Predictors of Academic Motivation of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Kiambu County, Kenya
Munge, Anne Muthoni
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This study sought to investigate the predictors of Academic Motivation in public secondary schools in Kiambu County, Kenya. Students’ lack of motivation in studies while in secondary school has led to dismal performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary exams which means that many students do not benefit much even after the four years of secondary school. Such a concern called for investigation. To accomplish this task, the study was guided by four research hypotheses. These included: There is a significant relationship between parental involvement and academic motivation of students in public secondary schools in Kiambu County. There is a significant relationship between school connectedness and academic motivation of students in public secondary schools in Kiambu County. There are gender differences in students’ academic motivation in public secondary schools in Kiambu County. There is a significant relationship between the satisfaction of psychological needs and academic motivation in public secondary schools in Kiambu County. The study made reference to Self-Determination Theory by Deci and Ryan, (1985). The study also made use of SPSS computer software for data analysis. A descriptive survey design was adopted because it enabled the researcher to establish the relationship between the four predictor variables and their influence on Academic Motivation. The population, comprised of the form three students, 2016. The sample consisted of 240 students from 8 public schools who were selected through simple random sampling. The researcher also carried out a pilot study to check out if the respondents were consistent with the items provided in the questionnaire. The researcher sought expert judgment from the supervisor in developing and revising the research instrument to ensure that there was validity and also to ensure that the research instrument yielded consistent results after repeated trials. The researcher made use of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) to carry out statistical procedures. The data was analyzed through the quantitative technique. The core purpose of this study was to investigate factors that may enhance a more sustainable academic motivation during the high school period so that students get value from the education process. The study revealed that students whose parents are concerned with their students’ studies, depicted higher levels of academic motivation. Students also recorded high levels of motivation if the school environment was conducive. Further, it was evident that students whose innate psychological needs were met, were highly motivated in their studies. If the three factors were met and strategies laid down for implementation, many students would benefit academically. Among the recommendations that emanated from the findings was that; parents should be enlightened on the need to get actively involved in the academic activities of their students. The teachers should strive to understand and meet the students’ needs while in school, this will motivate students to learn and eventually attain value for education, which is the core purpose of any education process.