A Model of Motivational Change in Transition Contexts

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Student motivation is extremely complex and the model of motivational change developed points to the usefulness of examining a range of motivation constructs in conjunction with multiple views of change to elicit greater understanding of motivational change. The finding of inter-individual differences in change in some aspects of motivation and not others suggests that some facets of motivation may be more important in enhancing or limiting the motivation of particular groups of students. There are subtle differences in students’ motivation in different contexts pointing to the need for more in-depth research to elaborate the interrelationship of students’ goals and perceptions and the contexts in which they learn. Further, changes in students’ perceptions of the importance of different aspects of knowledge may be significant in understanding changes in student motivation, and in gender-related subject preferences in secondary school. The changes over the transition to secondary school suggest that schools must examine the differences in emphases that students attend to, but they also point to the need for motivation research to take account of more levels of context at the same time, from the broad policy of the school to curriculum issues within different subject areas and to the micro contexts of interrelationships among students and between teachers and students.