Student motivation for learning in Ghana: Relationships with caregivers' values toward education, attendance, and academic achievement

Dana Charles McCoy, Sharon Wolf, Erin B. Godfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the role that Ghanaian caregivers' values toward education play in shaping students' intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation for learning, and the ways these values and motivational orientations predict school attendance and achievement. Study participants included 88 students (M = 11.63 years; 48% female) from two primary schools in peri-urban Ghana and their 68 caregivers (M = 40.02 years; 60% female). Results revealed that caregivers' perception of education as valuable was related to more intrinsically oriented profiles of motivation and higher attendance in students. Contrary to research results from Western contexts, students whose motivation was more extrinsically oriented attended school significantly more often than their intrinsically motivated peers. Finally, although attendance positively predicted academic achievement, neither caregiver values nor student motivational profiles were directly related to achievement. These findings suggest that caregivers' values may have important implications for students' academic thoughts and behaviours, and may be a central target for school staff aiming to improve student outcomes. These results also highlight the need for better understanding of motivational processes-both in terms of socialization and academic outcomes-in under-represented contexts where cultural values around education differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-308
Number of pages15
JournalSchool Psychology International
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • African education
  • Ghana
  • attendance
  • caregiver socialization
  • caregiver-school partnerships
  • intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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