Motivation and Learning Environment Differences in Inner-City Middle School Students Academic Article uri icon


  • The problems of students in inner-city schools were addressed by drawing upon two distinct and emerging theoretical frameworks: (a) educationally resilient students and (b) classroom learning environments. The motivation and learning environment of 75 resilient and 75 nonresilient students from an inner-city middle school located in a major metropolitan city in the south central region of the United States were compared. Resilient students were defined as those students who had scored on or above the 90th percentile on standardized achievement test scores in mathematics for a 2-year period; nonresilient students were those who had scored on or below the 10th percentile on standardized achievement test scores in mathematics for the same period. The multivariate analysis and univariate post hoc tests revealed that resilient students had significantly higher perceptions of involvement, task orientation, rule clarity, satisfaction, pacing, and feedback than nonresilient students did. Resilient students also reported significantly higher social self-concept, achievement motivation, and academic self-concept than nonresilient students did. The discriminant function analysis revealed that the variables of satisfaction, achievement motivation, rule clarity, social self-concept, and task orientation were related most highly to the overall discriminant function. Results are discussed in relation to previous work on educational resilience and implications for improving the education of students at risk of failure in inner-city schools. 1996 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • The Journal of Educational Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Waxman, H. C., & Huang, S.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Waxman, Hersholt C||Huang, Shwu-Yong L

publication date

  • November 1996