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The contribution of learning motivation, reasoning ability and learning orientation to ninth grade international baccalaurate and national program students' understanding of mitosis and meiosis

Başer, Meltem
In this study, the contributions of learning motivation, reasoning ability, learning orientation and gender to International Baccalaureate and National Program students’ mitosis and meiosis achievement was investigated. Participants of the study were 472 ninth grade students from a private high school in Ankara. Two hundred nineteen students (46%) were in International Baccalaureate Program and two hundred fifty three (54%) were in National Program. The study was conducted during the 2006-2007 Spring semester. Prior to the introduction of mitosis and meiosis topics, students’ motivations toward biology learning (self efficacy, active learning strategies, science learning value, performance goals, achievement goals, learning environment stimulation), formal reasoning abilities and learning approaches were measured by Students’ Motivation Towards Biology Learning Questionnaire, Test of Logical Thinking Ability scale and Learning Approach Questionnaire respectively. After the topics have been covered, a 20 item Mitosis and Meiosis Achievement Test was used to measure achievement in mitosis and meiosis topics. Multiple regression analysis revealed that achievement was explained in positive direction by formal reasoning ability and in negative direction by active learning strategies and rote learning in National Program classes. Self-efficacy and formal reasoning ability had significant contributions to achievement for International Baccalaureate students. The main predictor of achievement was formal reasoning ability for both International Baccalaureate and National Program students, explaining 4.7% and 10.9% variance respectively. Moreover, while 2.9% of the variance in achievement was explained by self efficacy in International Baccalaureate classes, rote learning explained 2.2% of the variance in achievement in negative direction in National Program classes.