Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 371–409 | Cite as

Understanding Motivation and Schooling: Where We've Been, Where We Are, and Where We Need to Go

  • Martin L. Maehr
  • Heather A. Meyer


This paper presents an interpretive summary of the progress that has been made in the study of motivation, especially as this work relates to the area of education. Motivation research has “come of age” with theoretical frameworks rooted in an established body of findings, and with the development of core methodologies for pursuing further knowledge. It has begun to provide a firm base for guiding educational practice. Current work is clearly in accord with mainstream psychology in that cognitive models of motivation are the predominant guides for research. Future work is likely to focus increasingly on how the meaning construction process affects engagement in tasks. Researchers should consider a wider array of research procedures and give greater attention to understanding motivation as it occurs in natural settings, especially as educational interventions are attempted. A serious deficiency in the motivation literature is that relatively little attention has been given to differences related to sociocultural backgrounds.

motivation education educational psychology individual differences 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin L. Maehr
    • 1
  • Heather A. Meyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Combined Program in Education and PsychologyThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.The University of MichiganAnn Arbor

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