Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Predictive Role of Teaching Styles on Omani Students' Mathematics Motivation

Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Predictive Role of Teaching Styles on Omani Students' Mathematics Motivation

Article excerpt


The current study explored the effects of two teaching styles, authoritative and authoritarian, on students' mathematics motivation. The two motivational constructs examined were intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Data were collected from 425 Omani 8th grade students (males = 202/females = 223, mean age = 13.44, SD = 0.79). Through two questionnaires, students reported their perceptions of their math teachers' teaching styles, and their own motivational orientation towards mathematics. Multiple regression models were used to analyze the data. The findings suggest the two teaching styles play a role in predicting students' mathematics motivation. An authoritative teaching style seems to be the better predictor of the two motivational constructs, when compared with an authoritarian style. Eighteen percent of the variance was accounted for in the intrinsic motivation model, compared with only five percent in the extrinsic motivation model. The educational and cultural contexts were discussed in relation to the research results.

Keywords: 8th graders, mathematics motivation, teaching styles, Oman, Arab

1. Introduction

Motivation is a significant factor in students' academic lives; it affects their classroom behavior, and as a result, future success. Motivated behavior is defined by Santrock (2009, p. 460) as being, "energized, directed and sustained". Student behavior is influenced by two major kinds of motivation-namely, autonomous and controlled. Previous research shows that motivation positively contributes to mathematics achievement, for example, Matteson, Swarthout, and Reichwein (2011) found that mathematics teachers firmly believed in the importance of motivation on their students' performance. The researchers emphasized that, for the students to become life-long learners, educators need to develop their students' intrinsic motivation, and encourage them to learn for the sake of learning. Similarly, Stevens, Olivarez, Lan, and Runnels (2004) asserted that encouraging mathematics self-efficacy belief and motivation within students significantly contributes to their mathematics achievement. Hammouri (2004) mentions three specific motivational variables of self-perception of math importance, confidence in ability, and educational inspiration as all positively related to mathematics achievement. Other motivational variables such as self-concept regarding mathematics (Wilkins, 2004), self-regulated learning (Ispir, Ay, & Saygi, 2011), self-esteem, self-efficacy and teachers' teaching behavior (Pimta, Tayruakham, & Nuangchalerm, 2009), attitude towards math (Hammouri, 2004; Singh, Granville, & Dika, 2002) and academic engagement (Singh, Granville, & Dika, 2002) were all found to be strong predictors of mathematics outcomes.

Due to the importance of student motivation, a great deal of research has investigated how it develops. According to past studies, the most influential factors on students' motivation are family or social factors, school and peer interaction factors, and teachers and teaching styles. Teachers have a particularly significant impact on students' motivation either through their relationships with students (see, for example, Aldhafri & Al-Hadabi, in press; Wilson & Ryan, 2013), punishment and reinforcement techniques (see, for example, Ahmad, Said, & Khan, 2013; Wery & Thomson, 2013), strategies of teaching (see, for example, Colleen, 2013; Morgan, 2013) or teaching styles. Tuan (2012) stated that students perceived their teachers as the most influential factor in motivating them for their learning, and for this reason, students need their teachers to encourage them by applying different motivating techniques. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of mathematics instructor teaching styles (authoritative and authoritarian) on students' mathematics motivation.

1.1 Teaching Styles

Several studies have documented the impact of teaching styles on students' school outcomes. …

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