The relationship between individual type, underachievement and the attributional motivation of secondary school science students : intervention approaches for underachievers.
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Relationships between underachievement, individual type and attributional motivation were investigated among 37 underachieving senior science students from a boys' college, a girls' college and a coeducational college in New Zealand. An adaptation of the Myers-Briggs type inventory was used to identify individual type, and attributional motivation was determined by using two questionnaires, based upon attributional constructs established by Weiner (1979). Students in the sample were also interviewed. Results show a significant difference, too great to be attributed to a sampling fluctuation, between the observed number of students and the greater than expected number of students, particularly for the ESFJ (Extrovert-Sensing- Feeling-Judging) and ISFJ (Introvert-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) individual 'types' within the sample of underachieving students. A difference also was found between the observed number of Function Pairs, derived from the Myers-Briggs descriptions, and the expected number of Pairs within the sample. These differences were also too great to be attributed to a sampling fluctuation.A general lack of motivation was found among the students, with 'lack of effort' being attributed as a major cause of underachievement. Differences in attribution trends were found between different 'types'. Most of the students indicated that they were passive learners and generally were unaware of how to use metacognitive strategies to improve their learning and motivation.Implications from this research suggest that intervention approaches should be made by educators to improve accountability and reduce underachievement by students. Recommendations for various approaches used by the author, and by others described in the thesis to reduce or overcome underachievement are suggested. These might be used for individual types who are prone to underachieve, and for underachievers generally.
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