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Motivation and academic resilience: developing a model for student enhancement.

This paper explores a model of motivation and introduces the concept of academic resilience. Although motivation is critical to academic success, academic gains that students make can be lost if they are not resilient to setback, study pressure, and stress in the school setting. It is therefore important that students are motivated and resilient to academic pressures. A

problem with motivation theory and research, however, is that it has not been formulated in a way that provides educators and students with a common language with which to develop motivation and academic resilience in the classroom. This paper draws together seminal motivation theory, posits clear constructs that represent these theories, and then repackages them into a model that can be used by educators and understood by students. Such a model also holds direct implications in the classroom and counselling contexts, and the strategies for enhancing motivation and academic resilience are discussed.


In a perfect world, students would not only be energised and driven to achieve to their potential but also equipped to deal effectively with academic setbacks, study pressure, and stress in the school setting. This would be the model student from a motivation perspective. To date, however, researchers and practitioners have focused on the energy and drive of students and not so much on their ability to deal with pressure and setback. That is, there has been a focus on motivating students, but not so much on enhancing their academic resilience. This paper explores the two issues of motivation and academic resilience and shows that they are complementary but not necessarily overlapping constructs. Through analysis of central educational and psychological theory, the paper identifies factors that underpin both motivation and academic resilience and how these can be used to develop both. The paper also develops a model that can assist educators to develop students' motivation and academic resilience and which can also be easily explained to students. This model is useful in the sense that it exposes educators to a number of conceptual perspectives which, by implication, open up new pathways for intervention.


Motivation can be conceptualised as students' energy and drive to learn, work effectively, and achieve to their potential at school and the behaviours that follow from this energy and drive. Motivation plays a large part in students' interest in and enjoyment of school and study. Motivation also underpins their achievement (Martin, 2001; Martin & Marsh, in press; Martin, Marsh, & Debus, 2001a, 2001b, in press; Meece, Wigfield, & Eccles, 1990; Schunk, 1990).

Academic resilience

It may be, however, that an energy and drive to learn, work effectively, and achieve to one's potential is not sufficient to deal with academic setbacks or excessive study pressure and stress. Without some level of resilience to these types of challenges, the motivated student's gains may well be lost. This issue of resilience brings into consideration a number of questions. Why are some (often motivated) students debilitated by setbacks, poor performance, stress, and study pressure whereas others pick themselves up, recover, and move on? Why do some students get caught in a downward spiral of underachievement whereas others respond proactively to poor performance and break this downward spiral? Why do some students crumble under the pressure of school whereas others are energised and embrace the challenges before them?

I suggest that the answer lies in academic resilience. In a general sense, resilience has been defined as the process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or threatening circumstances (Howard & Johnson, 2000). In the academic context, I define academic resilience as students' ability to deal effectively with academic setbacks, stress, and study pressure. Surprisingly, academic resilience has not received a great deal of attention in the research literature. In the few papers that do deal with the issue, most are focused on ethnic minority groups and extreme underachievers (e.g. see Catterall, 1998; Finn & Rock, 1997; Gonzalez & Padilla, 1997; Overstreet & Braun, 1999).

There has, however, been substantial focus on resilience in terms of broader life events (e.g. resilience to disadvantaged backgrounds, poor parenting, family break-up, mental illness, drug addiction etc.) in Australia (Fuller, 2000; National Crime Prevention, 1999; Shochet & Osgarby, 1999) and overseas (Davis & Paster, 2000; Gilligan, 1999; Lindstroem, 2001; Luthar & Cicchetti, 2000; Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Masten, 2001; Slap, 2001). This research has shown that resilient young people have a number of protective factors in their lives. Protective factors (a) reduce the impact of negative events, (b) help individuals avoid or resist problematic pathways, and (c) promote positive and successful pathways. The research has also shown that young people who lack resilience have a number of risk factors in their lives.

