Motivation Orientations, Academic Achievement, and Career Goals of Undergraduate

Music Education Majors

Charles P. Schmidt                  Stephen F. Zdzinski                Dennis L. Ballard

Indiana University           University of Miami           Indiana State University


This study examined motivation orientations (mastery, intrinsic, cooperative, individual, competition, ego, approach success, avoid failure, hypercompetititon, personal development competition, locus of control) and self-concept in relation to measures of academic achievement and career goals of pre-service music teachers. The research questions addressed (a) relationships among motivation and self-concept variables and their underlying factors, and (b) the extent to which motivation and self-concept variables were correlated with academic achievement variables (SAT scores, GPA), class level (freshman through senior), gender, and immediate and long-term career goals. Participants were 135 undergraduate music education majors drawn from three universities. A survey was developed to measure the motivation constructs and to gather information concerning academic achievement, demographic variables, and career goals. Reliability coefficients were acceptable to high for the motivation and self-concept variables. Locus of control had marginally acceptable reliability. Results indicated approximately 69% and 48% of the participants, respectively, reported public school teaching as their immediate and long-term career goals. College teaching was the long term goal for 14.2% of the sample. Differences in frequencies for career goals and mean differences in motivation variables were non-significant by university. The sample had relatively high means for mastery, cooperative and intrinsic motivation orientations and relatively low means for ego, competitive, hypercompetitive, and individual motivation orientations. On the whole, participants had a relatively high musical self concept and internal locus of control (LOC). A modest positive correlation was found between intrinsic orientation, internal LOC and GPA. External LOC was correlated with tendencies toward lower SAT scores and lower GPA. Commitment to the immediate career goal was positively correlated with an individual orientation. Factor analysis revealed five factors: Competitive/Ego, Achieve Success/Avoid Failure, Cooperative vs. Individual, Intrinsic/Task, Self- Concept/LOC. Significant, but low correlations were found between Competition/Ego and class level; Achieve Success/Avoid Failure was positively correlated with GPA and gender. Commitment to the immediate career goal was negatively correlated with Cooperative vs. Individual and positively correlated with Mastery/Intrinsic. Group differences in motivation by immediate and long-term career goal categories were non-significant.