Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, No.8, 1397-1403
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 1397
Self-Esteem and Motivation for Learning among Minority
Students: A Comparison between Students of Pre-Academic and
Regular Programs
Khawla Zoabi
The College of Sakhnin of Teacher Education, Sakhnin, Israel
Received October 6th, 2012; revised Novem be r 8th, 2012; accepted November 22nd, 2012
Motivation for learning, which explains the impulses and motives for an individual to act to achieve his or
her goals, is of great importance for students, particularly students of pre-academic preparatory programs.
The literature suggests a relationship between self-esteem and motivation, yet there is a lack of studies
that consider self-esteem among students in pre-academic preparatory programs and its relationship to
motivation for learning. The main question of this study is whether there are differences in the motivation
for learning among students in preparatory programs and regular students. Thus, it examines the relation-
ship between self-esteem and motivation for learning among pre-academic preparatory program students
and among regular students in their first year of study. Data collection was based on a questionnaire. The
sample included 175 students who were enrolled in courses at Sakhnin College. Of these students, 43%
were in the pre-academic program and 57% were in their first year of study in other departments. The
findings show a positive relationship between self-image and motivation for learning among the two
populations. The findings have theoretical implications as well as practical implications. They indicate
that pre-academic students are not “lost”; they have motivations similar to the regular students. The prac-
tical pedagogical implications suggest that pre-academic students should be exposed to academic subjects
beyond the core subjects and should be treated as equal to other students at various levels of the academic
Keywords: Motivation for Learning; Self-Esteem; Arab Minority in Israel; Pre-Academic Program
Pre-academic preparatory programs offer a helpful frame-
work; they provide a “second chance” for students to obtain a
high school diploma, and they provide opportunities for further
academic studies for students who initially failed to achieve.
These opportunities affect the expectations of students and their
families. Therefore, students who study in this framework must
be highly motivated to learn to overcome their lack of achieve-
ment and low expectations. This paper focuses on the relation-
ship between self-esteem and motivation for learning among
pre-academic preparatory program students. To understand the
position of these students in terms of academic integration, this
study compared students in a pre-academic preparatory pro-
gram with regular academic first-year students in various de-
partments. The rationale for comparing regular first-year stu-
dents and pre-academic students is that first-year students are
academically similar to pre-academic preparatory program stu-
dents, which facilitates a comparison of the education of pre-
academic students. It is important to explore this issue to iden-
tify differences between these two groups that may be helpful
in promoting success among pre-academic students.
There are 46 pre-academic programs for the Jewish popula-
tion in Israel. These programs enroll 11,383 students, of which
only 5.5% are Arabs (CBS, 2008). Unfortunately, there was no
specific pre-academic preparatory program among the Arab
population until 2010, when an Arab college, Sakhnin College,
established a new pre-academic p ro gr am.
The Arab minority in Israel was approximately 1.6 million
people in 2012, about 20% of the entire population (see Jaba-
reen, 2006, 2008, 2009; Zoabi & Awad, 2012; Zoabi & Savaya,
2012). No program is adequate for young Arab, who constitute
20% of the general population of the state, and only a few stu-
dents consider these tracks a solution for them (Awad, 2012).
According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 43.6%
of Arabs who attempted to enter the university in 2006 were
rejected. This is more than twice the percentage of Jews re-
jected, which was 20.5%. Failure to provide equal opportunities
for Arabs, the lack of programs for the pre-academic Arab po-
pulation, and the required level of achievement for acceptance
to universities prevent Arab high school students from adequa-
tely integrating into academic studies in Israel (Awad, 2009).
Moreover, pre-academic preparatory programs have the abil-
ity to bridge the gaps between different ethnic gr oups and among
high school students of the same ethnic group. These programs
also have the power to strengthen capabilities and improve the
conditions for students to enter higher education and use their
potential. The greatest advantage of preparatory programs is
that they are framed as “corrective” programs that provide stu-
dents with the tools to allow them to pursue higher education.
A preparatory pre-academic educational program offers a sec-
ond chance for students who could not succeed during their first
opportunity and prepares these students for the requirements to
eventually obtain an academic degree. In addition to the goal of
reducing educational gaps, these programs have social goals of
reducing social gaps and integrating students of low socio-eco-
nomic status into higher education. The findings of previous stu-
dies have shown that the most important role of social and pre-
paratory programs is to increase the number of students who
can take advantage of the help offered by these academies to
obtain a college degree (Arieli, 1997).
