Teachers’ use of fear appeals prior to a high-stakes examination: Is frequency linked to perceived student engagement and how do students respond?

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Abstract

Prior to high-stakes examinations teachers use messages that focus on the importance of avoiding failure (fear appeals). This study examined whether teacher use of fear appeals was related to their perceptions of student engagement, followed by students’ interpretation of fear appeals, and how they related to student-reported engagement. Teachers used more frequent fear appeals when they perceived student engagement to be low. More frequent fear appeals resulted in stronger challenge and threat appraisals. A challenge appraisal was associated with greater, and a threat appraisal with lower, behavioural and emotional engagement. Student appraisal seems to determine the effectiveness of these messages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Volume61
Early online date14 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Fear appeals
  • challenge
  • threat
  • engagement
  • behavioural engagement
  • emotional engagement.
  • Engagement
  • Behavioural engagement
  • Emotional engagement
  • Challenge
  • Threat

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