ACADEMIC EMOTIONS AND GRADES IN HIGHSCHOOL
2nd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2015, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-44-5 / ISSN 2367-5659 , Aug 26 - Sept 01; Book 1, Vol. 1, 9 - 16 pp
In most educational systems, school grades and grades obtained at national exams represent two basic indicators of academic success. Given the role that emotions play in student learning and achievement, it is important to understand the role that previous academic results and the perceived importance of grades to be obtained in future exams, play in the activation of students’ academic emotions.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relations among students’ previous grades, the perceived importance of grades to be obtained at the national exam, the perceived difficulty of the material that has to be studied and academic emotions. In order to attain our research objective, we asked 201 Romanian high-school students (17 – 20 years old, M=18.53, SD=0.55) to complete the Academic Emotions Scale and to answer several questions regarding their grades and the difficulty of the materials they have to study for the Baccalaureate exam.
The results indicated that the perceived difficulty of the learning material was a significant predictor for all the students’ academic emotions we investigated: anger, anxiety, shame, enjoyment, hope and pride. The perceived importance of a future exam grade was a significant predictor only for the emotions of anger, enjoyment and hope, while the previously obtained grades were significant predictors only for anxiety and shame.
These findings are discussed not only in the light of the differential approach in the study of academic emotions, but also in the light of their educational implications. The fact that the perceived difficulty of the learning tasks was relevant for all investigated emotions indicates the importance of adapting the learning curricula and the academic tasks to the students’ abilities and knowledge. Understanding the pattern of predictors and correlates of specific academic emotions might help teachers give more appropriate social support to students who need to regulate the emotions they feel in educational contexts.
Keywords: academic emotions, previous grades, importance of grades, perceived difficulty
PAPER DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B11/S1.002 : ACADEMIC EMOTIONS AND GRADES IN HIGHSCHOOL
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