Using Achievement Goal Theory to Investigate Pre-service Music Teachers’ Attitudes toward Grading Practices




St Pierre, Nathan

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The purpose of this study was to examine the interplay between achievement goal orientation (AGO) and attitudes toward grading practices. A secondary purpose was to identify homogeneous groups of participants for further analysis. Pre-service music teachers in their third year of undergraduate study (N = 56) were given measures of their achievement goal orientation (AGQ) and attitudes toward grading practices (GPAS). A cluster analysis homogeneously grouped participants into five AGO Profiles: (a) Non-Mastery-Oriented; (b) Non-Performance-Oriented; (c) Performance-Oriented; (d) Eclectic; and (e) Mastery-Oriented. These AGO Profiles differed significantly with regards to the average GPAS score for each group (GPAS_Total) [F(4, 51) = 2.94, p = .03, η2 = .19]. Specifically, the Mastery Oriented AGO Profile scored significantly (p ≤ .03) higher (M = 162.20, SD = 10.56) than the (a) Non-Mastery-Oriented AGO Profile (M = 143.33, SD = 14.99) and (b) Performance-Oriented AGO Profile (M = 145.90, SD = 10.72). These results suggest that neither AGQ scores representing high mastery-based orientations nor AGQ scores representing low performance-based orientations by themselves are enough to affect attitudes toward grading practices (GPAS_Total). Rather, it is the combination of both high mastery-based orientations with low performance-based orientations that leads to increased acceptance of grading practices typical of standards-based grading (SBG). In addition, AGO Profile, as a categorical variable, was not found to be significantly related to anticipated use of SBG (p = .51).



Music education, Music, Educational psychology, Educational Psychology, Music Education, Standards-based Grading, Teacher Education