Journal article

Learning in multiple contexts : are there intra-, cross- and transcontextual effects on the learner’s motivation and help seeking?


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  • European Journal of Psychology of Education. - 2012, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 213-225
English In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the majority of 15–19-year olds follow vocational education programmes within a dual-track system, spending most of their time in a company and going to school only 1 day each week. With their separate aims, content and sociological organisation, the company and the school can be considered as two distinct contexts within which apprentices have to acquire the various skills and competencies of their future occupation. In this paper, the development of apprentices’ learning intentions and motivation to learn, subjective competence, perceived utility of what is learned and estimated learning place attractiveness (study 1) as well as their readiness to seek help in these different contexts over the year of training (study 2) is analysed using both longitudinal and cross-sectional data. The findings show significant differences in apprentices’ motivation, their beliefs and their readiness to seek help in the different contexts throughout the training. Moderate (cross- different contexts, same time) as well as transcontextual (different contexts, different times) influences can also be seen. These results emphasise the importance of a careful delimitation of contexts when studying the impact of contextual factors on learners’ motivation and behaviours; they also suggest that motivation within one of these contexts can indirectly affect the learner’s motivation within another of these contexts. It is therefore likely that, by using these various dynamics appropriately, educators might temporarily sustain learners’ motivation in an unappreciated context by having recourse to a better accepted one.
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Memory and learning
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