Previous studies have shown that most applicants for the pre-
academic programs belong to low-middle class households, and
their parents have low achievement in education (Hyosh, 2000).
Preparatory studies blur the differences arising from social
inequality in society. However, despite these preparatory studies,
pe r s o n al a n d s c h o l a s t i c d i f f e r e n c e s r e m a i n ( A w a d , 2009).
In sum, pre-academic preparatory programs provide a second
chance for disadvantaged and low-income groups. Preparatory
programs provide students with a way to attain their social mo-
bility goals and to integrate equally into higher education (Hyo-
sh, 2000).
To promote and increase the number of Arab students in the
academy, Sakhnin College established its Preparatory Academy
Program in 2010. Sakhnin College is an academic institution
that is supervised and financed by the Ministry of Education
and is accredited by the Council for Higher Education to award
the Bachelor’s in Education (B.Ed.) and teaching certificates in
early childhood, special education, English, mathematics and
computer science. The main purpose of the Preparatory Acad-
emy Program in Sakhnin is to increase access to higher educa-
tion for high school graduates from the Arab minority popula-
tion and to provide a second chance for students who wish to
acquire academic education and who, for various reasons, did
not complete their high school education.
The Preparatory Academy Program of Sakhnin has achieved
great success in terms of the growth of its student enrollment,
from 80 students at the beginning of 2010 to 200 enrolled stu-
dents in 2012. Based on this success, the main topic of inter-
est in this paper is the motivation for learning and self-esteem
among these students.
This paper examines the relationship between self-esteem
and motivation for learning among Arab students studying at
the Preparatory Academy Program in Sakhnin College. The stu-
dy involved two groups. The first group includes pre-academic
students studying for a diploma to replace their matriculation
scores. These students completed 12 years of schooling but, for
various reasons, do not have a full matriculation certificate or
have very low matriculation scores. They want to complete their
high school diploma or upgrade their achievements to an appro-
priate level for ac ademic institutions.
Despite the importance of this topic, the literature review
shows that very few studies have examined this relationship
between self-esteem and motivation for learning, particularly
among Arab students. Thus, this paper aims to fill this gap and
to contribute to the accumulated knowledge in this field by as-
suming that an individual’s self-esteem is related to his or her
motivation for learning, a s explained below. Specifically , this
paper aims to examine the relationship between self-esteem and
motivation for learning among pre-academic preparatory stu-
dents and regular students.
Motivation for Learning
Motivation is a theoretical concept that refers to an individ-
ual’s impulses and motives for action. Motivation describes
how a person responds to a need or a general desire and initi-
ates various actions to achieve his/her goals (Elliot & Thrash,
2001). Motivation is the underlying cause of behavior (Guay et
al., 2010), the factor that moves a person to do or not do some-
thing (Broussard & Garrison, 2004). Learning motivation is
culturally and socially constructed, and it has different mean-
ings in different cultures and societies (Salili & Hoosain, 2007).
In recent decades, studies have emphasized the importance of
motivation for learning in students’ adaptation to studying and
ability to manage difficulties and failure (Endler, Rey, & Butz,
2001). In the educational context, motivation is the most im-
portant factor in helping educators improve learning (Williams
& Williams, 2011) and in explaining the levels at which a stu-
dent shows interest and ability in various occupations (Brophy,
Scholars’ perceptions of educational goals vary, and these
perceptions affect the definition of motivation for learning
among students (Valle et al., 2003). For example, the psycholo-
gical achievement approach sees the urge for action as the un-
conscious motivation of an individual in his/her first years of
life and that is influenced by family, society and culture (Elliot,
2006; Furtner & Rauthmann, 2011; McClelland, 1961, 1965;
McClelland, Koestner, & Weinberger, 1989; Robbins et al.,
Self-determination theory (SDT) emphasizes the universal
tendency to develop one’s inherent internal potential and to rea-
lize one’s self (Deci, 2008; Deci & Ryan, 2012, 2008). Similar
to the approach of psychological achievement, self-determina-
tion theory emphasizes the effect of social conditions on in-
creases or decreases in individual motivation. Theories of self-
efficacy and goal achievement approaches suggest that higher
motivation produces more achievements (Ames, 1992; Roberts
& Dyer, 2005; Schunk, 1991, 2000).
