# Developmental aspects of enjoyment in the context of the middle school

**Автор**:
Герджикова Нина Димитрова

**Рубрика**: Теория образования и обучения, дидактика

**Опубликовано** в Школьная педагогика №2 (5) апрель 2016 г.

**Дата публикации**: 15.03.2016

**Статья просмотрена:**
4 раза

*Библиографическое описание:*

* Герджикова Н. Д. Developmental aspects of enjoyment in the context of the middle school // Школьная педагогика. — 2016. — №2. — С. 16-19. — URL https://moluch.ru/th/2/archive/27/772/ (дата обращения: 22.01.2019). *

*Key words**: emotion, experience, enjoyment.*

* *

*Ключевые слова**: эмоция, опыт, удовольствие.*

In the early 1980s one of the books of Shalva Amonashvili was very popular in Bulgaria. The book’s title was “Helo, children!”(Здраствуйте дети!). In this book, he explains the humanistic pedagogy and evaluates the strengths of the new streams in the educational practice. His massive experiment in Georgia changed the understanding about the role of pupils in the classroom. Ammonias beliefs that joy and positive oriented communication between teacher and pupils during the lesson should have a leading role. So far, up to present there are no measurements for the experience of joy in the educational context, I have conducted a study by the questionnaire of Pekrun, Goetz&Perry [3]. Here I will focus on the scale “enjoyment».

The theoretical foundations for the scale were derived directly from this questionnaire. The authors define “The Achievement Emotions Questionnaire” as “ a multidimensional self-report instrument designed to assess college students’ achievement emotions” [3,c.3]. They choose the component process for emotions, developed by Scherer. In addition, they view emotions “as sets of interrelated psychological processes, including affective, cognitive, physiological, and motivational components” [3,c.4]. Data on class-related enjoyment were obtained from students aged between 12 and 15 years. The survey involved 343 students. They had to assess ten statements. At the beginning of the questionnaire, they have received the exact instruction: «The following questions pertain to feelings you may experience DURING class. Please indicate how you feel, typically, during class in …».. [3,c.7] Here, in place of dots, the respondents had to identify one of the school subjects.

Pekrun, Frenzel, Goetz&Perry considered their control-value theory of achievement emotions as an integrative approach to emotions in education [2,c.13]. They give some arguments in support of their theory:

the emotions are experienced primarily by students;

information about the student’s emotions is important for all participants in the educational process;

knowing more about student’s emotions, teachers could contribute to the increasing students’ competence and to foster their development;

students’ achievement emotions are related mainly to the learning process. However, they often overlap social emotions [2,c.14–15].

As a result of these considerations, the authors determined the class-related enjoinment as a pleasant, positive, activating emotion [2, c.16] According to the theory of Frijda, emotional experience of enjoinment can be explained contradictory:

as any kind of subjective awareness; it is irreducible to sensations and is a direct outcome of the corresponding brain process [1,c.176];

alternatively, as emotional experience can correspond to different patterns of body sensations [1,c.177];

and third, the emotional experience can contain cognitions as an essential ingredient [1,c. 177].

Frijda cites some introspection studies that confirm three kinds of constituents, similar to the conclusions of Pekrun at all.: “elementary feelings, body sensations, and ideas associated to the stimulus “ [1, c. 179]. Descriptive analysis of emotions produces four dimensions of emotion: activation, hedonic tone, relatedness (moving toward, away, and against), and competence [1,c. 186]. Referring to the theory of Frijda each student experiences the concrete learning situation differently. The different behavioural reaction patterns of the student are related to the object of the irreflexive part of emotional experience. The reflexive analysis of the learning situation is its cause. The two parts of the emotional experience have not coincided in each situation.

Frijda had also embraced the idea of three forms of emotional experience: awareness of situational meaning structure, awareness of autonomic arousal, and awareness of action readiness. In any case, the source of information is different: in the first one — the environment; in the second one — the autonomic response; in the third one — the behavioural response. [1, c.193]. The situation according to Frijda “refers to everything that event carries with it or around it” [1, c.193]. The student can look at the situation in its own way. The enjoyment has both, core and context situational dependent components. The core components are described in the ten items of the scale, developed by Pekrun, Goetz&Perry [2005]. The situational meanings of the components are assessed by students.

From the context of the above description of emotional experience is clear that class-related enjoyment refers to a particular form of intellectual, physiological, and motivational tendencies of activity. The enjoyment keeps the eyes of the students most widely open to the type of knowledge, to the learning tasks. It affects the magnitude of their efforts. It stimulates the awareness of the shortcomings of their competence and changes the beliefs about the engagement in learning process. Enjoyment can be seen as a feeling for certainty during the lessons and in the social relations out of school.

The purpose of this study was to estimate of the reliability of a scale enjoyment. Furthermore I conducted a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to examine whether enjoyment scale’s scores were related to the grade of the students.

Against this theoretical background, further, I will address the following research task:

to measure developmental dimensions of pleasantness (called also valence or evaluation)

and engagement (also called activation or arousal) displayed through class-related

enjoyment;

to measure differences between students depending on their grade.

Participants were 343 students from four middle schools in district Smolyan. The sample includes students from the fifth (114), sixth (162), seventh (49) and eighth (18) grade. The enjoyment scale, developed by Pekrun at all. (2005) is composed of ten items using a five-point Likert scale scale from “strongly disagree”, “disagree», “neither agree, nor disagree», “agree” and “strongly agree». The scale comprises four types of items:

affective: “ I get excited about going to class»,“I am looking forward to learning a lot in this class”, “It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher”, “I am glad that it paid off to go to class”;

cognitive: “I am happy that I understood the material”;

motivational: “I am looking forward to learning a lot in this class”, “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting”, “My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate”, “After class, I start looking forward to the next class”;

physiological: “I enjoy participating so much that I get energized».

I conducted analyses in several stages using SPSS 10. for Windows. Each measure is described in details below.

I tested the reliability of the enjoyment scale by calculating Cronbach's alpha for all middle school students (N=341). The scale shows a high degree of homogeneity of the items -.8833 which in the original scale is.85. The statistics for the scale are also comparable with the measures, set by Pekrun, Goetz&Perry: mean in this sample is 30,94 to 31, 99; standard deviation is 10,36 to 6.47. The correlations between items range from.1010 (between “and “After class, I start looking forward to the next class” and “I am happy that I understood the material”) to.6667 (between “I am happy that I understood the material” and “I enjoy being in class”).

Between “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting” and “I am glad that it paid off to go to class” there is also high correlation -.6523. The correlations between some other items exceed.50: for example, between “I am looking forward to learning a lot in this class” and “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting”(.5369); “My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate” and “It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher”(.5507); “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting” and “I enjoy participating so much that I get energized”(.5567) The most items in the scale have a medium strength of the correlation — from.3574(between “I get excited about going to class” and “My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate”) to.4906 (“My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate” and “I am happy that I understood the material». In the same, group are correlation, between “I get excited about going to class” and “I am looking forward to learning a lot in this class”, “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting”, “It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher”, “I enjoy participating so much that I get energized”.

The pie chart № 1 is for the item “I am glad that it paid off to go to class.”

Pie chart 1: I am glad that it paid off to go to class

It shows that 45, 8 % of students are “strongly agree” with this claim. The same applies to the claim “I am happy that I understood the material”(48,9 %) There are various outcomes from frequencies for the items “I get excited about going to class” and “My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate”: for the first one 20, 7, % are strongly disagreed and 33, 8 % — strongly agree; for the next item, the results were seminal: 20, 7 % — strongly disagree and 31, 2 % — strongly agree. The lowest number of students are completely agreed with the claim “After class, I start looking forward to the next class” — 13,2 %. The students, who cannot assess definitely, if they feel enjoyment during the class vary around 20 %. For example, 23, 6 % are neither agree, nor disagree with the statement “I get excited about going to class” or 18, 4 % — for “I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting”.

For the purposes of this article, I have conducted multivariate (generalized linear model) with a smaller sample of students: 46 from fifth grade, 51 from sixth grade, and 49 from seventh grade. All students attend one and the same school in the town of Smolyan. The calculated effect sizes (partial eta suqared — % of variance explained) for all items in the scale indicate the following information about the strength of association between each of them and the independent variable “grade». The effect size is small for the next items:

I get excited about going to class (5, 2 %);

I am looking forward to learning a lot in this class (1, 7 %);

It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher (5, 6 %);

I am happy that I understood the material (4, 6 %);

I enjoy being in class (3, 1 %).

The effect size is medium for other five items:

I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting (7, 2 %);

I am glad that it paid off to go to class (7, 7 %);

My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate (6, 9);

I enjoy participating so much that I get energized (8, 3 %);

After class I start looking forward to the next class (7, 3 %).

For the post-hoc analysis was applied Tuckey’s procedure. The table for multiple comparisons makes known the differences among the grades. It was detached a statistically significant difference of means between fifth and sixth grade of the following variables:

I get excited about going to class (.8235);

I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting (.7826);

My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate (1, 0136);

It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher (.7749);

I enjoy participating so much that I get energized (.7174);

After class I start looking forward to the next class (-.8124);

It otherwise manifests the difference between 6th and 7th grade: it refers, only, to the item “After class I start looking forward to the next class “ (.6847). Between 5th and 7th grade the differences have to do with six variables in the scale: «I am motivated to go to this class because it’s exciting "(1, 0071); «I enjoy being in class "(1,1256); «My enjoyment of this class makes me want to participate»(.8004); «It’s so exciting that I could sit in class for hours listening to the teacher "(.7125); «I enjoy participating so much that I get energized "(1,049); «I am happy that I understood the material» (.7453).

The present study demonstrated the characteristics of the enjoyment, experienced by students in the middle school during the class. Self-reports of scale “enjoyment” in the AEQ exhibit more than sufficient technical adequacy when used with 12–15-years old students. The scale has yielded a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of.88. As shown, in the MANOVA analysis, the comparison groups did differ significantly, both in 5th and 6th grade. The evidence for the excitement, motivation, participation, listening and energization supported the hypothesis that as students grow older, they appear to perceive the enjoyment in a more different way. I have, also, sufficient evidence to suggest that almost half of the students enjoy being in class or understanding the material. However, contradictory findings regarding the connection between the enjoyment and participation may persist. The frequencies in the five degrees of agreement are distributed so that it is plausible how students assess their emotional experiences. The explicit conclusion of the present research is that they are able to appraise the individual significance of events during the class as enjoyable or unenjoyable.

References:

- Frijda, N.H.(1986).The Emotions. Cambridge, London, New YorkMelbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press.
- Pekrun, R., Frenzel, A., Goetz, Th., Perry, R.(2007). The Control-Value theory of achievement emotions: an integrative approach to emotions in education. In: Educational Psychology:Emotion in education (Ed. by Schutz, P., Pekrun, R.), Amsterdam, Boston, Heidelberg u. a.:Elsevier Academic Press, pp.13- 36.
- Pekrun, R., Goetz, Th., Perry, R.(2005).Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). Manual.

**Основные термины**

*(генерируются автоматически)*: AEQ, SPSS, MANOVA, DURING, ANOVA.

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