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Social studies students’ motivation to study in upper secondary schools
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education. (Skolutveckling och utbildningsledarskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4398-5394
2020 (English)In: Nordisk konferanse i samfunnskunnskapsdidaktikk: Samhällskunskapsämnets roll i Norden – att förklara förändringar och kriser., 2020Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Social studies students’ motivation to study in upper secondary schools

Göran Bostedt (Associate Professor in Political science), Department of Education

Mid Sweden University

Abstract

In order to increase the number of students who successfully complete upper secondary school, Sweden reformed its upper secondary school system in year 2011. Despite the new system the throughput is in principle unchanged, which means that approximately every fourth student interrupts his upper secondary studies. The main explanation for this has been stated to be a lack of study motivation among students. In order to analyze the lack of motivation to study as the cause of low throughput in upper secondary school, a perspective is chosen which not only focuses the individual student but also takes into account both the classroom situation as well as the entire school.

The results of this study is based on empirical data from one of Sweden’s 20 largest municipalities. The municipality was chosen because of a decision taken by local politicians to focus raising the students’ motivation to study as a highly prioritized activity for the upper secondary school programs. The chosen municipality is, compared to both Swedish municipalities of the same size as well as other municipalities in Sweden, in a troublesome situation in terms of student completion.

The aim of the study is to describe and analyze what determines social studies students’ motivation or lack of motivation to study. The research questions is:

a) What are teachers’ and upper secondary school social studies students’ perceptions on motivation/lack of motivation to study?

b) To what extent is motivation linked to course content?

c) To what extent is motivation related to the conditions for the implementation of the course/didactical approaches?

The study has been designed as a case study with an ethnographically inspired approach. The empirical data is based on students’ responses in a web-survey containing 20 questions about motivation and 6 semi-structured group interviews with 12 students and 20 teachers. All participants were informed about the project's objectives and applicable research ethics rules.

The study is divided into two sub-studies. Sub-study one is based on a quantitative approach. The responses to the different questions in the questionnaire are presented by descriptive statistics. Sub-study two is based on a qualitative research design, which can be characterized as a hybrid content analysis. Four themes have been determined in advance before the

interview material is analyzed. The four themes are the concepts of motivation, motivational strategies, learning environments and other environment. With the four themes as a basic structure, a categorization matrix was developed and all data were sorted into the relevant theme. Based on the results from the two sub-studies, the research questions will be addressed and discussed.

Keywords: social studies, study motivation, upper secondary school

References

Sveriges elevkårer & Lärarnas Riksförbund, (2015). Från avhopp till examen- så vill skolan utveckla skolan. Retrieved from www.lr.se/download/18.682f72ec14e16f2ff5c7b1ba/1435316342104/Fr%C3%A5n%20avhopp%20till%20examen%20Web.pdf

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Study motivation, Social studies students
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-38636DiVA, id: diva2:1414693
Conference
Nordisk konferanse i samfunnskunnskapsdidaktikk, 2020. Samhällskunskapsämnets roll i Norden – att förklara förändringar och kriser.
Available from: 2020-03-15 Created: 2020-03-15 Last updated: 2020-03-16Bibliographically approved

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