Page: 34-56 Author: Pavelková, I., Dvořáková, I. Key words: motivation, task situation, diagnostics, interest in the task, scientific thinking
The study focuses on motivation in a school task situation. Its aim is to describe situational and long-term motivating factors operating in a task situation (filling in a test of scientific thinking). We pose the following questions: Do individual motivational characteristics of students correlate with success in the task, or with student interest in the task? Is interest in the task reflected in activity, pupil concentration, taste for working, ad positive emotional tuning? Do their exist types (if so which) of students from the point of view of motivation in the task situation? Are there motivational differences between boys and girls in work on the tasks set?
In the research we focus above all on situational motivational factor, but also on the long-term motivational characteristics of students. We analyse the concept of “interest in the task” from the point of view of its motivational, cognitive, behavioural and emotional indicators. Using a sample of 202 students at a middle vocational school we test out the idea that interest in the task is the cornerstone of positive motivational characteristics and whether it is related to performance in the task. In fact the research did not find a relationship between interest in the task, and grade/performance in the task. It emerged, however, that students who were interested in the task had a rather different motivational structure than those without interest. The results of the research show the importance of distinguishing between short-term (situational) interest and long-term interest in the given area. In the case of short-term interest in the task (in the sense of attraction of attention) it is probably not possible to see interest as the cornerstone indicator of the motivationally behavioural, cognitive and emotional characteristics of a student. In the context of short-term interest a connection was found with the emotional component (positive experience of the situation and taste for working). Despite the unusual character of the task set, the students were not very interested in it. The results show a certain discrepancy between the motivation of students (“wanting”), which was quite high, and the realised motivation (effort, commitments – diligence). They also show close connections between the motivational, cognitive and free capabilities of students. The research underlines the role of long-term motivational characteristic in a difficult task situation, with the cognitive ability of students coming to the fore. The study describes types of pupils from the point of view of their motivational constellation in a task situation. Differences between boys and girls were established above all in the area of self-efficacy.