"Pattern-Centered Analysis of Latino Adolescents’ Math and Science Motivational Beliefs and the Relation to Science Engagement"
SRCD 2019 Biennial Conference
March 21-23, 2019
Title: Pattern-Centered Analysis of Latino Adolescents’ Math and Science Motivational Beliefs and the Relation to Science Engagement (Poster)
Session: Education, Schooling
Authors: Su Jiang, Sandy Simpkins
Abstract: Minority groups are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields in the U.S. (National Science Board, 2017). According to Expectancy-value theory, to understand adolescents’ achievement and engagement in science, one needs to investigate adolescents’ motivational beliefs (e.g., self-concept, interest, and value) (Eccles et al., 1998; Wigfield et al., 2015). Previous studies of adolescents’ math and science motivation often treat each motivational belief and each subject separately. There is limited understanding about the patterns of students’ both math and science motivational beliefs and how these patterns relate to students’ later behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004). This study takes a pattern-centered approach to describe the underlying profiles of Mexican-Origin adolescents’ math and science motivational beliefs and how these profiles in 9th grade relate to their math and science grades in 9th and their science classroom engagement in 10th.
The current study uses a longitudinal dataset of 103 Mexican-origin adolescents from three public high schools in a large southwestern city (41% female; Mage = 14.5 years). Adolescents reported on their 9th grade (the 2012-2013 school year) math and science (a) self-concept (4 items, α=.90-.93), (b) interest (2 items, α=.83-.92), (c) and value (3 items, α=.71-.88). Students reported their 10th grade behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement in science class (4-8 items, α = .63-.80). 9th grade math and science grade was collected at the end of the year through record data of transcripts.
Five profiles of 9th grade math and science motivational beliefs were identified using ROPstat (Vargha, Torma, & Bergman, 2015). The best solution of the number of clusters was determined using error sum of squares (56%) and homogeneity coefficient (<1.2). Besides an Above Average and an Overall Low group, this study identified three unique motivational patterns. High Science and High Math students were high in one domain but not the other. Low SC High Value are students who have low self-concept but high value in both math and science. Interestingly, there wasn’t an Overall High group that has high motivational beliefs in both domains.
ANCOVA tests suggested that these profiles varied based on math grades and science engagement, but not science grades even after controlling for gender and parent highest education. High Math and Above Average students achieve significantly higher in 9th grade Math than the other profiles. Math and science motivation profiles in 9th grade are related to 10th grade cognitive and emotional engagement but not behavioral engagement. High Science students would engage cognitively and emotionally the most in science class, while Overall Low students would engage cognitively and emotionally the least. High Math students who on average had the highest math and science grade in 9th grade engaged the least cognitively in 10th grade science class. These profiles and their relation to future science class engagement highlights the within-person inconsistency in math and science motivational beliefs, which underscores the importance of studying students’ science outcomes by looking at both math and science motivation simultaneously.