CHANGES IN ACHIEVEMENT GOALS AND SELF-CONCEPT IN THE EARLY MONTHS OF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL1

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Abstract

Changes in goal orientations and self-concept in Greek language and physical education classes during the first months of junior high school in Greece were studied. Participants, 572 students in their first year of junior high school, responded to questionnaires assessing (a) goal orientations and satisfaction in physical education and Greek language classes, (b) multidimensional self-concept, (c) attitudes toward school and teachers, and (d) life satisfaction. The measures were collected in three sessions: at the beginning of the school year, 6 wk. later, and 14 wk. later. The third measurement followed the students' grades for the first term. Students showed significant decreases in mastery and social-approval goal orientations in both physical education and Greek language classes. They also showed negative attitudes toward teachers, perceptions of physical ability, and relationships with parents. Most differences emerged between Weeks 6 and 14. The learning environment and the assessment system in Greek junior high school seem to play an important role in the decrease of students' motivation and perceived competence.

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