Motivating Science Undergraduates: Ideas and Interventions

Richard Walker


This paper overviews three important motivational theories (the theory of self-efficacy, achievement goal theory, and the self-determination theory of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) and explains their relevance for motivating tertiary students. The paper then briefly describes a project in which tertiary educators in science and other faculties have attempted to make their units of study more motivating and interesting for students. The paper concludes by outlining some aspects of the emerging sociocultural approach to motivation and the relevance of this approach for motivating students in educational contexts

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