Carol Midgley's research while affiliated with University of Notre Dame and other places

Publications (87)

Article
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This study examined the effects of change in teacher goal emphases on students' efficacy beliefs in mathematics across the transition to middle school. The sample (N = 929) included primarily White (65%) and Black (27%) students, and approximately one third received free or reduced-fee lunch. Analyses grouped children by cross-classification of tea...
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This study examines children’s perceptions of the achievement goals parents and teachers emphasize for them in mathematics, and the relation of these goals to children’s personal achievement goals, self-efficacy beliefs, and coping strategies. Results indicated that children’s perceptions of both parent and teacher mastery and performance goal emph...
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Changes in early adolescents' self-reported cheating behaviors in mathematics before and after the transition from middle school to high school are examined. Students were surveyed in school regarding their cheating behaviors in math, and the motivational goal structures perceived in their math classrooms. Surveys were completed twice during the ei...
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Through the use of longitudinal survey data the change of achievement goal orientations was tested in a sample of middle school students in mathematics as they moved from sixth to seventh grade. Achievement goals include task goals and performance goals, with the partitioning of performance goals into approach and avoidance components. Results indi...
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Observations of the first days of school in eight sixth-grade classrooms identified three different classroom environments. In supportive environments teachers expressed enthusiasm for learning, were respectful, used humor, and voiced expectations that all students would learn. In ambiguous environments teachers were inconsistent in their support a...
Article
Despite a recent increase in research on the associations between classroom goal structures, motivation, affect, and achievement, little is known about the effects of changes in the perceived classroom goal structure as students move from one grade level to another. Comparisons of students who perceived an increase, decrease, or no change in the ma...
Article
Observations of the first days of school in eight sixth-grade classrooms identified three different classroom environments. In supportive environments teachers expressed enthusiasm for learning, were respectful, used humor, and voiced expectations that all students would learn. In ambiguous environments teachers were inconsistent in their support a...
Article
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This study examined the relation between the nature of teacher discourse and 34 sixth-grade students' reports of affect and behavior in 2 mathematics classrooms students perceived as emphasizing both mastery and performance goals. Classrooms were observed and teacher discourse was audiorecorded and transcribed for the first 2 days of the school yea...
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Research in motivation and in academic press for understanding has developed separately. This study examines the relation between press for understanding and middle school students' educational beliefs and behaviors in math after controlling for their motivational goals. A scale assessing academic press for understanding was developed and included...
Article
Achievement goal theory suggests that the emphasis on mastery and performance goals in the classroom (the classroom goal structure) is related to students' patterns of learning and behaviour. This theory can offer a preventative holistic approach for dealing with students' disruptive behaviour. The present study investigates whether the goal struct...
Article
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The relation between the learning environment (e.g., students' perceptions of the classroom goal structure and teachers' instructional discourse) and students' reported use of avoidance strategies (self-handicapping, avoidance of help seeking) and preference to avoid novelty in mathematics was examined. Quantitative analyses indicated that students...
Article
The relation between the learning environment (e.g., students' perceptions of the classroom goal structure and teachers' instructional discourse) and students' reported use of avoidance strategies (self-handicapping, avoidance of help seeking) and preference to avoid novelty in mathematics was examined. Quantitative analyses indicated that students...
Article
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We investigated the explicit and implicit ways in which 4 fifth-grade teachers communicated an emphasis on mastery and performance goal orientations to their students. We used survey data about perceptions of the classroom mastery and performance goal structures from 223 students in 10 classes to identify 4 classrooms with significantly different m...
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Some students put off studying until the last minute, fool around the night before a test, and otherwise reduce effort so that if their subsequent performance is low, these circumstances will be seen as the cause rather than lack of ability. These strategies are called self-handicapping because they often undermine performance. In this paper, we be...
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Why do some students avoid seeking help in the classroom when they need it? When students do not seek the help they need, they put themselves at a disadvantage for learning. We discuss how students' personal motivational characteristics relate to their avoidance of help seeking. In particular, we discuss our work regarding perceived academic and so...
Article
Some researchers have called for a reconceptualization of goal theory that acknowledges the positive effects of performance-approach goals. The authors of the present article review studies that indicate that performance-approach-goals are associated with adaptive patterns of learning but note that, in other studies, these goals have been unrelated...
Article
Some researchers have called for a reconceptualization of goal theory that acknowledges the positive effects or performance-approach goals. The authors of the present article review studies that indicate that performance-approach goals are associated with adaptive patterns of learning but note that, in other studies, these goals have been unrelated...
Article
This study extends previous research on the relations among students' personal achievement goals, perceptions of the classroom goal structure, and reports of the use of self-handicapping strategies. Surveys, specific to the math domain, were given to 484 7th-grade students in nine middle schools. Personal performance-avoid goals positively predicte...
