gms | German Medical Science

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018)

08.03. - 09.03.2018, München

The interplay of motivational and cognitive factors during the explanation of pedagogical situations by prospective teachers

Meeting Abstract

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Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018). München, 08.-09.03.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc50

doi: 10.3205/18inhere50, urn:nbn:de:0183-18inhere504

Veröffentlicht: 1. März 2018

© 2018 Trempler et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Within this project we investigate initial levels of inquiry learning – that is, the identification and explanation of problems in pedagogical situations. This complex process may be influenced by cognitive as well as motivational aspects.

Studies on learning highlight a relation between motivational factors such as epistemic aims and interest and the quality of thinking processes [1], [2]. For instance, people tend to prefer information that supports existing beliefs over information that challenges beliefs [1], [3]. Besides, current theoretical models assume that thinking patterns become apparent in argumentative structures, i.e. in texts [4].

Aim of this presentation is to analyse the relation between motivational factors and thinking patterns that are shown by teacher-students. Our research questions are (1) which argument structure can be identified in texts by teacher students, and (2) how are these structures related to prospective teachers’ interest for the topic?

To answer these questions, we analysed learning diaries of 50 teacher students during the course of a long-term internship (83% female, AgeM=26.23). Students were asked to describe and explain a relevant school situation based on theory and evidence from educational research, and to draw conclusions on their own learning.

The learning diaries are analysed using qualitative content analysis. The coding is done by two independent raters based on (1) argumentative structure (according to theoretical constructs of Toulmin, 1958, [5]), and (2) motivational factors like interest in a situation (according to Hidi & Renninger, 2011).

Initial analyses show that three out of four students are able to construct complete argumentations (including arguments and conclusions). Further analyses of motivational aspects and their relation to argument structure will follow, in order to clarify the importance of motivational factors for the explanation of challenging situations.


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