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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v7.i4.10
15 pages

SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS, MOTIVATION, RACE, AND GENDER IN MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE

Shari L. Britner
Department of Teacher Education, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois 61625, USA
Frank Pajares
Division of Educational Studies, 1784 North Decatur Road, Suite 240, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to discover whether the science motivation beliefs of middle school students (N = 262) vary as a function of their gender or race/ethnicity and to determine whether science self-efficacy beliefs predict science achievement when motivation variables shown to predict achievement in other academic areas are controlled. Girls reported stronger science self-efficacy and self-efficacy for self-regulation, and they received higher grades in science. Boys had stronger performance-approach goals. White students had stronger self-efficacy and achievement, and African American students reported stronger task goals. Self-efficacy was the only motivation variable to predict the science achievement of girls, boys, and White students. Self-efficacy and self-concept predicted the science achievement of African American students. Results are interpreted from the perspective of Bandura’s social cognitive theory.


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