The literature identifies two types of motivation, external and
internal (Nakanishi, 2002). Internal motivation lies within a
person and involves the urge to be desirably and pleasantly
engaged. External motivation is affected by external factors and
pushes an individual to engage in activities as a means to achi-
eve goals and ends (Klonis, Plant, & Devine, 2005). The litera-
ture indicates that actions driven by external motivation are
characterized by lower investment and efforts toward simple
tasks, whereas activities driven by internal motivation are cha-
racterized by greater effort toward complex and challenging
tasks (Ames, 1992; Ames & Ames, 1990; Nakanishi, 2002).
The theory of self-direction suggests that self-direction is a
naturally occurring process (Chee et al., 2011; Gibbons, 2002).
Self-directed people show a wide range of curiosity, self-discip-
line, independence, persistence, goal orientation, responsibility,
and enjoyment in learning (Nor & Saeednia, 2009). Self-direc-
ted people are motivated to learn, to develop a sense of owner-
ship over their learning and to identify their own learning ob-
jectives (Chee et al., 2011).
Motivation for learning is influenced by various factors (Pac-
ker, 2004). These factors include personal motives, such as the
psychological need for achievement and success or individual
self-esteem (Katz, 2004). Scholars believe that learning motiva-
tion and self-esteem vary by individual (Sowislo & Orth, 2012),
and there is a positive correlation between motivation for learn-
ing and self-esteem (Harlen & Crick, 2003).
Saada (2007) believes that motivation for learning can be at-
tributed to various factors, such as job readiness, interest in lear -
ning tasks, freedom of choice, level of involvement, and per-
sonality factors. The ba sic assumpti on is that a student is driven
Copyright © 2012 SciR es .
to learn through self-guidance and is able to provide feedback,
which is based on three dimensions: 1) the perception of self-
efficacy (Self-Efficacy), which involves one’s beliefs about suc-
cess, challenges, strategies, processing and organization; 2) ex-
pression of achievement orientation (Achievement Orientation),
through which a student identifies the importance of task, in-
cludes the setting of goals, planning, supervision and self-guid-
ance; and 3) intrinsic motivation (Intrinsic Motivation), which
arises out of curiosity and the desire to understand the task it-
Intrinsic motivation involves the creation of a learning atmo-
sphere, effort, perseverance and self-reinforcement. A study
conducted among students in an early childhood course found
that the dominant motives for learning are self-fulfillment and
achievement (Awad, Zoabi, & Khalil, 2009).
Self Esteem
Self-esteem appears under various names, such as “self-
concept”, “self-image”, “self-presentation”, or “self-evaluation”.
It reflects the totality of a person’s subjective perceptions, atti-
tudes, feelings, physical characteristics and behaviors with res-
pect to himself/herself (Levine & Smolak, 2002; Neziroglu, Khe-
mlani-Patel, & Veale, 2008). Eldred, Ward, Dutton and Snow-
don (2004: p. 7) define self-esteem as “...more than feeling
good about your self. It is also about being aware of your abili-
ties. It is about who you are, being able to acknowledge posi-
tive and negative aspects and still feel good about yourself. It’s
about having a positive sense of identity.”
Every one has some leve l of sel f-este em, an d devel opin g self-
esteem is a fundamental human need (Branden, 1994). Eldred,
Ward, Dutton and Snowdon (2004: p. 7) suggest that there are
many definitions of self-esteem, but the general theme in the
literature is that self-esteem is related to the twin aspects of
worth and competence (Mruk, 1999). For Branden (1994), self-
esteem “is the conviction that one is competent to live and is
worthy of living” (see also James, 2002, 2003).
According to Fitts (1972), self-esteem is composed of inter-
nal and external dimensions. He suggests three interior sub-di-
mensions of self-esteem: the Self as Object, which refers to the
self-identity; the Self as Doer, which refers to the acting self
and the criticizing self; and the Self as Observer and Judge,
which reflects the values and expectations that affect an indivi-
dual’s evaluations. The third dimension judges, compares, eva-
luates and sometimes mediates the first two, identity and beha-
vior. In addition to the internal dimensions, Fitts identified the
external dimensions of the se lf as family self-esteem, sel f-im-
age morality, social self-esteem, physical self-esteem and per-
sonal self-esteem.
Other scholars suggest that self-image is composed of many
aspects, such as social equity, the academic self, the emotional
self, the moral self, the family self and the physical self (Mai-
ano, Begarie, Morin, & Ninot, 2009).
