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Improving Student Motivation: A Guide for Teachers and School Improvement Teams


Authors:   Judith Meece, Wendy McColskey

This document presents a general overview of current research and thought on student motivation in classroom and school settings. It is designed as a resource to help teachers and school teams analyze the sources of students' motivational problems and consider changes that will improve motivation.

For More Information Contact: Wendy McColskey

Product Specifics

Publisher: SERVE Center at UNCG
Number of pages: 104
Price: $0.00


teachers, school teams

Key Ideas:

  • Lack of motivation is a major problem in education. Students often exert the minimum rather than maximum effort.
  • There are individual differences in motivation which arise from a number of factors, but motivation cannot be considered as primarily the student's problem because researchers have documented that student motivation declines over the school years
  • Motivation can be increased.

Ways to use:

  • To understand the importance of considering student motivation as an educational outcome.
  • Consider schoolwide policies that enhance intrinsic forms of motivation.
  • Consider ways to assess student motivation.


For additional resources, Support for At-Risk Students section.

APA Citation:

Meese, J., McColskey, W. (2001). Improving student motivation: A guide for teachers and school improvement teams. Greensboro, NC: Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast.