Models of pre-service teachers' academic achievement: The influence of cognitive motivational variables

Felicia Castro-Villarreal, Norma Guerra, Daniel Sass, Pei-Hsuan Hseih


Theoretical models were tested using structural equation modeling to evaluate the interrelations among cognitive motivational variables and academic achievement using a sample of 128 predominately Hispanic pre-service teachers enrolled in two undergraduate educational psychology classes. Data were gathered using: (1) a quantitative questionnaire to assess personal control, internal causality, self-efficacy, mastery goal orientation, and final course grade and (2) a problem-solving activity to identify engagement style: action- or process-oriented. The proposed theoretical model produced a poor model fit and thus a modified model was forwarded that directly linked self-efficacy with final course grade rather then mediated by mastery goal orientation. Results supported the modified model and suggested that the cognitive motivational variables under investigation played important roles in predicting students’ grades, with self-efficacy acting as the mediator between both internal causality and personal control and students’ final course grade. This study also demonstrated that the modified model was relatively invariant across gender, ethnicity, and engagement style. Implications for both teacher educators and teachers for understanding the complex links between cognitive motivational variables and academic achievement with a predominately Hispanic sample are discussed.


pre-service teachers; teaching; education; self-efficacy, locus

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ISSN 1527-9316