Exploring the motivation of female science students towards learning science at the secondary level (10th class)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The aim of this research study was to measure the motivation of girls towards learning Science at the secondary school level. The data were collected from ten girls' schools, drawn from three towns of Karachi, Pakistan, through multi-stage random sampling in a cross-sectional survey. A 35-item questionnaire measuring six aspects of motivation toward learning science, that is, self-efficacy, active learning strategies, Science learning value, performance goal, achievement goal, and learning environment stimulation, was administered directly with 289 students over a period of three weeks, in February 2008. The data were analyzed to see the overall motivation of girls in Science and compare the motivational difference in three subjects; Physics, Chemistry and Biology, by using SPSS through descriptive statistics. My research questions were: 1. What motivates female students enrolled in 10th classes towards learning Science? 2. Is there any difference in the motivation of girls towards learning in Physics, Chemistry and Biology? Through descriptive statistics, that is, comparing mean and standard deviations, the results indicate that on average, the girls have high motivation towards learning science, and furthermore, their intrinsic motivation is higher as compare to their extrinsic motivation. The results also show that their intrinsic motivation is negatively influenced by their self-efficacy and learning environment stimulation. In addition, the comparison of the motivation of girls in Physics, Chemistry and Biology reveals that there is not a significant difference in the motivation of girls towards the three subjects. However, mean scores of girls in the three subjects indicated a slight difference; that is, motivation in biology (M= 3.9) is slightly higher than Chemistry (M=3.8) and Physics (M= 3.7). The results also indicated that the female science students have lower self-efficacy in Physics (M= 3.4), as compared to Chemistry (M=3.8) and Biology (M=3.9). Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommends encouraging female Science students to enhance their self-efficacy towards learning Science, which has a strong impact on their motivation to learn Science. It is also recommended for the researcher to conduct further studies on Science students at different class levels in order to explore their motivational difference at each stage.

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