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József Balázs Fejes and Tibor Vígh: Developing an Instrument to Measure Goal Orientation Based on Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory

Goal orientation theory is one of the most prominent theoretical perspectives for examining students’ motivation at school. The goal orientation approach has not received sufficient attention in Hungary so far, and thus we lack appropriate instruments. Although there are numerous international instruments that measure the goals of elementary school children, they are not up-to-date, which is mainly due to rapid improvements in the field. This study describes the developmental process of a Hungarian instrument to assess goals (2x2 framework and work avoidance) in mathematics among elementary school children. The developmental process is based on three data collection sessions. The first measurement involved 610 participants in Years 4-7. During the second measurement, we tested the improved instrument on 313 schoolchildren in Years 4 and 5, while the third measurement involved 885 children in Years 5-8. Both classical test theory and item response theory played an influential role in the development process. The results of factor analysis after the third measurement showed that 20 Likert-type scale statements belonged to the expected latent dimension, 4 per goal type (KMO=0.88). Reliability values for goal types varied between 0.71 and 0.93. With analysis based on the partial credit model, the fit of the statements to the model is suitable in all sub-samples and goal types. Threshold parameters grew in line with the increase in the level of motivation. Statements relating to avoidance dimensions covered the motivational level of participants in the whole sample appropriately; however, the investigation identified another level of motivation with regard to approach goals, which is not completely covered by scale points.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 112. Number 2. 93-123. (2012)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Fejes József Balázs és Vígh Tibor, Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Neveléstudományi Intézet. H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia