Latino English language learners are one of the fastest growing populations of students in the United States, yet few studies have examined how students’ goal orientation and perception of teaching practices impacts their achievement and engagement in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to analyze the following relationships: (1) the salience of Latino English language students’ personal achievement goal orientation, engagement, and perception of teaching practices in elementary and middle school mathematics classrooms; (2) the impact of students’ perception of teacher’s instructional practices on students’ motivation, engagement, and achievement; (3) whether students’ goal orientation, engagement and perception of teaching practices are mediated by their gender and grade level; and (4) the influence of students engagement, goal orientation and perception of teaching practices on students’ achievement in mathematics. Participants completed surveys from three schools in Central California which included eighty-seven, fourth grade students from two elementary schools, one-hundred fifty-three, seventh graders and ninety-five, eighth graders from one middle school. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine the overall goal orientation, engagement and perception of teaching practices of Latino English language students. Follow-up multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to examine the effect of gender and grade differences. Multiple linear regression analysis was computed to show the prediction of the independent variables (goal orientation, engagement, and teaching practices) to the dependent variable of mathematics achievement in the study. The results of this study indicate that Latino English language learners espouse high mastery goals in elementary and middle school environments. Significant differences were found across grade levels and gender in relation to students’ goal orientation, engagement, and perception of teaching practices. Most noteworthy was teaching practices were found to have a negative impact on student achievement and elementary students espoused higher performance goals than middle school students. Results also indicate the independent variables were able to predict the dependent variable of student achievement. Overall this study indicates Latino English language students in the elementary and middle school perceive the instructional environmental differently, and their motivation and engagement differs in relation to teaching practices.
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