Students’ Interest and Engagement in Classroom Activities

  • Mary AinleyEmail author


This chapter focuses on interest as a key motivational construct for investigating the relation between motivation and engagement. The emphasis is on identifying the links between the underlying interest processes and students’ participation in achievement activities. It is suggested that a dynamic systems perspective with its emphasis on the individual as a self-organizing system provides a productive framework for future developments in understanding the sets of processes that support engagement. Central in this analysis will be an examination of the microprocess level to identify the process variables that combine in different patterns of student engagement. Addressing the relation between motivation and engagement at the microprocess level puts a major emphasis on the immediate context of the task and the broader classroom. However, these are nested within expanding contexts of school and community cultures, and the relation between interest processes and engagement in achievement activities will be considered within the framework of investigations into patterns of interest and engagement using data from the PISA 2006 international survey of science achievement.


Achievement Goal Classroom Activity Individual Interest Situational Interest Problem Scenario 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological Sciences, University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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