Student motivation to participate in an elective classroom music curriculum : a case study of the multi-dimensional aspects of participation and motivation
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AbstractThis study aimed to identify and examine the factors that influenced student enrolment behaviour when considering the Year Nine elective classroom music curriculum in a high fee paying independent coeducational Kindergarten to Year Twelve day and boarding school in a regional city of New South Wales. The study was conceived from a concern with declining student participation in the classroom music curriculum during the transition from the primary to secondary school. The decline in student participation in school music has been identified as an issue nationally and internationally. A number of research studies have examined the complex processes and inter-relationships between a range of factors perceived to influence student decisions to engage or disengage with musical activities generally. A social-cognitive approach to student motivation underpinned the conceptual framework of this research. The key motivational theories of task values, self-concept, self-efficacy, and attribution theory were explored in relation to the contextual factors of school culture, peer group influences, family values, and student perceptions of teachers, as they relate to student enrolment behaviour. The investigation of cognitive mediation processes and their interaction with the full range of social influences enabled the consideration of a range of factors that could operate simultaneously to reveal interdependence between motivational and contextual factors. To facilitate an understanding of the motivational factors influencing student enrolment choice, an interpretive case study design was employed that acknowledged the context in which the student perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes were grounded. This approach provided opportunities for continuous interpretation and the construction of local meaning according to the social world of the participants. Data were generated through student surveys and student and parent interviews. The survey data served a formative function by providing a 'snapshot' of the factors, as they exist across the full student cohort. The principal means of data analysis was provided through the rich data generated from purposive sample interviews with fifteen students and their parents. These data are considered in relation to literature in both social-cognitive science and music education. The findings suggest individual student's motivation to participate in the classroom music curriculum is differentiated according to the contextual interventions that make select cultural values more salient. The differential relations between the various contributing motivational and contextual factors represent multiple pathways that students may follow, with concomitant differences in motivation to participate in the elective classroom music curriculum. Tension between students' multiple goals created hierarchies of complex relationships between contextual and motivational factors. The findings highlight the need for teachers and schools to be cognizant of the wide range of motivational factors operating simultaneously when developing intervention strategies intended to promote student participation in the elective classroom music curriculum.
McEwan, RW (2006) Student motivation to participate in an elective classroom music curriculum : a case study of the multi-dimensional aspects of participation and motivation. Other Degree thesis, University of Tasmania.