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

    James A. Middleton, Photini A. Spanias
    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.