Motivation for achievement in mathematics: Findings, generalizations, and criticisms of the research

James Middleton, Photini A. Spanias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-88
Number of pages24
JournalJournal for Research in Mathematics Education
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Motivation
  • Review of research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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