Bridging the Gap: The Impact Project-Based Contextualization has on the Motivation of Junior Technology Students


  • Jacob Doak



Project-Based Learning, Secondary School, Motivation, Construction Industry, Real-World Inquiry


This study seeks to improve learning motivation of Year 10 Technology students at a secondary school in South Auckland. Despite the emphasis in New Zealand schools on university education, the majority of students in low-decile schools do not follow this pathway. The emphasis on higher education decreases student motivation in the classroom and highlights economic, qualification, and occupational inequities in low socio-economic communities. This study aims to help students make informed choices for career pathways after school, with an emphasis on trade apprenticeships as an alternative to the traditional university pathway. This research seeks to understand how contextualising the Technology curriculum through a project-based assignment affects motivation in the classroom. It also seeks to understand how exposing students to opportunities in the construction industry affects career aspirations. Students participated in visits to industry worksites while working in groups to design and construct seating projects for a stakeholder in their school community. This project mirrored a real-world inquiry project, with students acting as professionals in the college environment while also being exposed to industry workplaces. This helped them to make connections between classroom learning and the workplaces. In doing so, they learned both subject knowledge and how to apply that knowledge to different concepts and contexts outside the classroom. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected in the form of journal reflections, surveys, and observations before and after the intervention to measure the change in student motivations and aspirations. The data was evaluated using Ajzen’s (1991) motivation theory framework to analyse the factors of self-efficacy, social pressures, task-value, and the added factor of cost. The findings from the data showed that contextualising classwork with industry exposure increased student motivation and impacted career aspirations.  




How to Cite

Doak, J. (2022). Bridging the Gap: The Impact Project-Based Contextualization has on the Motivation of Junior Technology Students. He Rourou, 2(1), 46–71.