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Motivation in Out-of-School Learning

Motivation has been recognized to be a salient ingredient in effective teaching and meaningful learning. Over the past century, a great deal of research has focused on theories of motivation, although definitions of motivation still vary. One commonly accepted definition of motivation is “the process whereby goal-directed activity is instigated and sustained” (Schunk, Pintrich, & Meece, 2008, p. 4). Motivation can be broken down into a variety of types and dimensions that have been theorized to be highly salient for learning. For example, one is said to possess intrinsic motivation when doing an activity for its own sake, as distinguished from extrinsic motivation, or doing an activity for a reward or other external incentive. Feeling autonomous and fully volitional in one’s behavior is thought ...

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