Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 377–390 | Cite as

Re-conceptualizing Emotion and Motivation to Learn in Classroom Contexts

  • Debra K. MeyerEmail author
  • Julianne C. Turner
Original Article


To better inform and improve classroom teaching and learning, now more than ever before, educational researchers need to effectively and efficiently describe essential components of positive learning environments. In this article, we discuss how our research findings about motivation in classrooms have led to a closer examination of emotions. We describe how motivation theories such as Academic Risk Taking, Flow Theory, and Goal Theory have helped us better understand emotions in our classroom research. Our findings suggest that engaging students in learning requires consistently positive emotional experiences, which contribute to a classroom climate that forms the foundation for teacher–student relationships and interactions necessary for motivation to learn. We conclude that we need to integrate emotion, motivation, and cognition theoretically and methodologically to move our research forward. New theories and methods, even new forms of intellectual discourse, are required. Therefore, we end this article by beginning a discussion of new directions for conceptualizing and researching classrooms in ways that will involve examining the emotions of students and teachers.


Academicrisktaking Flowtheory Goaltheory 



The authors would like to thank Lisa Linnenbrink, Susan Nolan, and two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and feedback on the revision of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationElmhurst CollegeElmhurstUSA
  2. 2.The University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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