Some consider personal self-image an innate virtue that is in-
ternally developed. An individual brings this virtue to his/her
environment after it has been formulated, and self-image is not
affected by environmental experiences (Dweck, 2002). Some
researchers refer to self-esteem as a dynamic virtue that is so-
cially constructed, learned by the individual during his/her life
and constantly evolving as a result of the experiences of the
individual, his/her interaction with “significant others” and con-
tact with the environment (Franken, 1994; Harter, 2003; Trzes-
niewski, Robins, Roberts, & Caspi, 2004).
The literature points to a connection between self-esteem and
motivation for learning (Harlen & Crick, 2003; Maxted, 1999;
Orth, Robins, & Widaman, 2012) and shows a positive correla-
tion between positive self-image and motivation (Dweck, 2002;
Harlen & Crick, 2003). Thus, positive self-esteem helps a per-
son to cope with tasks, whereas negative self-esteem encour-
ages a person to avoid tasks that require effort (Jacoby, 2008;
Orth, Robins, & Widaman, 2012). Research findings indicate a
positive relationship between self-esteem and performance;
more positive self-esteem is accompanied by more effective
personal performance, and vice versa (James, 2002, 2003; Orth,
Robins, & Widaman, 2012). A person with a positive self-im-
age is clear, consistent and realistic and behaves in ways that
are positive, healthy and effective (Alexander, 2001; Harlen &
Crick, 2003; James, 2002, 2003; LeMone, 2008). Moreover, the
literature reports on the relationship among success, control
over one’s fate, self-efficacy and self-esteem (Baumeister, 2005;
Chen, Gully, & Eden, 2004; Qazi, 2009).
Some studies suggest that demographic characteristics and
personal and environmental factors affect the development of
self-esteem (O’Dea & Caputi, 2001; Rhodes, Roffman, Reddy,
& Fredriksen, 2004) in the following ways: 1) age-young peo-
ple have a less established self-concept, and their self-confi-
dence develops with age and becomes clearer and more defined
(Mullis, Dossey, Foertsch, Jones, & Gentile, 1992; Erol & Orth,
2011); 2) gender is a significant f actor in self-esteem ( McMu llin
& Cairney, 2004; Moksnes, Moljord, Espnes, & Byrne, 2010);
3) income and socio-economic status (Leary & Baumeister,
2000; McMullin & Cairney, 2004; O’Dea & Caputi, 2001; Gil-
ligan, 1995); 4) health status (Benyamini, Leventhal, & Leven-
thal, 2004); 5) ethnicity (Bachman, O’Malley, Freedman-Doan,
Trzesniewski, & Donnellan, 2010; Birndorf, Ryan, Auinger, &
Aten, 2005); 6) body image (Fitts & Adams, 1971; O’Dea &
Caputi, 2001; Polce-Ly nch, Myers, Kilmartin, For ss ma nn- Fa lc k,
& Kliewe, 1998); and 7) culture (Arnett, 2008; Baumeister,
2005; Fitts & Adams, 1971).
In addition, self-image or self-concept is a significant factor
in increasing or decreasing an individual’s motivation (Alpay,
2000; Harlen & Crick, 2003; Black & Wiliam, 1998). People
who have a positive self-concept generally have more motiva-
tion and self-awareness of their capabilities and limitations
(Franken, 1994). Graduate students are significantly more mo-
tivated by internal motivation than are first-year students ( Rovai
et al., 2007). In contrast, low self-esteem reflects low motiva-
tion and low confidence (Azar & Vasudeva, 2006). Studies have
associated low self-esteem and low motivation with social sta-
tus, income and support (Azar & Vasudeva, 2006), and low-
paying jobs (Mary & Good, 2005).
This paper examines the relationship between self-esteem
and motivation among two student populations. The first in-
cludes regular students in the first year of their academic stud-
ies, and the second includes pre-academic preparatory students
who struggle to be accepted as regular students.
This paper proposes two hypotheses:
1) There is a significant and positive relationship between
self-esteem and motivation for learning among pre-academic
program students.
2) There are differences in self-esteem and motivation for
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 1399
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
learning in both groups (regular students and students in the
pre-academic program).
