Applications of Goal Theory to Teaching Mathematics



The aim of this research is to examine the impact of Achievement Goal motivation Theory on students’ academic success.  Research asserts  that possesing  mastery-learning oriented motivation has a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. This study may be useful for students, teachers and administrators in the identification of college students who are considered at risk for math failure or students who are on the verge of dropping out of college. The research applies a quantitative method of study. Quantitative data have been analyzed using Elliot’s AGQ (Achievement Goal Questionnaire). In the case study of a private Suleyman Sah University, Turkey, the focus of the AGQ has been derived from the central research question: How and why applications of Achievement Goal Theory affect students’ success in mathematics at university? In order to identify students’ goal orientation,   Elliot’s AGQ was given to 53 students who were selected randomly in math classes. Their course exam results were compared to their motivational types. Based on the quantitative  data analiysis, the research suggests that the best way to change one’s thinking during a testing situation (and hence reduce or elminate one’s anxiety) is to intentionally change one’s performance goal and performance-avoidance goal into only a mastry-learning goal

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