Achievement Goal Theory

A Story of Early Promises, Eventual Discords, and Future Possibilities

Authored by: Corwin Senko

Handbook of Motivation at School

Print publication date:  March  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138776166
eBook ISBN: 9781315773384
Adobe ISBN:


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How can we best motivate students? Why do some embrace the challenge and maintain high task involvement, while others become distracted, self-conscious, and withdrawn? Why do some show resilience and others helplessness? These are common questions raised by parents, teachers, school administrators, and policymakers alike. Achievement goal theory offers a unique perspective. A convergence of similar ideas from like-minded theorists (Ames, 1992; Covington & Omelich, 1984; Dweck, 1986; Maehr, 1984; Nicholls, 1984), it in fact was constructed specifically to better understand students’ experience during challenge and setbacks.

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