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Science vs. Sports: Motivation and Self-concepts of Participants in Different School Competitions
Höffler, T., Bonin, V., Parchmann, I.

Science vs. Sports: Motivation and Self-concepts of Participants in Different School Competitions

International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. 10.1007/s10763-016-9717-y

Competitions are discussed as a measure to foster students’interest, especially for highly gifted and talented students. In the current study, participants of a cognitive school competition in science were compared to non-participants of the same age group (14–15) who either did not participate in any competition or who participated in a non-cognitive sports competition. The study focused on goal orientations and competence beliefs and analyzed outcomes as a foundation for further improvements of enrichment measures and competitions with regard to fostering students’ interest especially in science. The results showed considerable differences (and some unexpected similarities) between groups: Science competition participants were more learning goal oriented, had less performance avoidance goals, and showed less work avoidance than non-participants. Social self-concept was higher but was moderated by GPA. Considerable gender differences were found as well. These findings are discussed with regard to further research and possibilities for improvement of science competitions.