Pavlin-Bernardić, Nina

Students' engagement in learning physics: a subject-specific approach / Nina Pavlin-Bernardić, Vanja Putarek, Daria Rovan, Ema Petričević, Vesna Vlahović-Štetić. - 193-203 str.

Most of the existing conceptualizations of students’ engagement explore the role of general engagement. However, if we are interested in understanding the process of learning specific school subjects, this approach is not suitable. The aim of the study was to explore the components of students’ engagement in learning physics and to examine the differences in engagement in physics in respect of several variables: gender, grade, the expected grade in the subject at the end of the school year and the intention to choose physics as an elective subject in the national secondary general education final examination (The Croatian State Matura). The participants were 803 students from the second, third and fourth grade in five general program grammar schools in Croatia. Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the existence of three distinct, but related components of students' engagement in physics: cognitive, behavioral and emotional engagement, which all show satisfying to high reliability. Consistent with theoretical expectations, the results on the subscales measuring different components of engagement were positively associated, lowly or moderately, with the subjective task values and self‐efficacy in physics. Our participants showed moderate engagement in physics on all three subscales. Gender differences were found only on the emotional subscale, with males having higher results than their female peers. Although students from the lower grades had higher cognitive and behavioral engagement, students from the fourth grade had higher emotional engagement. Students who expected a higher grade in physics had a higher level of engagement on each subscale, while students who did not intend to choose physics as an elective subject in the national final examination had lower levels of engagement.


Putarek, Vanja ; Rovan, Daria ; Petričević, Ema ; Vlahović-Štetić, Vesna ;

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