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Motivation of New Generation Students for Learning Physics and Mathematics

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Palmira Pečiuliauskienė and Valdemaras Aleksa

The aim of the research is to reveal the effects of inquiry on the motivation of new generation students for learning Physics and Mathematics. Self-Determination Theory gives a theoretical background for the research. Quantitative methods dominate in this monograph. The monograph analyses the motivation for learning science in terms of inquiry levels, as well as in terms of real and digital Physics labs. The monograph also reveals the role of significant social issues in promoting intrinsic motivation and communication of lower secondary school students. The monograph considers motivation for learning Mathematics. The research discloses students’ attitude towards the educational and social benefit of learning Mathematics.

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By Palmira Pečiuliauskienė

The current research considers the processes activated in using inquiry-based learning. We have shown how inquiry-based learning is useful for the promotion of the motivation of lower secondary school students for learning Physics and Mathematics in digital and in real environments. The conducted comparative analysis of the motivation for learning Physics in terms of the performance of Physics labs in the real and virtual environment has confirmed the assumption of Nedic, Machotka and Nafalski (2003) that there is no simple answer to the dilemma – which laboratory work is best for students.

The correlation analysis of the national (Lithuania) research data on the learning achievements of Generation Y students reveals no significant effect of using computers on the assessment of the subject of Physics or learning motivation. Surveys accomplished by other researchers (Zacharia & Olympiou, 2010; Changeiywo, Wambugu, & Wachanga, 2011) demonstrate that the application of modern virtual environments enhance motivation for learning Physics and raise interest in the subject. Thus, it is assumed that two approaches can be distinguished while analysing the role of information and communication technology in studying Physics: generalised statistical approach (in our case) and a specific approach (specific experiments of using technologies in a specified place and time). However, the analysis of the employment of virtual learning platforms in specific conditions (Ince, Kirbaslar, Yolcu et al., 2014) merely reveals the effect of specific technologies on the learning process and motivation to study Physics.

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