ROLE OF PARENTAL EDUCATION, SELF- EFFICACY AND ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION IN ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT AMONG NIGERIAN UNDERGRADUATES

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ABSTRACT
The study investigated role of parental education, self-efficacy and achievement motivation in academic engagement among three hundred and fifty-six (356) university of Nigeria, Nsukka undergraduates, (male and female). Three instruments including demographic data were used in the study: The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale- Students version (UWES- S), the New General Self-Efficacy Scale (NGSE) and the Nigerian Adaptation of Herman’s (1970) Questionnaire Measure of Achievement Motivation. The result of the Analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not support the first and second hypotheses which state that parental education and self-efficacy would not play significant role in academic engagement. Thus, the findings suggested that parental education and self-efficacy are implicated in academic engagement of Nigerian undergraduates. The result supported the third hypothesis indicating that achievement motivation would not play a significant role in academic engagement. The implications of the study were highlighted and suggestions for future research made.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Table of Contents
List of tables
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of Study
Operational Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO
Literature Review
Theoretical Literature
Self- Determination Theory
Self-Efficacy Theory
Self- Worth  Theory
Attribution Theory
Value Expectancy Theory
Achievement Goal Orientation Theory
Empirical Review
Parental education and Academic engagement
Self-efficacy and Academic engagement
Achievement motivation and Academic engagement
Summary of Literatures
Hypotheses

CHAPTER THREE
Participants
Instrument
Procedure
Design and Statistics

CHAPTER FOUR:
Result
Summary of findings

CHAPTER FIVE
Discussion
Implication of the Study
Limitation of the Study, and Suggestion for Future Research
Summary and Conclusion
References

Appendix

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
Students’ engagement in academics has been importantly recognized by educators, and it has been observed that too many students are bored, unmotivated, and uninvolved, that is, disengaged from the academic and social aspects of school life.   Over 20 years ago, some researchers remarked that irrespective of the mandatory attendance in the United States high school, engagement could not still be legislated (Mosher & McGowan, 1985); and that laws may regulate the structure of the educational system, but student perspectives and experiences substantially influence academic and social outcomes.  When you say that a person is engaged in something, it means that an extra effort is involved and it can occur in any aspect of life.  However, previous studies on academic engagement explained two significant aspects; the indicators (inside the construct) and the facilitators or causal factors (Skinner, Furrer, Marchand & Kindermann, 2008); but from all indications, student engagement changes with additional years in school.
             Audas and Willms (2001) defined academic engagement as the extent to which students participate in academic and non academic activities; identify with and value the goals of schooling. Academic engagement is also defined as energy in action, the connection between person and activity; which consists of three forms: Behavioural, emotional, and cognitive (Russell, Ainley & Frydenberg, 2005). Engagement is a multi-faceted construct that encompasses students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to their school, teachers and peers, sense of agency, self efficacy and orientation to achieve within their classrooms and in their broader extra-curricular endeavours; their involvement, effort, levels of concentration and interest in subjects and learning in general; and the extent to which learning is enjoyed or seen as something that must be endured to receive a reward or avoid sanction.
Connell and Wellborn (1991) posit that when psychological needs such as (autonomy, belonging, competence) are met within cultural enterprises like school, family and work, engagement occurs and is being exhibited in affect, cognition and behaviour to prevent disaffection from occurring.  Engagement is also defined by Skinner and Belmont (1993) as sustained behavioural involvement in learning activities accompanied by positive emotional tone. It is the initiation of action, effort and persistence with schoolwork and ambient emotional states during learning activities (Skinner, Wellborn & Connell, 1990). Furthermore, engagement is a variable state of being that is influenced by a range of internal and external factors including the perceived value or relevance of the learning and the presence of opportunities for students to experience appropriately-pitched challenge and success in their learning.  Engagement can occur in various aspects of life endeavours but our major concern in this study is to understand engagement in the academic aspect of the students’ life.
Academic engagement is the extent to which students are motivated to learn and do well in school (Libby, 2004). It is also a psychological process involving the attention, interest, investment, and effort expended by students in the work of learning (Marks, 2000).  Newmann, Wehlage and Lamborn (1992) noted that student engagement in academic work is the student’s psychological investment in an effort directed toward learning, understanding or mastering the knowledge, skills or crafts that academic work is intended to promote. They try hard to learn what school offers and take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades) but in understanding the materials and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives. Learning tasks that engage students have particular characteristics; they are authentic and relevant for students; require and instill deep, critical thinking in them; have intellectual rigour and immerse the student in disciplinary inquiry; require students to interact and be meaningfully involved. 
         Students’ academic engagement also refers to a student’s willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate in, and be successful in the learning process thus, promoting higher level thinking for enduring understanding.  Students are engaged when they are involved in their work, persist irrespective of challenges and obstacles, and visibly delight in accomplishing their task. Academic engagement of students depict students' willingness to participate in routine school activities, such as attending classes, submitting  required work, and following teachers' directions in class. (Chapman, 2003).  In other words, students can also be academically engaged when they are meaningfully involved throughout the learning environment, which include: students curriculum design, classroom management and school building climate.  Haworth and Conrad (1997) noted that students who learn from committed scholar/teachers become more inspired professionals who are more committed to their profession and to their ongoing professional growth and development.
The construct of engagement is used to capture the gradual process by which students disconnect from school (Finn, 1989). Moreover, with the understanding that dropping out of school is not an instantaneous event, but a process that takes place over time, engagement provides a means of intervention at the earliest signs of students’ disconnection with school and also focuses attention on alterable variables to help increase school completion rates (Christenson, Sinclair, Lehr & Godber, 2001; Connell, Halpern-Felsher, Clifford, Crichlow & Usinger, 1995; Doll, Hess & Ochoa, 2001) and to reform high school experiences that help foster students’ achievement motivation (National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2004).

Academic engagement construct is the ‘intensity and emotional quality of students’ involvement in initiating and carrying out learning activities. Students who are engaged, show sustained behavioural involvement in learning activities accompanied by a positive emotional tone; select tasks at the border of their competencies; initiate action when given the opportunity; exert intense effort and concentration in the implementation of learning tasks; and show generally positive emotions during ongoing action including enthusiasm, optimism, curiosity and interest (Skinner & Belmont, 1993). They learn at high levels and have a profound grasp of what they learn; retain what they learn and can transfer what they learn to new contexts...

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