A Comparative Study of Students’ Motivation for Learning Social Studies According to Their Preferences for Instructional Strategies at The Escola Secundária Católica De São José Operário in Dili, Timor-Leste


  • Gaspar Florindo Noronha Gama M.Ed. Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, Graduate School of Education, Assumption University, Thailand.
  • Richard Lynch Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Assumption University, Thailand.


Motivation for Learning, Social Studies, Social Cognitive Theory of Motivation, Instructional Strategies


This research was conducted at the Escola Secundária Católica de São José Operário in Dili, Timor-Leste in the school year 2014. The purposes were: 1) to determine the level of students’ motivation for learning social studies; 2) to determine the students’ preferences among five instructional strategies; 3) to compare the students’ motivation for learning social studies according to their preferences for instructional strategies. This study used a questionnaire, including 5 motivation subscales (intrinsic goal orientation, extrinsic goal orientation, task value, control of learning beliefs, and self-efficacy for learning & performance), and 5 instructional strategies subscales (direct instruction, indirect instruction, experiential learning, independent study, and interactive instruction). The sample was 178 students in grade 10 and grade 11. The findings indicated that motivation was high overall in both grade 10 and grade 11, and that the students’ most preferred instructional strategies were direct instruction, interactive instruction and independent study. There was no significant difference between students’ motivation for learning social studies and their preferences for instructional strategies. The article concludes with recommendations for both practice and future research.