Do culture and values predict students' perceived classroom goal structures?
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether university students’ cultural orientation and their values predict their perceived classroom goal structures and their life satisfaction. A cross-sectional design was used in the present study in which 177 students from social sciences and engineering and sciences departments in a foundation university in Ankara, Turkey responded to a survey. The questionnaires measured students’ cultural orientations: (horizontal collectivistic, vertical collectivistic, horizontal individualistic and vertical individualistic orientations), values (intrinsic values and extrinsic values), their perceived classroom goal structures (mastery-approach goal structures, performance-approach goal structures) and their life satisfaction. A Multivariate Analysis of Variance revealed that students from engineering and sciences had a higher mean in perceived performance-approach goal structures, horizontal individualism and vertical collectivism when compared to the mean of students from social sciences. Performing two hierarchical regression analyses, it was revealed that students’ intrinsic values were useful inpredicting their perceived mastery-approach classroom goal structures, whereas perceived performance-approach goal structures were revealed as a negative predictor of life satisfaction. The results were discussed in terms of their implication for educational practices. Cultivating students’ intrinsic values at school and avoiding a performance focus in teaching practices could improve students’ life satisfaction and well-being.