Kindergarten Students’ Feelings about their Teachers, Learning Motivation, Competence beliefs and Performance in Mathematics and Literacy
Based on effectance motivation theory (see Spinath & Spinath, 2005; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000), learning progress comes from engaging in enjoyable and interest tasks, and learning motivation is connected to students’ competence beliefs. This study aimed at investigated (a) kindergarten students’ feelings about their teachers, (b) the role of these feelings on students’ learning motivation and competence beliefs in mathematics and literacy, and (b) the effects of all these psychological variables on students’ performance in the same domains. The participants were 250 kindergarten pupils, of both genders, who randomly came from 20 classrooms. They completed the scales of Feeling About School (FAS, Valeski & Stipek, 2001), and the School subject-motivation (that was developed by the researchers). Students’ performance in both domains was indicated by their teachers. The results showed that (a) the students experienced moderate to high positive feelings for their teachers, (b) students’ feelings for their teachers were significantly associated with their learning motivation and, mainly, competence beliefs, (c) students’ feelings, motivation, and competence beliefs were positively related to their performance. The findings are discussed with respect to their applications in education and future research.
Keywords: Academic Performance, Competence Beliefs, Feelings about Teachers, Learning Environment, Learning Motivation
Dr. Georgia Stephanou
Dr Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology, Department of Early Childhood Education, Univesrity of Western Macedonia
Prof. Efthalia Konstantinidou
Lecturer in Social psychology, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Western Macedonia