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Motivation for Achievement in Mathematics: Findings, Generalizations, and Criticisms of the Research

James A. Middleton, Photini A. Spanias 

January 1999, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 65

In this review we examine recent research in the area of motivation in mathematics education and discuss findings from research perspectives in this domain. We note consistencies across research perspectives that suggest a set of generalizable conclusions about the contextual factors, cognitive processes, and benefits of interventions that affect students' and teachers' motivational attitudes. Criticisms are leveled concerning the lack of theoretical guidance driving the conduct and interpretation of the majority of studies in the field. Few researchers have attempted to extend current theories of motivation in ways that are consistent with the current research on learning and classroom discourse. In particular, researchers interested in studying motivation in the content domain of school mathematics need to examine the relationship that exists between mathematics as a socially constructed field and students' desire to achieve.

Action Research
Calculus and Higher Level Mathematics
Conceptual Development
Connections / Applications
Grades 9-12
Higher Education
Math Coordinator / Coach
Problem Solving / Problem Posing
Professional Development / Teacher Education
Student Work