Postlethwaite, Keith and Haggarty, Linda
Towards the improvement of learning in secondary schools: students’ views, their links to theories of motivation and to issues of under- and over-achievement.
Research Papers in Education, 17(2) pp. 185–209.
This paper reports the views of students in a secondary comprehensive school on what made them want to learn, what made it difficult for them to learn, and what teachers could do to help them learn. It relates these reported views to some established psychological views of motivation and to models derived from attribution theory. It investigates the views of students identified as under- and over-achievers through the comparison of CAT scores in Year 7 and GCSE performance, and reveals that 'conformity to the work and social norms of the classroom', and 'communication with teachers', were two key factors which distinguished under- and over-achievers. However, the differences were not always in directions which might have been predicted.
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