Academic Motivation of Elementary School Children in Two Educational Systems – Innovative and Traditional
Background. While the current literature provides valuable insight into how school climate perceptions and student motivation impact academic achievement, research examining the mediating effects of motivation in the linking of innovative educational system, school climate, and achievement is limited. The potential of the El’konin-Davydov system of developmental education as a basis for educational innovation is considered in this study. With respect to academic motivation, self-determination theory is applied as a useful theoretical framework that allows for the consideration of both the intensity and the quality of motivation.
Objective. The study examines a model that illustrates the role of autonomous and external types of academic motivation in linking the El’konin-Davydov system of developmental education and school climate to the academic achievement of elementary schoolchildren.
Design. A cross-sectional design was implemented in the current study. Participants were 345 third and fourth graders drawn from four regular schools located in Moscow, with some (N=192) educated in the traditional system and others (N=153) in an innovative one.
Results. The results of structural equation modeling showed that the hypothesized model fit the data well, supporting the hypothesis that student external motivation plays a mediating role in linking educational system (innovative vs traditional) with academic achievement. Additionally, results indicated that students’ autonomous motivation plays a mediating role in linking positive perceptions of school climate with academic achievement.
Conclusion. These results highlight that the developmental education approach compared to the so called traditional system of education provides better instructional quality, promoting decreased external motivation as well as a better attitude towards school and study, which in turn is associated with higher academic achievement.