MP logo MP title

Krisztián Józsa: The significance of mastery motivation in education

In the past decades we could a witness a spectacular upheaval in motivation research. Our knowledge on the components of the human system of motives and on its processes is constantly increasing. The issue of applying this knowledge in educational practice and the problem of developing motives take precedence in the current literature. The emergence of the notion of `mastery motivation' can be seen as an important step in the development of motivation research. In short, mastery motivation can be defined as a type of motivation that promotes the complete and optimal acquisition and mastery of a skill ­ provided that certain conditions are met. Mastery motives develop on a hereditary base. They can be, and are indeed, active in babies, in pre-school- and school-age children or even in adults. We should only think of children finding pleasure in mastering counting and reading, or of adults with high level of involvement in their profession. The examples above illustrate the fact that mastery motivation is of primary importance in education. Investigating it and applying its principles can have a refreshing effect on educational practice. This article would like to serve this purpose by describing the topic in detail. In our survey of the literature we would like to give an account of how the present form of the concept of mastery motivation has takenshape, of the different definitions we encounter, and of their similarities and dissimilarities. We will pay special attention to the conditions that are necessary for the effective functioning of mastery motivation: this could be of extraordinary interest for educational science. We will also make an attempt in integrating mastery motivation in a broader system of concepts: we will try to describe it within the framework of a component system.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 1. 79-104. (2002)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Józsa Krisztián, Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Pedagógiai Tanszék, H­6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. ­30-34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia