A Closer Look at Motivation, Part 1



We have all had students who have or who have not been motivated to do well in school. As such, I thought we should take a closer look at motivation.


What is student motivation? Student motivation can be defined as a general expectancy that includes:

  • Students’ belief in their ability to perform a task.
  • How students value goals and beliefs about the importance and interest of tasks.
  • Students emotional reaction to tasks given.

The word motivation means “to move” and is derived from the Latin verb movere. Motivation includes goal setting, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. It is situational, varies, and contextual. Motivation can be intrinsic and/or extrinsic.

The important takeaway for this week is:

Possessing the skills to perform school tasks is insufficient; these skills must also be coupled with the necessary motivation to regulate cognition and effort. Likewise, motivation alone, without the necessary skills to perform the school related tasks, is also insufficient.

More on this next week!