Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications

Dale H. Schunk / Judith R Meece / Paul R. Pintrich  
Total pages
November 2013
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Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications


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The academic standard for texts on motivation in educational settings. Clear and engaging, Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications, Fourth Edition presents the major motivation theories, principles, and research findings in sufficient detail to help students understand the complexity of motivational processes, and provides extensive examples of the application of motivational concepts and principles in educational settings.

From reviews of Motivation in Education:

“I find it essential that students have access to such strong representations of the basic theories and work in the field of motivation. . . . This book goes a long way toward reinforcing the voices of experts who make data-driven decisions about how to foster motivation. . . . There are no available books [on motivation] as excellently crafted as this one.”

–Theresa A. Thorkildsen, University of Illinois at Chicago

“This book is certainly the most comprehensive treatment of motivation. There are several others I have perused but they often take a certain approach to motivation whereas this book covers ALL approaches. The authors present a very complete and unbiased treatment of the literature.”

–Daniel H. Robinson, University of Texas


  • Research- Based Content - Summarizes important research findings, including extensive applied research investigating the operation of motivational processes in classrooms and other learning settings.
  • Applications and Examples - Every chapter includes detailed applications and in-text examples, which will help readers better understand how to apply motivation principles in learning settings.
  • Coverage of Developmental and Group Differences in Motivation - Shows how personal cognitions and motivational variables may help to explain the relation between developmental and individual differences and student outcomes.
  • Coverage of Sociocultural Influences on Motivation - Shows readers how sociocultural contexts are relevant to motivation for learning and achievement. Topics include peers, school adjustment and dropout, socioeconomic status, parental involvement, home environment, early intervention programs, community involvement, and cultures.

New to this Edition

  • Extensive new content, including new sections on neuroscience and motivation, tutoring and mentoring, collaborative learning, technology, and effective learning environments.
  • Over 225 new references have been added.
  • The final three chapters have been reorganized and expanded to address the increasing emphasis on social and contextual factors in motivation theory, research, and practice.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Motivation: Introduction and Historical Foundations

Chapter 2: Expectancy-Value Theory 

Chapter 3: Attribution Theory 

Chapter 4: Social Cognitive Theory 

Chapter 5: Goals and Goal Orientations

Chapter 6: Interest and Affect 

Chapter 7: Intrinsic Motivation

Chapter 8: Teacher and Classroom Influences

Chapter 9: School Influences

Chapter 10: Peer, Family, and Community Influences