• ACHIEVEMENT GOALS AND ENGAGEMENT OUTCOMES IN THE SECOND SEMESTER OF FOURTH-YEAR HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS COURSES

      Newton, Kristie Jones, 1973-; Kaplan, Avi; Brandt, Carol B.; Davis, James Earl, 1960- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      The second semester of the high school senior year has been associated with a lack of motivation among students and increased frustrations among parents and teachers. This qualitative study examines the achievement goals and engagement outcomes of second semester high school seniors in their mathematics classes. Data were collected from eight high school seniors, three of their parents, and two teachers enrolled at an all male college preparatory school in Pennsylvania. In-depth interviews were used to gather participants’ definitions of success prior to their senior year and during the second semester of their senior year. Student participants’ behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagements were assessed through directed interview questions and observations. Data were analyzed using a three goal framework of task-involvement, ego-involvement, and work-avoidance (Nicholls, Patashnick, & Nolen, 1985). The participants’ definitions of success suggested four themes. First, student participants defined success in mathematics consistently as they recalled their four years of high school and transition into the second semester of their senior year. Second, the phenomenon of senioritis was found to be more perceived than real for most of the participants. The work-avoidant participants described feeling the effects of senioritis for most of the second semester whereas the task-involved and ego-involved students reported brief effects before regaining focus. Third, students’ achievement goals in mathematics were found to be more closely aligned to their parents’ goals and less aligned to their teachers’ goals. Lastly, students described different achievement goals from one class to another during the same semester, at times even within the same discipline. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research were also discussed.