Judgment of factors influencing interest: an Australian study

American Vocational Education Research Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Vocational Education Research, 2001, 26 (1), pp. 77 - 96
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The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence interest in vocational education subjects. The 20 factors that were investigated related to the course, ability, difficulty, relevance or importance of a subject, the quality of teaching, student effort, career and vocational interests, as well as demographic factors. The source data used in the study comprised 120 previously obtained student scenarios. Participants (N=18) from technical and further education acted as judges. They read the information in each of the scenarios and were asked to judge how interested they would be in taking the vocational education subject described. The multiple correlation of the 20 items in each scenario with ranked interest was 0.84 yet the median correlation of judgments was only 0.305. Overall, career interests were rated more importantly than other factors. Results confirmed the idiosyncrasy of interest perceptions and it was concluded that individual differences have an impact on the ways in which people determine their interest for learning.
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