One of the primary goals of education is to help students discover their true interests and chart a life course based on interests developed and nurtured in school
One of the primary goals of education is to help students discover their true interests and chart a life course based on interests developed and nurtured in school. Pursuing activities and topics that find interesting play an important part in determining the academic outcome of the learners. Interest in studies is not only associated with facilitative effects on cognitive functioning, learning, and academic achievement (Schiefele, Krapp, &Winteler, 1992). But it is a process that contributes to learning and achievement. When interest is triggered in studies by their parents, it becomes a crucial component of success in academics. For some children, the early adolescent years mark the beginning of a downward spiral in school-related behaviours and motivation that often lead to academic failure and school dropout. Bridgeland et al., (2006) indicated in their report that 47% of high school dropouts cited boredom and lack of interest in their classes as a major reason for leaving school.
There is a considerable studies that link the educational status of parents and youth’s academic motivation and achievement (Kohn, 1969; Linver ; Davis-Kean, 2005). In most researches, positive associations between parental education and adolescents’ achievement were found. Byrnes (2003) found that parents’ education was closely related to adolescents’ math proficiency. Bandura, (1986) best captured from the observational learning perspective that parents served as role models of behaviors and values within the academic domain. Davis-Kean, (2005) and Heyns, (1978), supported the idea that parental education plays an important role in achievement-related motivation or behaviours than other familial variables. According to Eccles’ and colleagues’ (1983), both parents’ socialization practices and their education levels are important for youth’s academic motivation and achievement. Jacobs and Bleeker (2004) examined parents’ math-promotive behaviors and found that children whose mother purchased more and more math and science toys were more involved in their children’s math and science activities and their children reported greater interest in math six years later. Parental expectations also have been positively related to youth’s academic motivation and achievement. Chen ; Stevenson, (1995) asked parents how much schooling they expected their offspring to complete. Their results showed that children had higher reading and math achievement scores when their parents expected them to go farther in school. Eccles, (2005) found that parents’ own participation in math, science, and computer activities were positively associated with their children’s participation in these same activities.
Davis-Kean (2005) found no evidence of gender differences regarding parents’ expectations for educational attainment. Using a multi-ethnic sample, Chen and Stevenson (1995) showed that adolescents whose fathers had a postgraduate degree scored 10 points higher on a math achievement test than adolescents whose fathers had junior high school educations or less.
Significance of the study
Early adolescence is a distinct period of human growth and development situated between childhood and adolescence. During this remarkable stage of the life cycle, early adolescents, experience rapid and significant developmental changes namely physical, cognitive, social and psychological changes.Research has consistently shown that early adolescence is a period marked by negative changes on a variety of motivational factors. Harter (1981) found that intrinsic motivation for academic work generally decreased as students move into adolescence. Other studies also have shown similar declines across a variety of constructs, including interest in school, self-concept and self-esteem, especially for girls; and perceived competence (Parsons & Ruble,1977). Simmons and Blyth (1987) found a marked decline in early adolescents’ school grades as they move into junior high school. They are less interested in traditional academic subjects when they are subjected to school transition from elementary level to middle school education. A growing body of knowledge shows that, what shapes students between the ages of 10 and 14 determines not only their future success in school, but success in life as well. There is very little work on early adolescents’ interest in studies related to their parents’ educational status, occupation and family’s monthly income. Any previous work has not examined the relation between the familial variables and the early adolescents’ interest in studies. Accordingly, this study examined the influence of early adolescent’s interest in studies with regard to the familial variables.