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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Hufton. N., Elliott, J. & Illushin, L. (2002). Educational Motivation and Engagement: qualitative accounts from three countries. British Educational Research Journal 28(2): 265-289.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This article extends and develops earlier survey studies by reporting findings from detailed interviews with adolescents in Sunderland, Kentucky and St Petersburg. The interviews sought to examine a number of key factors underpinning educational motivation and engagement, in particular, attitudes about schooling, self-evaluations of academic performance, patterns and rate of work at home and at school, reasons why education may be valuable and aspirations for the future. A number of reasons for the presence of high levels of English and American self-satisfaction, and lower Russian self-evaluations are presented. In line with the earlier studies, yet contrary to a widely held position, effort appeared to be emphasised more than ability in explaining differential performance. Differences in the meaning and understanding of such constructs are considered. The article then examines the important influence of peers, and teacher-pupil relationships, upon classroom behaviour and work rates. Differing perceptions as to the intrinsic and extrinsic value of education are explored. In conclusion, the implications for educational reform and attempts to raise educational achievement are considered.

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