Motivation Theories in Education

Topic: Education Theories
Words: 598 Pages: 2

Article 1. Nicholls (1984) discloses the definition of achievement behavior as the one uniting the level of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. The person’s goal is to express the high ability and level of knowledge as it induces ego involvement (Nicholls, 1984). Achievement is built from the balance of two components – effort and ability, and the lack of each correlates with feelings of guilt and embarrassment (Nicholls, 1984). Student motivation can be tackled by knowing the basics of achievement behavior. Every individual has diverse skills, knowledge, and mastery in various fields. However, involving a student in task solutions that do not require demonstration of high ability, but initiate effort and interest, can increase the student’s motivation and search for tutor’s assistance.

Article 2. Ryan and Dcri (2000) underline the importance of self-determination theory as the one distinguishing various types of motivation based on different goals. Intrinsic motivation takes roots from the inside of a person, his honest interest and enjoyment, while extrinsic motivation focuses on separable results (Ryan & Dcri, 2000). Every pedagogue needs to foster true inner motivation based on interest and curiosity about new knowledge. For the tasks bringing no interest or joy to students, teachers can make extrinsic motivation more active and volunteered than passive and controlled which can bring better learning outcomes.

Article 3. Senko (2016) in the article about achievement goal theory emphasizes the various basement of mastery goals and performance goals. The author claims mastery goals focus on developing a deep knowledge, becoming competent, and improving self, whilst performance goals take roots from the will to impress peers, outperform others (Senko, 2016). For the up-to-date pedagogue, it is significant to implement various practices involving various goals as students’ characters are different. Some students get more motivated after the feeling of outperforming peers, some want to focus on personal progress. The complex approach to the achievement should bring the most successful educational outcomes.

Article 4. Walton and Cohen (2007) discuss the impact of stigmatization on motivation and a feeling of belonging to a social group. The research proved stigmatization can lead to uncertainty in academic and professional activities (Walton & Cohen). The study also proved minor social groups were affected by the experiment. Thus, inequality can induce serious social-psychological issues for a student. The teacher should balance all the possible factors impacting students’ self-esteem and implement equality-oriented pedagogy.

Article 5. Weiner (1985) in his article brings up the attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion uniting the structure of decision-making processes with feeling and action. Expectancy and affect guide motivated behavior, and students during their education process might be affected by their feelings and emotions. That is relevant to any teacher as some strong emotional conditions might change the performance and self-realization of a student. The pedagogue can help the scholar understand how to control emotions to control self.

Article 6. Wigfield and Eccles (2000) discuss the expectancy-value theory of motivation comparing the impact of ability beliefs, success expectations, specifics of subjective task values on self-efficacy, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and interest. The study was based on children and adolescents and proved ability-related beliefs and values deteriorated within age, especially through a teenage period of life (Wigfield & Eccles, 2000). The article can be useful for teachers working with children and young people as these periods of human development could be more vulnerable regarding ability-beliefs and other aspects forming motivation. Teachers should study the psychology of children and adolescents and implement this knowledge into practice. Children at a certain period of their development tend to increase assessments and social comparisons.


Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91(3), 328-346. Web.

Ryan, R. M., & Dcri, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Issues in Education, 25, 54-67. Web.

Senko, C. (2016, January). Achievement goal theory: A story of early promises, eventual discords, and future possibilities. In K. Wentzel & D. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of Motivation at School, (2nd ed, pp. 75-95). Routledge.

Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A question of belonging: Race, social fit, and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82-96. Web.

Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, (92)4, 548-573. Web.

Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy–Value Theory of Achievement Motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 68–81. Web.

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