What Keeps Chinese Students Motivated in Doing Math Homework? An Empirical Investigation
by Fuyi Yang, Jianzhong Xu, Heping Tan & Ningjian Liang - 2016
Background: As many students face the enduring challenge of maintaining their motivation to complete homework assignments, there is a critical need to pay close attention to homework motivation management (i.e., students’ efforts to sustain or enhance their motivation in order to complete homework assignments that might be boring or difficult). Yet, in spite of research showing that homework motivation has a powerful influence on homework performance and academic achievement, there have been few attempts to systematically investigate models of factors that influence homework motivation management.
Purpose: The current investigation examines empirical models of motivation management for Chinese students in the context of math homework, with models informed by key motivation theories, including self-regulation of motivation, expectancy-value, and volitional control.
Research Design: The study reported here used cross sectional survey data.
Participants: The participants were 1,799 high school students from 46 classes in China.
Results: Results from multilevel analyses indicated that, at the class level, motivation management was positively associated with homework interest, but was negatively associated with teacher feedback. At the student level, motivation management was positively related to managing emotion, managing time, students' interest in homework, cognitive reappraisal, expectancy belief, and time on sports. Meanwhile, motivation management was negatively associated with value belief and time on TV.
Conclusion: The current investigation found that some results were in line with key motivation theories and related findings with U.S. students (e.g., managing time, and homework interest at the student level). In addition, it suggests that other results may be influenced by cultural and societal differences (e.g., gender, value belief, and teacher feedback). Consequently, it would be informative to pursue this line of research in cross-cultural settings. With respect to promoting student motivation in the homework process, it would be beneficial to pay more close attention to the role of homework interest, expectancy belief, and student initiatives (e.g., managing time, managing emotion, and cognitive reappraisal).
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