Task Value as a Predictor of Academic Achievement among Form Three Students in Meru County, Kenya
Ncororo, Munanu Ruth
Koinange, Wawire Chrispus
Muriithi, Ireri Anthony
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Academic achievement is the ultimate goal of any education system. The grades the students achieve at the end of any system are useful for the stakeholders for many purposes. Therefore, any factor that affects the academic achievement of learners is very critical. Reviewed studies on academic achievement have indirectly cited economic backgrounds, cultural factors, parental involvement, administrative factors, and school structural environments, as some of the predictors of academic achievement. Students' inner motivational resources have not been addressed. The purpose of the current study was therefore to establish how task value predicts academic achievement among form three students in Meru County, Kenya. The study was based on Expectancy-Value Theory (EVT). The theory emphasizes on the inner motivations of learning behavior and it is useful in understanding the value the learners attach to their academic tasks. Task value causes achievement behavior among learners leading to success. The study used convergent parallel mixed methods design. The target population was all the form three students in public secondary schools in Meru County, Kenya. The accessible population was form three students from the 15 public secondary schools selected into the study. Multistage sampling was used, that is, purposive, cluster, and random sampling. Quantitative data were collected using task value scale and students’ academic achievement proforma. Data were collected, coded, entered into the computer, and analyzed using SPSS version 25. The Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient showed evidence of significant positive relationship between task value and academic achievement (r (813) =.61, p <.05). Regression analysis showed that task value accounted for 37% (R2 = .37, p < .05) of the variations of academic achievement. The prediction weights of the domains of task value on academic achievement were computed and utility task value emerged the best predictor of academic achievement. Qualitative data were collected using focus group interview. The results of the study lead to the conclusion that task value was a predictor of academic achievement. The study findings led to the recommendation that, all the stakeholders in education – the parents, teachers, and policy makers – should together aim at fostering high task value to enhance positive academic achievement among secondary school students in Kenya.