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In this study of 62 African American families living in poverty, we examined the main and interactive effects of psychological, family, and school factors on students' grade point average across the middle school transition. Both parent interviews and student surveys were collected, resulting in three major findings. First, students experienced a s...
Method
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The Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS) were designed as measures of achievement goals and other motivational constructs in educational settings. The scales have been developed and refined over time by a group of researchers using goal orientation theory to examine the relation between the learning environment and students’ motivation, affe...
Data
The Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS) were designed as measures of achievement goals and other motivational constructs in educational settings. The scales have been developed and refined over time by a group of researchers using goal orientation theory to examine the relation between the learning environment and students’ motivation, affe...
Article
This study investigates the relations among students' perceptions of the goal structure in the classroom, the self-report of coping strategies, and affect in school. We hypothesized that perceptions of a task goal structure would be associated with positive coping strategies, and in turn with positive affect; and that perceptions of an ability goal...
Article
For some adolescents, the beliefs, values, and behavioral expectations at home and at school are in conflict, and negotiating the boundaries between these two contexts is difficult. We administered surveys, including a scale assessing perceptions of home-school dissonance, to an ethnically diverse sample of students (N = 475) in the 5th grade in el...
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Research has shown a decline in motivation and performance for many children as they move from elementary school into middle school; however, research has also shown that the nature of motivational change on entry to middle school depends on characteristics of the learning environment in which students find themselves. This Digest outlines some sug...
Article
Investigated the effects of the transition from elementary- to middle-level schools on the motivational beliefs (MBs) of 278 students attending 2 substantively different types of middle schools: one was characterized as utilizing task-focused instructional practices, while the other school utilized more traditional practices. Teachers in the latter...
Article
Earlier research provided evidence that positive interpersonal relationships and the emphasis on understanding, mastery, and challenge (the mastery goal structure) deteriorated when students moved from elementary to middle-level schools. Recommendations for reforming middle-level schools focused in particular on these two dimensions of the learning...
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With hierarchical linear modeling, student reports of the avoidance of help seeking were related to student and classroom characteristics. Avoidance of help seeking was related negatively to students' academic efficacy. However, avoidance of help seeking was related less strongly to students' academic efficacy in classrooms in which teachers believ...
Article
Achievement goal theory has emerged as a major new direction in motivational research. A distinction is made among conceptually different achievement goal orientations including the goal to develop ability (task goal orientation), the goal to demonstrate ability (ability-approach goal orientation), and the goal to avoid the demonstration of lack of...
Article
Some students purposefully use self-handicapping strategies (e.g., procrastinating, fooling around, getting involved in many activities) so that these circumstances, rather than lack of ability, will be seen as the cause if subsequent performance is low. The aim of the present study was to determine whether we could reliably assess fifth-grade stud...
Article
Traditionally, theorists have described motivation in terms of approach and avoidance tendencies. In contrast, goal orientation research has focused primarily on 2 approach goals: demonstrating ability (performance-approach) and developing ability (task). A scale to assess the goal of avoiding the demonstration of lack of ability (performance-avoid...
Article
Researchers using a goal orientation framework have hypothesized that learning goals are associated with adaptive patterns of behavior, regardless of the level of perceived ability. In contrast, perceived ability is hypothesized to moderate the relation between performance goals and patterns of adaptive or maladaptive behavior. We examined this hyp...
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We wish to thank the teachers and students who participated in all phases of the development of this project. We also acknowledge our colleagues Revathy Arunkumar, Leslie Morrison, Julie Schumaker, Karen Strobel, Cindy Winston, and Stewart Wood, who were involved in the classroom observations, and Allison Young and Tim Urdan who assisted with train...
Article
Goal orientation theory was used to examine changes in student motivation during the transition from elementary to middle school. Surveys were given to 341 students in the fifth grade in elementary and again in sixth grade in middle school. Students were more oriented to task goals (wanting to improve their competency), perceived a greater emphasis...
Article
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Why do some students avoid seeking help with their class work when it is needed? Investigated in this study were the relations between early adolescents' academic and social goals and reports of avoiding help-seeking and perceiving that help-seeking is a threat to self-worth. Surveys were administered to 443 fifth graders in 12 elementary schools....
Article
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In a sample of 296 8th-grade middle school students, the authors examined the role of personal achievement goals and feelings of school belonging in mediating the relation between perceptions of the school psychological environment and school-related beliefs, affect, and achievement. Sequential regression analyses indicated that perceiving a task g...
Article
It has been suggested that some students procrastinate, fool around, reduce effort, and use other self-handicapping strategies so that if subsequent performance is low, these circumstances will be seen as the cause. Surveys were given to 112 8th graders. The handicapping items formed a single factor with good internal consistency. Handicapping was...
