Reciprocal relationships between knowledge structures and motivation to learn.

Year: 1999

Author: Ng, Chi-Hung, Bahr, Nan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Historically, research has separately investigated the role of prior knowledge structure and the importance of motivation in learning engagement. Limited attention has been given to the reciprocal effects of these two influences. In this paper, we present a theoretical model that may explain the reciprocal relationship between domain specific knowledge and domain specific motivation. Contemporary research demonstrates that individuals develop complex structural networks of domain knowledge. We propose that domain specific knowledge and motivation will combine to affect the performance and future development of knowledge and motivation in a reciprocal manner. While we adhere to the importance of domain specificity, we propose that overlap between domains at a deep structural level may strengthen the reciprocal effects between knowledge and motivation. Research in this area will benefit the development of pedagogical approaches that may better serve to develop the learning and motivation of students in school.