The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons

Meyer A, Klingenberg K, Wilde M (2015)
Research in Science Education 46(1): 79-90.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Contact with living animals is an exceptional possibility within biology education to facilitate an intense immersion into the study topic and even allow for a flow experience (Csikszentmihalyi 2000). Further, it might affect the perceptions of the students’ basic needs for autonomy and competence and thereby their quality of motivation (Deci and Ryan 1985, 2002). Still, there is little empirical evidence about the duration of the exposure with living animals that is required. We investigated the students’ flow experience, and the students’ motivation, reported retrospectively in three different treatments: lessons involving short-term or long-term contact with living harvest mice and a control group without living animals. Our sample consisted of 156 fifth graders (10.76 years, SD = 0.513). The test instruments were adapted versions of the Flow Short Scale (FSS, Rheinberg et al. 2003) and of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI, Ryan 1982). As expected, the control group produced significantly lower scores for both FSS and IMI. In addition, we found a significant difference between students with short-term versus long-term contact. Whereas the flow experience was indistinguishable for all pupils who had contact with living animals, those with long-term experience reported significantly higher intrinsic motivation.
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Meyer A, Klingenberg K, Wilde M. The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons. Research in Science Education. 2015;46(1):79-90.
Meyer, A., Klingenberg, K., & Wilde, M. (2015). The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons. Research in Science Education, 46(1), 79-90.
Meyer, A., Klingenberg, K., and Wilde, M. (2015). The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons. Research in Science Education 46, 79-90.
Meyer, A., Klingenberg, K., & Wilde, M., 2015. The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons. Research in Science Education, 46(1), p 79-90.
A. Meyer, K. Klingenberg, and M. Wilde, “The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons”, Research in Science Education, vol. 46, 2015, pp. 79-90.
Meyer, A., Klingenberg, K., Wilde, M.: The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons. Research in Science Education. 46, 79-90 (2015).
Meyer, Annika, Klingenberg, Konstantin, and Wilde, Matthias. “The benefits of mouse keeping - an empirical study on students' flow and intrinsic motivation in biology lessons”. Research in Science Education 46.1 (2015): 79-90.
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