The present study is a quantitative study based on question-
Sample and Study Population
The study population consists of two groups: all students in
the pre-academic preparatory program (76 students) and regular
students in their first year of academic study (99 students). The
students in the second group were identified through a system-
atic random sample in the College. The sample ultimately in-
cluded 175 students, 76 (43%) of whom studied in the pre-
academic program. Of these students, 91% were female, and
9% were male. Furthermore, 92% of the participants were be-
tween the ages of 20 and 30 years, 87% of the sample were
Muslim, 9% were Christians, and the rest were Druze. In terms
of marital status, 84% of the participants were single, and 12%
were married. All of the married students (100%) had children .
The sample of regular first-year students included 99 stu-
dents, which was 57% of the entire first-year student population.
In this sample, 96% were women, 98% were in the age range of
20 - 30 years, 88% were Muslims, and the rest were Christians.
In this sample, 73% of the participants were single, and 18%
were married. Of the married students, 50% had children.
Data collection was based on a questionnaire that included
three categories of questions:
1) Demographic s: Gender, age, religion, marital status, num-
ber of children up to age 18.
2) Self-esteem: The self-image items were adapted from the
Tennessee Self-Concept Scale—Second Edition (Fitts & War-
ren, 1996). The questionnaire was translated from English to
Arabic by an educator with knowledge of both languages. To
verify the reliability of the translation, two professional judges
compared the Hebrew version and the translated version. In the
case of substantive comments, changes were made that were
acceptable to both parties. In the case of disputes, a third party
contributed. An expert provided notes on the grammar and style
of the Arabic version. The questionnaire included 87 items
addressing self-image. The overall reliability was calculated by
Cronbach’s alpha and was .90.
3) Motivation for learning: A factor analysis was conducted
that yielded three variables:
a) Achievement Aspects: This variable includes the following
items: “I value my academic improvement”; “I can identify
consistency in my studies”; “I can identify efforts in my studies
and my practical work”; “My current studies are my top prior-
ity”; “I am satisfied with my academic performance”; and “I
express willingness to continue my studies in the future”. The
Cronbach’s alpha reliability of this category was .84.
b) Self -re al ization Aspects: This variable includes the fol-
lowing items: “I believe in my ability to succeed in learning
and to be a good teacher”; “I complete all of my required as-
signments”; “I am interested in being a student”; “I believe in
my ability to achieve good grades in my practical work”; and “I
am strict with my academic success and practical work”. The
Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient was .85.
c) Proficiency of Content Aspects: This variable includes the
following items: “When I study, I organize the learning mate-
rial by category and topic”; “Even when my study materials are
not enjoyable, I am careful to take them seriously”; “I can deal
with required tasks and assignme nts”; “While learning, I notice
and perform essential operations, and I try to avoid stress and
other negative feelings towards my studies”. The Cronbach’s
alpha reliability coefficient was .79.
A learning motivation index was constructed that contained
all of the items. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient
was .93.
The questionnaires were distributed in the classroom at the
end of the 2010-2011 academic year. The author distributed the
questionnaires among the students in the classrooms after re-
ceiving permission fro the college. The participants received a
brief explanation of the study and the confidentiality of the
process. The participants were asked to complete the question-
naires at their leisure and to return them to the researcher.
This section will present the means and standard deviations
of all of the study measures in relation to the two groups. Then,
the findings regarding the research hypotheses will be presented.
Table 1 shows the average index scores of the two populations,
the pre-preparatory academic students and the regular first-year
Table 1.
Average index scores (standard deviations) in t he two groups.
Variable Pre-preparatory academic students Regular first-year students
General self-esteem 3.62
(.34) 3.69
Motivation for learning 4.75
(.54) 4.78
General learning motivation 4.84
(.66) 4.82
Motivation—achievement 5.17
(.73) 5.24
Motivation—self-realization 4.76
(.70) 4.75
Motivation—proficiency of content 3.62
(.34) 3.69
Hypothesis Testing
This study examines two hypotheses related to the relation-
ship between self-esteem and motivation for learning among
Pre-academic track and regular students. The findings of the
two research hypotheses are as follows.
First hypothesis: A significant and positive relationship ex-
ists between self-esteem and motivation for learning among
pre-academic program students. To test the hypothesis, we cal-
culated Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the self-ima-
ge dimension and the dimension of motivation for learning for
all of the dimensions. The findings are presented in Table 2.
The table shows that the correlations between self-esteem
and aspects of motivation are positive and intermediate; that is,
self-image improves all aspects of motivation among the study
Second hypothesis: There are differences in self-esteem and
motivation for learning in the two groups (regular students and
pre-academic track students). To test the hypothesis, we con-
ducted t-test. The findings are presented in Table 3, which
shows no significant differences between the two populations.
