, Turkey, a focus group interview was conducted with seven mathematics teachers. Afterwards, findings from the interview were analyzed by content analysis and a survey was developed based on these findings. In the second phase of the study, data were collected by surveying 31 mathematics teachers from six trade vocational high schools in Ankara, Turkey. The results showed that external incentives are more efficient than internal incentives (curiosity or interest) for trade vocational high school students. The most effective factor was found to be that students were studying mathematics in order to obtain a high school diploma. The second most effective factor was that students valued getting rewards from their teachers. The goal orientation theory ranked below extrinsic motivation, indicating that students are less motivated by a desire of having skills for a professional life. Results showed that students did not have sufficient confidence in their mathematical ability to be successful in lessons or to want a professional life. Furthermore, the teachers stated that the curriculum as a whole does not satisfy students’ professional needs, as it is not suitable for students’ mathematics knowledge level.
the goal orientation theory
trade vocational high schools
accounting and financing department
opinions of mathematics teachers
mathematic curriculum in trade vocational high schools