Testing the Generalized Internal/External Frame of Reference Model with Expectancy, Value, and Cost Beliefs amongst Lower-Secondary School Students in Rwanda

13th June 2022 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Dominic Bulla, Department of Education, University of Oxford

Location: Online & in-person - Seminar Room D, Department of Education, or via Zoom

Convener: Ariel Lindorff

Audience: Public


According to generalized internal/ external (GI/E) frame-of-reference model, motivational beliefs are explained through academic achievement. In Africa respective studies are rare. In the present study, we investigated the model’s applicability to expectancy, utility, and cost beliefs of Rwandan lower-secondary students (N = 771; 51.0% female) within Chemistry and Math (quantitative domain) as well as English and Kinyarwanda (language domain). Through multiple-group structural equation models (SEM) we compared the model’s applicability to basic-education and boarding schools. Admission to boarding schools depends amongst others on performance during national school examinations. Hence, both school types can be interpreted as different tracks within Rwanda’s system of school-level ability grouping of students. The model’s applicability differed across school types. Within basic-education schools, achievement predicted mainly cost beliefs. Within boarding schools, achievement predicted cost and especially expectancy beliefs. Across both types, respective beliefs were positively predicted by achievement within subjects. Within basic-education schools, beliefs within one language were also positively predicted by achievement in the other language (i.e., assimilation effects). Within boarding schools, beliefs within subjects of one of the domains (i.e., language or quantitative) were negatively predicted by prior achievement in subjects of the other domain (i.e., contrast effects). We therefore concluded that school-level contextual factors such as multilingualism may moderate motivational processes that Rwandan secondary students experience. This may have implications especially for the design of motivational interventions whose potential has not been fully explored within the African context.