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In this study which was part of the DISUM-project, 224 ninth graders from 14 German classes from middle track schools (Realschule) were asked about their enjoyment, interest, value and self-efficacy expectations concerning three types of mathematical problems: intra-mathematical problems, word problems and modelling problems. Enjoyment, interest, value and self-efficacy were assessed before and after a ten-lesson teaching unit promoting modelling competency related to the topics “Pythagoras’ theorem” and “linear functions”. The study aimed to answer the following research questions: (1) Do students’ enjoyment, value, interest and self-efficacy expectations differ depending on the type of task? (2) Does the treatment of modelling problems in classroom instruction influence these variables? (3) Are there any differential effects for different ways of teaching modelling problems, including a “directive”, teacher-centred instruction and an “operative-strategic”, more student-centred instruction emphasising group work and strategic scaffolding by the teacher? The findings show that there were no differences in students’ enjoyment, interest, value and self-efficacy between the three types of tasks. However, teaching oriented towards modelling problems had positive effects on some of the student variables, with the student-centred teaching method producing the most beneficial effects.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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