School is an important place where resilience in young people can be enhanced (Cunningham, Brandon, & Frydenberg, 1999; Frydenberg, 1999; Fuller, 2001; Fuller, McGraw, & Goodyear, 1999; Howard & Johnson, 2000; Longaretti, 2001; Parker & Hendy, 2001; Speirs & Martin, 1999). However, studies of resilience as it pertains to school are still couched in terms of a young person's mental health and wellbeing and not in terms of their academic development. If academic resilience is pursued along the same lines as the larger body of research into general resilience, it can be proposed that enhancing academic resilience requires us to enhance the protective factors in students' lives and reduce the risk factors. This paper explores a model that provides some guidance as to possible protective and risk factors in students' lives from an academic perspective and how to tackle them in the classroom and counselling context.

Theory driven identification of factors

There have been a number of theoretical contributions to our understanding of motivation that provide direction as to how academic resilience can be conceptualised. Among the more influential theories are need achievement theory, self-worth motivation theory, self-efficacy theory, expectancy x value theory, attribution theory, control theory, and motivation orientation theory. Taken together, these theories tell us (a) why students do what they do, (b) how they do it, (c) their confidence in being able to do it, (d) their ability to surmount obstacles and challenges before them, and (e) their capacity to pick themselves up after academic setback or hold their ground in the face of study pressures. The purpose of developing this model is to integrate a number of theoretical perspectives, synthesise motivation and academic resilience, and articulate a framework that can be used by educators and understood by students.

Need achievement and self-worth motivation theory

From need achievement and self-worth motivation perspectives, students can be broadly characterised in terms of their motive to avoid failure and approach success (Atkinson 1957; Covington, 1992; Covington & Omelich, 1991; McClelland, 1965). Based on a need achievement model of motivation, students can be characterised in terms of three typologies: the success-oriented student, the failure-avoidant student, and the failure-accepting student.

Success-oriented students tend to be optimistic, adopt a proactive and positive orientation to their studies, and are not debilitated by setback but rather respond to it with optimism and energy (Covington & Omelich, 1991; Martin, 1998, 2001; Martin & Marsh, in press; Martin et al., 2001a). These students, it can be argued, are highly motivated in a positive and proactive manner and respond most adaptively to setback if it should occur (Martin et al., 2001a).

Failure-avoidant students tend to be anxious (Alpert & Haber, 1960) and motivated by a fear of failure, live in self-doubt, and are uncertain about their ability to avoid failure or achieve success (Covington & Omelich, 1991). Although these students can often work hard and achieve well, they tend to be adversely affected by setback as it tends to confirm their doubts about their ability and their uncertain control (Covington & Omelich, 1991; Martin, 1998; Martin et al., 2001a). In essence, they lack academic resilience. Often in response to this fear of failure, failure-avoidant students may even actively sabotage their chances of success (e.g. procrastinate, leave study until the last minute, or not study at all) so that they have an excuse if they do not do so well.

Failure-accepting students (sometimes referred to as learned helpless) have given up to the point of not even trying to avoid failure. These students are generally disengaged from their studies and display a helpless pattern of motivation (Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978; see also Covington, 1992). In many cases, failure-accepting students also actively sabotage their chances of success through not trying at all (Martin et al., in press). These students lack both motivation and academic resilience.

From need achievement and self-worth motivation perspectives, a number of factors emerge that can inform our model of motivation and academic resilience. In terms of the success-oriented student, there is evidence of high self-belief and control. In terms of the failure fearer, there is evidence of anxiety and failure avoidance. In terms of both the failure fearer and failure-accepting student, there is evidence of self-sabotage.

Attribution theory and control

According to attribution theory, the causes individuals attribute to events can determine how they behave on future occasions (Weiner, 1994). In the classroom, the attributions a student makes influence his or her optimism, performance, and affect (Craven, Marsh, & Debus, 1991; Weiner, 1994). The perceived cause of an outcome is hypothesised to vary primarily along three dimensions: locus, stability, and controllability (Weiner, 1994). It is the issue of control that is the focus of this paper because it is this that primarily determines students' responses to setback, pressure, or fear of failure (Martin et al., 2001b) and by implication is relevant to a model of motivation and academic resilience.

