Motivation in Education

Allan Wigfield, Jenna Cambria and Jacquelynne S. Eccles

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399820
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Motivation in Education


In this chapter we discuss the nature of children's achievement motivation and how it develops over the school years. We focus on the competence-related belief, value, goal, interest, and intrinsic aspects of motivation that have been emphasized in much of the research on motivation. We then discuss how different aspects of classroom and school practices influence motivation, and how teacher–student relationships and peer relationships impact students’ motivation. We next consider how school transitions influence students’ motivation, describing important differences in the structure and organization of schools at different levels of schooling. In the final section we describe some recent intervention work to boost children's motivation in different ways. Suggestions for future research include how students’ motivation varies in different classroom contexts, the need to study motivation in diverse groups of children, methodological issues with respect to studying motivation, what other kinds of further motivation intervention studies are needed, and how work on motivation can inform educational policy.

Keywords: achievement motivation; development of motivation; motivation and instruction; teacher–student relationships and motivation; peers and motivation

Article.  11762 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »