Achievement Motivation and Level of Aspiration: Adolescent Ethiopian Immigrants in the Israeli Education System

By Horowitz, Tamar Ruth; Mosher, Naftalie | Adolescence, Spring 1997 | Go to article overview

Achievement Motivation and Level of Aspiration: Adolescent Ethiopian Immigrants in the Israeli Education System


Horowitz, Tamar Ruth, Mosher, Naftalie, Adolescence


INTRODUCTION

Immigration from Ethiopia to Israel in the mid-1980s included about three thousand children. Many of them, particularly the younger ones, had not attended school in their country of origin, while others left school following the decision to emigrate to Israel.

They were all directed to the state religious system. The younger children were sent to the neighborhood elementary schools. The older ones were directed to "Youth Aliya" boarding schools in order to give them an intensive learning experience and prevent them from going into the labor market before finishing high school. The basic assumption behind the absorption policy of Ethiopian immigrants was that they should adjust to the system, rather than that the system should be adapted to meet their prior learning experiences. A special curriculum was not developed, apart from intensive Hebrew courses (Ulpan) both in elementary and secondary schools before they started the regular program.

The Israeli education system responded enthusiastically at first. To their teachers, these children appeared to be intelligent, attentive, and highly motivated. However, it soon became apparent that the pace of their progress tended to lag behind the system's expectations even though their intelligence was high (Golan, Sheftaya, & Horowitz, 1987). As a result, certain questions have been raised regarding the gap between their perceived ability and their level of achievement. Is the gap a consequence of inappropriate didactic methods? Or is it rooted in teachers' misperception regarding their motivation to learn? What is the nature of Ethiopian students' value system and how does it affect that motivation?

These questions raised by the decision-makers were the focus of the present study which addressed two partly overlapping paradigms: Achievement Motivation, and Modern Man. Various terms have been employed by different scholars in the context of the first paradigm - the need for achievement and achievement orientation. McClelland (1963) used the term "need for achievement," which he defined as "striving for success in competition with some standard of excellence." The need to achieve, which is expressed in a variety of activities and various roles, has both intrinsic and extrinsic aspects. The achievement-motivated person aims at reaching a standard determined by an inner need for superior performance and at the same time is motivated by the need for esteem, prestige, and status.

This paradigm was originally introduced by Max Weber in his attempt to explain why economic and social modernization occurred in 18th century Europe rather than in other countries. Weber (1930) attributed this development to the Protestant value system, identifying aspects of the Protestant ethic which, in his view, facilitated the rise of capitalism: individualism, activism, planning ahead, and task orientation. Inspired by Weber's theory, McClelland (1953) defined the individual correlate of the Protestant Ethic as the "high need for achievement." His central question was whether this type of need emerged only in the Protestant culture or is also found in other cultures. McClelland and his associates examined this question both in empirical research and in the historical perspective. His conclusion was that societies and social groups other than the 18th century Protestants also had high achievement motivation, such as the Chinese in the U.S. and the Jews. McClelland (1953) identified certain aspects of socialization which, he claimed, affect the need to achieve (e.g., type of authority pattern within the family, family stability, quality of communication with father, type of reinforcement, degree of independence, and parents' occupational aspirations).

The Achievement Motivation construct has been extensively criticized, with the arguments centering around the difficulty of isolating and identifying the specific environmental variables that generate achievement motivation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Achievement Motivation and Level of Aspiration: Adolescent Ethiopian Immigrants in the Israeli Education System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.