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College students’ motivational attitudes in the educational field

Alexandra V. Zhukotskaya Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, head of the Department of philosophy and social sciences, Moscow Pedagogical University,
mailto: azhuk1@mail.ru
Igor A. Vasilyev Candidate of Philosophy, Associate professor, Head of the laboratory of monitoring results of research works and projects, Moscow Pedagogical University ,
mailto: via0707@mail.ru
College students’ motivational attitudes in the educational field.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 78-99

DOI: 10.19181/vis.2018.25.2.511

This Article is downloaded: 30 times
Topic: Social Strata and Groups: Attitudes and Activity

For citation:
Alexandra V. Zhukotskaya., Igor A. Vasilyev. College students’ motivational attitudes in the educational field. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 78-99
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2018.25.2.511


The post-Soviet generation of youths dramatically differs from the previous generation. They are not the same people. Youths now live in different conditions, they have different values and behavioral motives. Despite unfavorable socio-economic conditions, which have been prevalent in our country for the past few years, the young generation’s interest in further pursuing education has not withered. As shown earlier by studies we conducted, over 80% of Moscow’s school graduates were very much motivated to apply for college. Meanwhile certain transformations occurring within the lives of individuals and society in general (as well as an evolving labor market) lead to the emergence of ever more specific demands to college educational relations, and to the content and quality of higher education. This study, the key results of which are covered in this article, was conducted in 2017 within a state-coordinated medium term (2012-2018) Moscow city program called “Educational development in Moscow city” (“capital education”). The goal for this research project was to define the interconnections and interdependences, as well as multiple social and psychological motives which determine the social-cognitive activities of college applicants and freshmen students of various educational stages and profiles. The researchers saw their purpose in defining the dominant and peripheral (“background”) factors for motivation of cognitive-intellectual, practice-oriented, communicative or any other nature; analyzing the degree to which they affect college applicants’ choice of school, as well as choice among bachelor and master course students for their preferred training fields during their first year of study; developing a structure for students’ educational motivations. The amount of respondents which partook in the study is N = 1972. This was a random sample. Meanwhile the proportion of surveyed bachelor course students on their first year of study amounted to 76% of the general totality for this specific category of students (as of April 24th 2017); the proportion of surveyed first year master course students for that same period amounted to 68% of the general totality for that category of students. The spectrum of motivational attitudes among respondents, in terms of their college education, can be divided into constructive-pragmatic, passive-evasive, conformist-optimistic and unconstructive-pessimistic. The most significant motivating factors which affected applicants’ choice of college are as follows: independent choice; possibility to receive a scholarship; interesting educational program, high-quality tuition; state college status, and a handful of others. During the course of the study we determined a complex of factors which hamper the education process and have a certain negative influence on the formation of students’ motivational standings: inability to effectively plan time; excessive study load; insufficient quality when it comes to teaching certain subjects, etc. In conclusion, a comprehensive forecast was formulated for the further shaping and development of positive motivational attitudes among potential and active students of specific educational institutions.


students, motives, the educational relations, the dominating factors, peripheral factors, structure of motivation.


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