In the present study, we examine the relationship between
self-esteem and motivation for learning. To understand the fin-
dings in the context of learning motivation, a comparison was
made between students in the pre-academic program and regu-
lar first-year students. The findings reveal a significant positive
correlation between self-esteem and motivation for learning.
This may explain students’ decision to integrate into a frame-
work that allows them a “second chance” to improve their achie -
vements to meet the criteria for academic study.
These students are able to join the labor market and make
money after completing school, although this program is not
considered only preparatory. This choice is based on the stu-
dents’ own expectations rather than the expectations of their fa-
milies and society. It conflicts with the expected order of events
in which students enroll in academic study after completing
high school; students who do not do so may be considered “fai-
The lack of a promising future after graduating from high
school decreases students’ motivation for learning (Abu Asba,
2007), especially because the preparatory course is not suffi-
cient to ensure success and to improve students’ progress. The
present study shows that despite the implications of integration
into pre-academic preparatory studies, this integration may ne-
vertheless contribute toward students’ ultimate goals. Students
who lack a good self-image may face personal and social “dis-
The literature indicates a causal relationship between self-
esteem and motivation for learning and suggests that low self-
esteem is a significant barrier to education (Crowder & Pupynin,
1995; Maxted, 1999; Mruk, 1999). Orth, Robins, and Widaman
(2012) believe that positive self-esteem has a significant impact
on an individual’s success and life experience (Orth, Robins, &
Widaman, 2012). Moreover, high self-esteem helps an individ-
ual to feel valuable and proud and to believe that he or she is
“good enough” and capable in terms of intellectual and social
skills (Sowislo & Orth, 2012). Positive self-image may be a
factor is success in various fields (Baumeister, 2005). Therefore,
students’ decision to enter a preparatory program and their per-
sistence in attempting to enter the academy is related to their
positive self-image, which helps them to address the challenges
before them and m o ti vate s them to succeed.
The findings reveal no significant difference between the two
groups regarding self-esteem. The findings indicate that the
self-esteem of preparatory program is sufficient to enable stu-
dents to learn the regular preparatory course framework neces-
sary for future opportunities. The differences in the behavior of
the two groups can be attributed to their national and ethnic sta-
tus. Abu Asba (2007) argues that minority groups face many
obstacles to obtain achievement similar to the hegemonic ma-
jority. He believes that education is important for minority
groups in society, particularly in multi-cultural societies. Edu-
cation is an important tool in promoting minorities and disad-
vantaged groups.
Table 2.
Pearson’s correlation between self-esteem and motivation for learning
among students in the pre-academic preparatory program.
Motivation for lea rning General self-e steem
Motivation for learning 3.62
General learning motivation 4.75
Motivation—achievement 4.84
Motivation—self-realization 5.17
***p < . 001.
Table 3.
Difference between the tw o g roups regarding self-esteem dimensions.
Variable Pre-preparatory academic students Regular first-year students T
General self-esteem 3.62
(.34) 3.69
(.29) NS
4.75 4.78
(.68) NS
Motivation for le a rning (.54)
4.84 4.82
(.79) NS
General le arning motivation (.66)
5.17 5.24
(.84) NS
Motivation—achievement (.73)
4.76 4.75
(.78) NS
Motivation—self-realization (.70)
3.62 3.69
(.29) NS
Motivation—proficiency of content (.34)
NS = Not Significant.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 1401
There is increasing awareness among the Arab minority in
Israel about the need for and importance of providing education
to the younger generation because education ensures social mo-
bility at both the individual and the collective level (Abu Asba,
2007: p. 51). In other words, mobility among students arises
from the fact that education is a means to reduce the gaps in
various fields and means of obtaining equality.
This study contributes to our understanding of the nature of
the relationship between self-image and motivation for learning.
The findings show that students in preparatory studies are mo-
tivated to learn and maintain a self-image similar to that of re-
gular students.
In sum, this study suggests that this population is not “lost”
and has the self-image and motivation to learn in the same ways.
It can be concluded that the barriers that are faced by prepara-
tory school students and that reduce their opportunities to enter
regular school courses are not related to their self-esteem or
motivation. This study does not address the reasons for the
factors that hinder the achievement of these students in high
This research was supported by the MOFET Institute and the
Department of Teacher Education at the Ministry of Education
in Israel.
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