Smith J, Moreau D, Paquin S, St-Amand J, Chouinard R. (2020). The evolution of motivation to learn in the context of the transition to secondary school: Developmental trajectories and relational determinants. The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum. 27(2): 17-37.
This article examines fluctuations in motivation to learn over the primary to secondary school transition. Students (N = 323) in Quebec, Canada were surveyed at the end of their final year of primary school and at the beginning and end of their first year of secondary school regarding their expectancies for success and the value they placed on learning. The objectives were: 1) to measure general changes, using a conventional approach, 2) to distinguish different trajectories, using a group-based semi-parametric approach, and 3) to examine the link between relational dimensions and these trajectories. The results show that on average, expectancies and value declined. More specifically, three developmental trajectories were identified for both expectancies and value. Positive relationships with peers and the teacher before the transition were associated with relatively positive trajectories of expectancies and value. Thus, social relationships may serve as a protective factor during this transition, at least for motivation to learn.