Control refers to the extent to which students feel they are able to avoid failure and achieve success. Students who feel they have little or no control over outcomes are increasingly uncertain as to whether they can avoid failure or bring about success. In response to this, they may engage in counterproductive behaviour (e.g. self sabotage) or may give up altogether (e.g. become learned helpless) (Martin et al., 2001b). On the other hand, high control is linked to students' persistence, attention, effort, participation, mastery motivation, and achievement (Connell, 1985; Harter & Connell, 1984; Patrick, Skinner, & Connell, 1993).

Taken together, this evidence suggests that students low in perceived control are not inclined to engage in behaviour consistent with an adaptive motivation. Moreover it seems that students low in control may lack resilience to academic setback because such setback may have the effect of confirming their doubts about themselves. In response to this uncertainty and doubt, they have been found to engage in counterproductive academic behaviour (Martin et al., 2001b). From attribution and control theory perspectives (in addition to predictions by need achievement and self-worth motivation perspectives), control is a construct important to include in a model of motivation and academic resilience.

Self-efficacy and expectancy x value theory

In the discussion of need achievement theory, it was clear and it has been found elsewhere (Martin et al., 2001a) that success-oriented students are optimistic and have a strong sense of self-belief. This brings into consideration the issue of self-efficacy. Students who are high in self-efficacy tend to generate and test alternative courses of action when they do not meet with initial success, function better in the classroom through elevated levels of effort and persistence, and deal more effectively with problem situations by influencing cognitive and emotional processes related to those situations (Bandura, 1997). Students low in self-efficacy tend to dwell on their deficiencies and view situations as more difficult than they really are (Bandura, 1997). It can be said with some confidence that self-belief is critical to a student's motivation and resilience. The student who has a strong sense of self-belief is energised to perform (i.e. is motivated) and, in the face of challenge, believes in his or her ability to surmount it (i.e. is academically resilient). The evidence supports this assertion: self-efficacy and self-belief have been linked to such outcomes as self-regulation, effort, persistence, and achievement (Marsh, 1990; Martin & Debus, 1998; Meece et al., 1990; Schunk, 1990). Self-belief is, therefore, a construct directly relevant to the model of motivation and academic resilience being developed here.

Another way of conceptualising self-belief is in terms of expectancy: students who believe they are capable of mastering their schoolwork have positive expectations for success. Much along the lines of self-belief, students' expectations for academic outcomes have been found to be connected to their motivation and achievement (Meece et al., 1990). What further contributes to students' motivation is their valuing of a task. Moreover the interaction of their expectations and their valuing of a given task predict their motivation on it such that those with high expectations and who also value the task are most motivated to do it. This interaction is conceptualised in expectancy x value theory (Eccles, 1983; Wigfield, 1994). Another important component of motivation and academic resilience is value of schooling and tasks within it. When students see the utility and importance of what they are taught, they tend to be more engaged in these subjects and achieve at a higher level (Martin, 2001). A value of schooling can steel students for tough times in the way that it predicts intentions and willingness to continue with studies in the future (Martin & Debus, 1998). Our model of motivation and academic resilience can therefore be expanded to encompass value of schooling and persistence.

Motivation orientation

The final theoretical contribution to our understanding of motivation concerns motivation orientation. Motivation orientation refers to the student's focus on the task at hand (learning focus) or on how he or she is performing on it (performance focus). Students' learning focus is particularly relevant to our discussion. Learning focus refers to the tendency of students to feel successful and gain satisfaction in mastering what they have set out to do (Nicholls, 1989). Learning-focused students are motivated to attain mastery rather than outperform others. They view tasks in terms of effort rather than ability, and failure is seen as diagnostic feedback that can lead to improvement at a later time (Middleton & Midgley, 1997). Because of this effort and mastery orientation, learning-focused students are not so threatened by failure because failure reflects on their effort rather than their ability. Consequently they respond to setback and pressure with effort and proactive strategy rather than with counterproductive or self-defeating behaviours such as self-sabotage or withdrawal and disengagement (Martin et al., 2001b). Importantly, learning-focused students are resilient to setback because they see poor performance or setback as reflecting on their effort and strategy and so respond to them with greater effort and better strategy. Learning focus, then, appears to be a critical element of students' motivation and academic resilience.

