Education: Motivational Theories

Essay by LC221University, Master'sA+, July 2013

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Theories of Motivation



Motivation is the enthusiasm that one possesses in order to complete a certain task, action or desired outcome. If one lacks motivation the likelihood of a prolific product or outcome is unlikely. In education, two forms of motivation are focused on in being pertinent to student learning: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Examining the five theories of motivation: self-determination theory, attribution theory, expectancy-value theory, social-cognitive theory, and the goal-orientation theory gives educators an insight into various factors that influence the motivation or seemingly "lack of" motivation in everyday students. Educators are made aware of techniques they can use and those to avoid helping to influence each student's academic motivation constructively. Realizing that motivation does not solely come from the student, but that other variables, controllable and uncontrollable, influence the academic motivation of the typical learner will allow educators, parents and the community to ignite an inexhaustible motivation in "all" students.

Theories of Motivation

Education for all students, regardless of their abilities, is a constant, increasing concern in our nation. Standards have been put in place for "all" students to achieve, despite learning disabilities, special needs, personal interests, backgrounds, or confidence/motivation levels. Many students are labeled as being unmotivated about learning and lazy by teachers, administrators, and others looking from the outside in without considering various factors. Anderman & Anderman (2010) emphasize that, "teachers can and do impact student motivation" (p. 2). Knowledge of the impact that educators have on their students and the theories that influence student learning are tools that educators can use to create motivation in each child regardless of their variable characteristics that each brings to the classroom. The pairing of cognitive psychology and the insight of Anderman and Anderman (2010) into the classroom can ignite a zeal in educators to...