Article
Although most individuals pass through adolescence without excessively high levels of "storm and stress," many individuals experience difficulty during this period. Why? Is there something unique about this developmental period that puts individuals at greater risk for difficulty? This paper focuses on these questions and advances the hypothesis th...
Article
Studies suggest that the transition to middle school is associated with a decline in motivation and performance for a number of children. This longitudinal study examined changes in motivation in English and mathematics across and after the transition from elementary to middle school. Of particular interest were changes in personal goal orientation...
Article
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Recently, attention has been focused on the strategies children use in school to portray themselves as able to others. By procrastinating, allowing others to keep them from studying, deliberately not trying, and using other "self-handicapping" strategies, students can convey that those circumstances, rather than lack of ability, are the reasons for...
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In this article, some of the particular issues relevant to changing middle level schools were examined. Recent research has increasingly examined the educational needs of early adolescent students, and school reforms frequently have been called for Often, these calls for reform have not been accompanied by careful consideration of the many factors,...
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The early adolescent years are characterized by a negative shift in motivational orientation for a number of children. It has been suggested that this change is related to differences between the learning environments in elementary and middle level schools. In particular, some goal theorists have suggested that middle level schools stress performan...
Article
We proposed a causal relationship between teachers’ perception of principal leadership behavior, school culture, and teacher and student commitment. We hypothesized that a concept we called principal “venturesomeness” would be related to a school culture that stresses accomplishment and mastery, which in turn would be related to teacher commitment,...
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We discuss the decline in early adolescents' academic motivation after the transition to middle grade schools and review work on how school and classroom environments in traditional middle grade schools could be responsible for these declines. We suggest that there is often a mismatch between characteristics of the classroom environment in traditio...
Article
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Although most individuals pass through adolescence without excessively high levels of "storm and stress," many do experience difficulty. Why? Is there something unique about this developmental period that puts adolescents at risk for difficulty? This article focuses on this question and advances the hypothesis that some of the negative psychologica...
Article
Describes approaches for solving the problem of students' declining motivation and performance when they move to middle-level schools. Urges educators to examine school policies, practices, and procedures, and to make changes that will make it very clear to students that effort, challenge, improvement, and mastery are the goals of schooling. (16 re...
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The results of an exploratory study of the role of contextual and personal factors (“personality” and demographic differences) in modifying administrative behavior are presented. Of the personal characteristics, principals' goals, particularly those of providing leadership, had the most impact on administrative behavior. Of the contextual influence...
Article
Recently, psychologists have investigated self-efficacy as it relates to teaching and learning. This study used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM)--a powerful new technique for assessing multilevel data--to examine the effects on self-efficacy of a school-wide effort to value task-mastery and learning over relative ability and competition. The samp...
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For some children, the early adolescent years mark the beginning of a downward spiral in school-related behaviors and motivation that often lead to academic failure and school dropout. Although these declines are not so extreme for most adolescents, there is sufficient evidence of gradual decline in various indicators of academic motivation, self-p...
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Examined 1,850 school age children achievement self-perceptions in 4 activity domains (math, English, social activities, and sports) and self-esteem across the transition from elementary to junior high school. Self-esteem scores declined across the transition to junior high, but increased during 7th grade. Self-concepts of ability for math, English...
Article
What little motivational research is directed toward the practical world of education is primarily addressed to classroom teachers. We presume to speak to those in school leadership roles. Building on current interest in restructuring schools as well as the recent attention to motivational issues, we suggest how the school as a whole can be redesig...
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Research and theorizing about adult control have often made seemingly conflicting recommendations and predictions about the potential impact of that control on children's social and intellectual development. Researchers concerned with intrinsic motivation have argued for minimal use of controlling strategies with children; other researchers, in con...
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Three studies examine beliefs that parents and teachers have about adolescents. A distinction is made between category-based beliefs (concerning adolescents as a group) and target-based beliefs (concerning individual adoles cents). In Study 1, 90 late elementary and junior high school teachers indicated degree of agreement with a set of category-ba...
Article
In a longitudinal study of 1,301 students and the teachers they had for mathematics before and after the transition to junior high school, we assessed whether changes across the transition in students' perceptions of their teachers' supportiveness were related to changes in their valuing of mathematics. Using repeated-measures multivariate analysis...
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In a longitudinal study of 1,329 students and the teachers they had for mathematics before and after the transition to junior high school, the relation between students' beliefs in mathematics and their teachers' sense of efficacy is examined. Using repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), we found that the rate of change withi...
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The beliefs of 107 teachers who students have for mathematics the last year of elementary school are compared to the beliefs of 64 teachers the same students have for mathematics the first year of junior high school. As hypothesized, posttransition teachers trust students less, believe more strongly in controlling and disciplining students, and hav...
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Student and teacher perceptions of the classroom environment were assessed during mathematics instruction in 117 sixth grade elementary school classrooms and the following year in 138 seventh grade junior high school classrooms. Observer perceptions were collected in a subset of these classrooms. As hypothesized, after the transition students were...
Article
Student and teacher perceptions of actual and preferred student decision-making opportunities in mathematics classrooms are assessed before and after the transition to junior high school in a longitudinal sample of 2210 students in 117 pre-transition and 137 post-transition classrooms. The findings include: (a) students and teachers perceive fewer...
Article
hypothesized that differences in the classroom environment before and after the transition were contributing to the negative changes in student beliefs and behaviors that sometimes are associated with the move from elementary school to junior high school / decided to undertake a two-year, four-wave panel study (the Transitions at Early Adolescence...

Citations

... These correlates of perceived teacher enthusiasm and intrinsic value for the content are strikingly similar to the types of instructional practices that characterize a mastery goal structure. A mastery goal structure is created in classrooms when teachers communicate to students that (a) the content being taught is valuable, and (b) it is important to truly learn and understand the content, and not just to memorize facts (Patrick et al., , 2003. Moreover, research suggests that perceptions of a mastery goal structure are related to having positive relationships with teachers (e.g., Butler, 2012;Patrick, 2004). ...
... Creemers and Kyriakides (2008) proposed in this regard an integrating model specifically highlighting that the quality of social relations depends on the work of teachers, that is to say on everything that can be put in place to promote a good social climate within the classroom. Like Juvonen (2006), other theorists also argued that the quality of social relations between teachers and students directly influences young people's sense of belonging (St-Amand, 2018;Newmann et al., 1992;Roeser et al., 1996;Wehlage et al., 1989). Still, according to Juvonen (2006): "[…] Students are presumed to comply and be motivated to learn when they feel supported and respected by their teachers" (p. ...
... Students tend to report a mastery goal structure when they perceive their teachers as emphasizing effort, mastery of content, and each individual student's learning (Midgley, 2002;Turner et al., 2002). In such classrooms, teachers' instructional practices encourage students to compare their current knowledge and skills to their own prior knowledge and skills, rather than making comparisons with other students (Kaplan et al., 2002). ...
... For example, noticing students' boredom could initiate teachers to choose a different instructional approach before students start off-task activities (Nett et al., 2010). Furthermore, taking the perspective of adolescents, teachers will be able to recognize their need for autonomy, which would collide with a controlling classroom management strategy (Aelterman et al., 2019;Eccles & Midgley, 1989). Yet, effective classroom management may be less dependent on teacher empathy than emotional support is. ...
... 4 One line of correlation research that associates supportive relationships to positive youth outcomes relates characteristics of parents to positive youth development. Over time, positive parental support is associated with positive school motivation, mental health, and lower rates of risky behaviors (like drinking and smoking), delinquency, and school misconduct (Clark, 1983;Eccles, Lord, and Midgley, 1991;Epstein and Dauber, 1991;Henderson and Berla, 1994;Booth andDunn, 1996, Grotevant, 1998;Furstenberg et al., 1999;Steinberg, 2001). A second research strand shows that supportive relationships are positively associated with desirable outcomes in other settings, including the classroom, sports programs, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and mentoring programs (Comer, 1988;Roberts and Treasure, 1992;Smoll, Smith, Barnett, and Everett, 1993;Seefeldt, Ewing, and Walk, 1993;Eccles, 1998;Grossman and Rhodes, 1999;Jackson and Davis, 2000). ...
... Stage-environment fit emphasizes the influence of environmental factors on youth motivation, feelings of connectedness to school, and teacher-student relationships (Booth & Gerard, 2014;Eccles et al., 1991). Differences across elementary, middle, and high school settings (e.g., organization, complexity of assignments, evaluation policies, distribution of responsibilities), and the extent to which school settings meet students' developmental needs (Eccles & Midgley, 1989), can contribute to differences in aggression among students. For example, teacher attitudes and discipline practices contribute to student perceptions of having their needs met, which affects student anger and bullying behaviors (Hein et al., 2015). ...
... This type of learning environment is known as a mastery goal structure. Students tend to report a mastery goal structure when they perceive their teachers as emphasizing effort, mastery of content, and each individual student's learning (Midgley, 2002;Turner et al., 2002). In such classrooms, teachers' instructional practices encourage students to compare their current knowledge and skills to their own prior knowledge and skills, rather than making comparisons with other students (Kaplan et al., 2002). ...
... Other environmental factors should also be mentioned. Together, socio-environmental factors can be interpreted as motivational climates [30,31] that are relevant in many sport contexts (e.g., teammates, sport structures). Concerning the sociodemographic factors influencing sporting habits, age mu mentioned, as the proportion of young people taking part in sport declines with ag 14]. ...