The basic theme of this book concerns the relations between motivation and achievement, particularly as they relate to educational settings. The issues are addressed from a social-developmental perspective. The book is organized into three sections. The development of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations is addressed in the first section, where contributors offer their latest account of the distinction between the two orientations, emphasizing how the two motivational systems develop. The effects of motivational orientations on interpersonal interaction and on creativity are addressed in the two subsequent chapters. The second section focuses on the relation between motivation and the experience of competence. Three chapters address the development of competence, affect, and motivation from grade school to junior high; the effects of competence information on intrinsic motivation; and the development of competence assessment processes. In the third section the relation between motivation and achievement is explored. Two chapters discuss the effect of extrinsic pressures on self-regulation, and on the relations among intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, performance, motivational style and learned helplessness. Finally, the concepts of optimal degrees of pressure and performance, and of defensive behavior in the form of self-handicapping, are discussed in the last two chapters. A final summary chapter provides an overview of the basic themes of the book.
Inequalities in educational opportunity have been a persistent feature of all school systems for generations, with conventional explanations of differences in educational attainment tending to be reduced to either quantitative or non-quantitative 'list' theories. In this groundbreaking book, Roy Nash argues that a realist framework for the sociological explanation of educational group differences can, and must be, constructed. A move to such an explanatory framework will allow us to take into account the social influences of early childhood development, the later emergence of social identities, and the nature of the social class impact of educational and career decision-making. By building on the critical analyses of the theories of Bourdieu, Boudon and Bernstein, this book makes a vital contribution to the current policy and theoretical debate about the causes of educational inequality.
The interplay between sociopolitical forces and economic agendas becomes apparent when one examines the June 28, 2007 United States Supreme Court Decision, Parents Involved In Community Schools v. Seattle School District. In a reversal of the 1954 Brown Decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not use race as a factor when assigning children to public schools. Given demographic shifts, globalization, economic instability, and ideological shifts, the reversal was expected. However, it is essential that policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders consider the impact of attending segregated schools on the achievement gap that continues to exist between minority groups and European Americans attending resegregated neighborhood schools. This book will focus on the test score gaps between African American and European American students. This book analyzes and presents the achievement gaps between these two groups. Additionally, the authors will analyze how changes in school characteristics such as: racial composition; school composition; school expenditures, and, socio economic level of neighborhoods affect achievement gap trends in the Norfolk School District. An examination of the achievement gap trends in an urban school district will serve to better inform public policy and school reform efforts. The specific goals of this book are to describe the achievement gap between minority African-American students and European-American students in the Norfolk school district and to present strategies utilized by urban districts to narrow the gap. One unique feature of this book is that it provides a data-driven research-based analysis of the achievement gap between minority and European-American students.
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