We discuss the development of achievement motivation from the perspective of Eccles and colleagues’ expectancy-value theory (EVT), focusing on the importance of children developing positive expectancies for success and valuing of achievement to help them cope with change and uncertainty. Although research has shown that, overall, children’s expectancies and values decline, recent studies show many different trajectories in the overall pattern. Children’s expectancies and values predict their school performance and choices of which activities to pursue in and out of school, with these relations getting stronger as children get older. When children’s expectancies and values stay more positive, they can better cope with change and uncertainty, such as the increasing difficulty of many school subjects, or broader changes such as immigrating to a new country. Parents can buffer children’s experiences of change and uncertainty by encouraging them to engage in different activities and by providing them opportunities to do so. Parents’ positive beliefs about their children’s abilities and discussing with them the importance of school can moderate the observed decline in children’s ability beliefs and values. For immigrant and minority children, parents’ emphasis on the importance of school and encouragement of the development of a positive sense of their racial/ethnic identity are critical buffers. Positive teacher–child relations also are a strong buffer, although research indicates that immigrant and minority children often have less positive relations with their teachers. We close with a discussion on recent EVT-based intervention research that shows how children’s beliefs and values for different school subjects can be fostered.
Wigfield, A. and Gladstone, J. (2019), "What Does Expectancy-value Theory Have to Say about Motivation and Achievement in Times of Change and Uncertainty?", Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 15-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-742320190000020002Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited