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A Cross-Cultural Study on Autonomy and Perceived Control in Learning.

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This cross-cultural study tests a model of motivation on children's learning. Participating in the study are 805 Chinese students and 740 Canadian students. Students answered survey questions related to their perceptions of parents and teachers as well as their motivation orientations and the perceived level of control in learning; their homeroom teachers also provided a rating on their diligence and performance in school. The results showed that of the four types of motivation orientation tested, the identified type of motivation orientation is the important predictor for student's effort expenditure both in Taiwan and Canada. The results of the model testing showed a strong similarity between the Canadian and the Chinese in how children's motivation affects their academic outcome. Perceived Control is shown to have an all positive influence on student's academic outcome. However, autonomy as defined by student's motivation orientation appears to be a double-edged sword; although the total effect of autonomy on children's academic achievement is positive, the model shows that without the mediation of perceived control, a high level of autonomy can actually have a significant negative impact on student's achievement. (Author/GCP)

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Author:d'Ailly, Hsiao
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Aug 1, 2002
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