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Students' school performance, task-focus, and situation-specific motivation

, University of Oxford, United Kingdom ; , , , University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Learning and Instruction Volume 39, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Going beyond studies of individual differences in and profiles of students' motivation, we investigated situation-specific (intra-personal) experiences of autonomous (enjoyment, interest, and task choice) and controlled (having to do, and the teacher wanting them to do a task) motivation across learning situations during one week, and how these were related to student characteristics (teacher rated academic performance and task-focus). Three-hundred and fourteen primary school students (Years 5 and 6) completed electronic questionnaires on Personal Digital Assistants, on an average of 11.2 learning episodes during a week. Multilevel Structural Equation Models provided support for a model based in organismic integration theory (OIT). At the situation-level, controlled motivation positively predicted autonomous motivation. At the student-level, students differed in the association between autonomous and controlled motivations, such that lower performers felt more autonomously motivated when controlled motivation was high. Implications for teacher practice are discussed.


Malmberg, L.E., Pakarinen, E., Vasalampi, K. & Nurmi, J.E. (2015). Students' school performance, task-focus, and situation-specific motivation. Learning and Instruction, 39(1), 158-167. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 10, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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