The present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between goal orientation and academic self-concept with enthusiasm for school with the mediating role of students' academic persistence. This research is applicable in terms of its purpose and descriptive-correlative in terms of data collection method. Statistical community of school students included 1767 elementary girls' schools in Rahim Abad city, and 251 people were selected as a statistical sample with the help of random cluster sampling. The research data was collected through a questionnaire (Wang et al., 2011; Martin and Marsh, 2008; Elliott and McGregor, 2001; Li Yu and Wang, 2005). SPSS and Lisrel software were used in data analysis. The research findings indicate that goal orientation and academic self-concept have a direct and indirect positive relationship with enthusiasm for school. There is a positive and significant relationship between goal orientation, academic persistence and enthusiasm for school. There is a positive and significant relationship between academic self-concept and academic persistence and enthusiasm for school. Academic persistence plays a mediating role in the relationship between goal orientation and academic self-concept with enthusiasm for school. The results showed that by improving academic self-concept and improving goal orientation, it is possible to increase academic persistence and increase students' enthusiasm for school.
School is very important in the lives of children and teenagers, and they spend a long time in school; therefore, the level of their interest and passion for school and investigating the factors related to passion for school will be important (Karababa, 2020). The persistence of students makes them adjust their academic problems and develop their abilities by creating motivation and enthusiasm in themselves (Rabiei, 2016). Such students tie their persistence to academic enthusiasm, because persistence in the academic process makes students identify and solve unexpected problems easily. This causes enthusiasm in them to continue their education (Hoferichter & etal, 2021). One type of inference that can be made about students' motivations is the goals they adopt for studying and then adjust and adapt the amount of effort they put in to achieve those goals (Balali, 2017).
The experience of success creates a positive self-concept in students, and successive failures create the impression that they are worthless, weaker and more incompetent than their classmates, which creates a negative self-concept in the students (Wu et al, 2021). Academic self-concept refers to a student's perception or idea of his/her competence in relation to school learning, which affects academic progress and is simultaneously affected by it, and it seems that self-concept and academic performance have a two-way relationship (Tayebi & Mohammadi, 2019).
According to the mentioned materials, the main problem of the research is whether there is a relationship between goal orientation and academic self-concept with enthusiasm for school with the mediating role of academic persistence of female students of elementary school in Rahim Abad city?
Tyler (1976) considers goal orientation to include a part of knowledge, attitude and skills that help people effectively meet their needs (Lin et al, 2022).Academic self-concept refers to mental representations of one's abilities in school and educational environments or representations related to academic progress. In other words, academic self-concept refers to a person's self-evaluation of the domain and special academic abilities (Eslami & et al, 2020). Academic persistence refers to the student's ability to overcome problems and obstacles and challenges that usually occur in the academic life of most students, such as low grades, exam pressure, difficult assignments, and feedback on teacher-student relationships, competition, and loss (Rabiei, 2016). Enthusiasm for school refers to the quality of effort that students spend on targeted educational activities to directly contribute to achieving desired results. Academic enthusiasm is a multidimensional construct consists of various behavioral, cognitive and motivational components (Yeung, 2022).
Fartash (2021), in a research on the relationship between education and parents' goal orientation with motivation, self-concept and academic self-efficacy of adolescent girls. The results showed that parents' education has a direct and positive effect on academic self-efficacy, control expectations and children's verbal self-concept. Parents' functional orientation has a positive and direct effect on students' external motivation, but it does not have any significant role on their internal motivation. Parental functional orientation has a positive effect on children's academic self-efficacy and academic self-concept through the mediation of external motivation.
Green et al, (2021) conducted a study titled "The relationship between academic motivation, academic self-concept and enthusiasm for school with academic performance". The results of the research showed that there is a positive and significant relationship between academic motivation, academic self-concept and enthusiasm for school with students' academic performance.
The research method is descriptive-correlative in nature and applicable in terms of purpose. The statistical population of the research was made up of 1767 girls' elementary school students in Rahim Abad city, of which 251 people were selected as the research sample by random cluster sampling. To collect data related to the variable of passion for school, the questionnaire (Wang et al, 2011) with 10 questions; and for the variable of academic persistence, the questionnaire (Martin & Marsh, 2008) with 4 questions; and for the variable of goal orientation, the questionnaire (Alyot & Mac Grigor, 2001) with 9 questions; and for the academic attitude variable, the questionnaire (Li u & Wang, 2005) with 15 questions; and it was used based on a 5-point Likert scale (completely agree to completely disagree).
Discussion and Results
In order to investigate the research hypothesis and data analysis, SPSS and Lisrel software were used, and the results showed that goal orientation and academic self-concept have a direct and indirect positive relationship with enthusiasm for school. Students who analyze their educational conditions and have a coherent plan for their lessons can better show perseverance against the problems they face and will show more persistence. There is a positive and significant relationship between goal orientation and academic persistence and students' enthusiasm for school. Students who have plan for their lessons can acquire the desired educational results among other students. There is a positive and significant relationship between academic self-concept, academic persistence and enthusiasm for school. Students who have high academic persistence try to do their best during the class. Academic persistence plays a mediating role in the relationship between goal orientation and academic self-concept with enthusiasm for school. Students who try to pay more attention in learning the lessons during the teaching in the classroom can better educate the materials. The results showed that by improving academic self-concept and improving goal orientation, academic persistence can be increased and cause an increase the enthusiasm for school. Students who can cope with school problems such as bad grades and negative feedback about their work can better align their academic plans with academic goals.
The present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between goal orientation and academic self-concept with enthusiasm for school with the mediating role of students' academic persistence. The results of this research are consistent with the results of research findings (Rahmati, 2020); (Green et al., 2020); (Fathi, 2018); (Gorbani, 2014) and (Skaalvik, 2020); People who have higher academic self-concept than other students are more eager to go and stay in school and avoid frequent absences in school. The most important characteristic of academic self-concept is that academic self-concept can be learned and acquired over time, and teachers play an important role in the formation of students' academic self-concept. Based on this, it can be said that higher academic self-concept will improve the conditions of enthusiasm for school.
According to the current research, it is suggested that the new approaches and concepts of positive psychology be used in schools in a way that, by identifying as many effective factors as possible on the goal orientation, a better understanding of the causes and correlations of this phenomenon can be obtained based on which, it is possible to benefit from the positive consequences of goal orientation in the academic future of students through educational planning and counseling. It is recommended for school teachers to use active, exploratory and learning-oriented teaching methods and to teach lessons in a practical and applied manner as much as possible so that specialization becomes the main goal of learning. This will improve the goal orientation in students.