A hero’s journey: recognising and supporting the achievement motivation of international secondary students

PhD Thesis


Sheehan, Helen. 2020. A hero’s journey: recognising and supporting the achievement motivation of international secondary students. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/44j9-9349
Title

A hero’s journey: recognising and supporting the achievement motivation of international secondary students

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorSheehan, Helen
SupervisorRiddle, Stewart
Arden, Catherine
Jamieson-Proctor, Romina
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages396
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/44j9-9349
Abstract

Teenagers from Confucius Heritage Culture (CHC) countries who want to study at a Western university often complete their secondary schooling in the selected country to ensure university entrance. These students are known to encounter many challenges (Alexander, 2017; Kim & Okazaki, 2014; Popadiuk, 2009, 2010). While some students succumb to the obstacles, fail to thrive and return home, others, motivated by a range of influences, persist with their studies to reach their goal of entry to university. Using an interpretive research design and a case study approach, this study explored what motivated 15 CHC international secondary students to engage in and persist with their studies in Australian secondary schools, despite the challenges faced, to reach their goal of entry to university. Using a theoretical framework incorporating expectancy-value theory (Atkinson, 1957; Eccles et al., 1983), self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) and the Hero’s Journey narrative framework (Campbell, 1968), it was found that the students were motivated by a complex range of intrinsic and extrinsic influences that changed with context and over time. The students’ beliefs included a perceived value of education, that study was their duty, a fear of failure and the belief that effort leads to success. Based on their beliefs, the students adopted a range of behaviours that increased the likelihood of their success. In addition to the beliefs and behaviours of the student, these teenagers perceived their schools played some role in supporting their achievement motivation by meeting their needs for relatedness, autonomy and competence and by providing intrinsically motivating learning environments. There were commonalities and differences in the students’ beliefs and behaviours and their perceptions of the role of the school in supporting their achievement motivation, which led to the development of student models. These student models: The Self-determined Hero, the Hesitant Hero and the Wounded Hero are used to represent the students’ beliefs, behaviours and perceptions of support and to describe the achievement motivation of the students in different contexts and over time during their secondary schooling in Australia. Findings are discussed in light of relevant literature, and implications and recommendations for schools that host international secondary students are provided. In particular, recommendations address how schools can best recognise and support the unique nature of achievement motivation of each CHC international secondary student enrolled. Implications for further research are also provided.

Keywordssecondary international students, Confucian Heritage Culture, achievement motivation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
390404. Educational counselling
390306. Secondary education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q5yw0/a-hero-s-journey-recognising-and-supporting-the-achievement-motivation-of-international-secondary-students

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The hero’s journey: understanding the experiences and motivations of international secondary students
Sheehan, Helen and Riddle, Stewart. 2022. "The hero’s journey: understanding the experiences and motivations of international secondary students." Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education. 43 (6), pp. 971-984. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2021.1947190