Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations

To Be Or Not To Be…Motivated: A Comparison Of Students' Goal Orientation Within Direct Instruction And Constructivist Schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Dara Musher-Eizenman

Second Advisor

Yiwei Chen (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Catherine Stein (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Dafina Stewart (Committee Member)


The goal of this study was to compare students' achievement goal orientation within schools that take a more direct instruction approach to education (e.g., schools that are not affiliated with any educational organization) and schools that take a more constructivist approach to education (e.g., Montessori schools). Participants included 209elementary school students. The results revealed that although Non-affiliated students were more performance oriented than Montessori students, Non-affiliated students and Montessori students had an equal level of mastery orientation. Additionally, the results indicated that both Montessori and Non-affiliated student were more mastery oriented than performance oriented. Lastly, it was found that students' mastery orientation was related to adaptive outcomes.