Research Brief Presents Theories Behind Improved Motivation
Posted by Laura McLoughlin on January 24, 2022 in categoryFacts & Research

A simple Google search for “student persistence in adult education” provides evidence that a lot has been written about how to keep adult learners engaged to meet their goals. Overwhelmingly, motivation is a driving force to increased student persistence. 

But what is motivation in education? Is it simply the desire to start something because you want to meet a goal? 

ProLiteracy prides itself in providing the adult education field with research-based practices to improve student outcomes.  

In our new research brief “Motivation and Adult Learners,” generously funded by the Richard H. Yearick Foundation, M Cecil Smith dives into the four theoretical perspectives on motivation.  

Read Smith's analysis of goal theory, expectancy-value theory, attribution theory, and self-determination theory, and how understanding these components of motivation can help practitioners increase student success rates. 

Read the Brief

About the Author 

M Cecil Smith is Dean of the School of Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Most recently, he co-edited the 2020 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education (Stylus). His research pertains to correlates of adults’ literacy skills and practices. Prior to his appointment at Southern Illinois, he held faculty and administrative appointments at West Virginia University and Northern Illinois University. He earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1988. 




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