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Psicologia

Print version ISSN 0874-2049

Abstract

LEMOS, Marina Serra de. Students’ and teachers’ motivation: A reciprocal and relational process. Psicologia [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.2, pp.141-152. ISSN 0874-2049.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17575/rpsicol.v23i2.333.

This text was written to integrate a special issue in honour of Professor Joaquim Bairrao, who argued for an ecologically valid psychology of education in Portugal, which included an increased focus on the role of the social and interpersonal processes that make up the social context of schooling. Along with the spirit of his claim, this article highlights the usefulness of an integrated approach to motivation in education, emphasising a double focus on the individual and on the contextual underpinnings of student motivation. In the present article, selected studies will be presented that use an integrated analysis of student’s individual beliefs and teacher’s classroom practices, in order to highlight the reciprocal and relational nature of students’ motivation and teacher behaviour in the classroom. It is argued that a more complete understanding of students’ motivation entails the consideration of both the individual motivational beliefs that the students ‘bring’ to the classroom, and the structure and dynamics of the classroom practices. In particular, this article calls attention to the reciprocal influences between the teacher and the students, and to the need to analyse teachers’ behaviours as determinants as well as consequences of students’ motivation and engagement. The role played by teacher-students relationships in the motivational dynamics of the classroom is also underscored in the studies presented.

Keywords : student motivation; reciprocal motivation; classroom practices; teacher-student relationships.

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