It takes good reasons to invest in tasks that require effort and attention, a challenge that students routinely face in school. In this regard, values are an important driver for action and the cornerstone of motivation, a key factor for academic success and persistence.
The variables that promote the development of positive educational values in students are therefore of particular importance. Values are acquired through horizontal (peer) or vertical (inter-generational) social transmission. When it comes to the vertical transmission of values, published research focuses primarily on the impact of parents, disregarding the mechanisms for the transmission of values from teachers to students.
Educational values were positively associated with academic motivation.
This project aimed to rectify that omission. The sample consisted of students from Secondary 3 to 5 at nine high schools in the Outaouais region, in both urban and rural areas and from various socioeconomic backgrounds. The participants completed a set of questionnaires twice a year for three years. The findings indicate that the leadership of teachers and the influence of parents each contribute in a specific manner to predicting the educational values and academic motivation of students.
In addition, educational values were positively associated with academic motivation, an effect that persists through time. Motivation was also positively associated with academic achievement and persistence at each of the six measurement periods.
The results of this project have contributed to advancing our knowledge of values, motivation and academic success and persistence and will be useful to a wide range of education stakeholders.
Isabelle Green-Demers, Université du Québec en Outaouais
Deposit of the research report: June 2013