Influence of Science and Technology Magnet Middle Schools On Students' Motivation and Achievement In Science
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Some informal discussions among educators regarding motivation of students and academic performance have included the topic of magnet schools. The premise is that a focused theme, such as an aspect of science, positively affects student motivation and academic achievement. However, there is limited research involving magnet schools and their influence on student motivation and academic performance. This study provides empirical data for the discussion about magnet schools influence on motivation and academic ability. This study utilized path analysis in a structural equation modeling framework to simultaneously investigate the relationships between demographic exogenous independent variables, the independent variable of attending a science or technology magnet middle school, and the dependent variables of motivation to learn science and academic achievement in science. Due to the categorical nature of the variables, Bayesian statistical analysis was used to calculate the path coefficients and the standardized effects for each relationship in the model. The coefficients of determination were calculated to determine the amount of variance each path explained. Only five of 21 paths had statistical significance. Only one of the five statistically significant paths (Attended Magnet School to Motivation to Learn Science) explained a noteworthy amount (45.8%) of the variance.