It is important to understand the means by which a learning focus is manifested in students' lives. Some key means through which this is operationalised are planning, monitoring, study management, and persistence (Martin, 1998). In studies of self-regulation and motivation, these constructs have been found to be predictive of achievement and adaptive orientations to academic tasks (Martin, 1998; Martin et al., 2001a, 2001b, in press). Hence, the final components of our model of motivation and academic resilience are planning and monitoring and study management (in addition to persistence, outlined above).

Drawing theory together

As discussed earlier, these theories provide us with an understanding about: (a) why students do what they do, (b) how they do it, (c) their confidence in being able to do it, (d) their ability to surmount obstacles and challenges before them, and (e) their capacity to pick themselves up after academic setback or hold their ground in the face of study pressures. When this is understood, there is greater scope to enhance students' motivation and academic resilience.

The problem is that the theory described above is usually not articulated or conceptualised in a way that can be used by educators or understood by students. To enhance student motivation, it is important to package theory and concepts within it in a way that can be communicated by teachers to students. This brings into consideration the need for a model of motivation and academic resilience that can be readily harnessed by teachers to help motivate their students. Ideally this model would also be readily harnessed by students.

Such a model is built in two steps. First, theory and key concepts within it are translated into a manageable set of constructs that is readily identifiable by teachers and students alike. Second, these constructs are packaged into a structure that is relatively simple to articulate and represent.

In terms of the first step, Figure 1 shows the key theories discussed above and a proposed set of constructs that reflect these theories. In this model, each of the central constructs (self-belief, value of schooling, learning focus, persistence, planning and monitoring, study management, failure avoidance, anxiety, low control, and self-sabotage) is connected to related theory.


This model is still a complex representation reflecting seven theoretical perspectives which, from a practitioner's and student's perspective, is unmanageable. I therefore propose a second step--a simple separation of measures into factors that enhance motivation and academic resilience and those that reduce motivation and academic resilience. These I call `boosters' and `guzzlers' respectively. I then separate boosters and guzzlers into thoughts (and/or feelings) and behaviours. Thus there are booster thoughts and booster behaviours. There are also guzzler thoughts and guzzler behaviours. The framework presented in Figure 1 can now be reorganised into a simpler framework as shown in Figure 2. Booster thoughts are measured through self-belief, learning focus, and value of schooling; booster behaviours are measured through persistence, planning and monitoring, and study management; guzzler thoughts/feelings are measured through anxiety and low control; and guzzler behaviours are measured through failure avoidance and self-sabotage.


The strength of a model along these lines is that it can be easily communicated by educators to students and, following from this, is readily understandable by students. The educator and student can easily separate thinking from behaviour and the helpful (boosters) motivation from the unhelpful (guzzlers). Thus this model, although representing a complex aggregation of theory, is an easy way for students to understand their motivation and an easy way for educators and counsellors to explain it to them. When students understand motivation and the dimensions that comprise it, intervention is more meaningful to them and, as a consequence, is likely to be more successful. It is important to recognise that, in specifying interventions that can follow from this representation, the orientation of the model has changed from a model of motivation to a model for motivation. This is perhaps a subtle but important distinction because it moves the model from one that is descriptive to one that aids accessibility for applied purposes.

Academic resilience revisited

Where does academic resilience fit into this model? It will be recalled that resilient individuals tend to be high on what are referred to as protective factors and individuals low or lacking in resilience are high on risk factors. In the school setting, I propose that there are a number of student-level protective and risk factors that contribute to academic resilience and that these are boosters and guzzlers respectively. Through the evidence and theory discussed above, it can be inferred that students high on boosters and low on guzzlers are resilient to academic setback and deal with schoolwork pressures and stress effectively. Students low on boosters and high on guzzlers are not so resilient to academic setback and do not deal with schoolwork pressures and stress very effectively.

Strategies for intervention using this model

At a meta-level, intervention designed to enhance students' motivation and academic resilience involves improving students' (a) approach to their schoolwork, (b) beliefs about themselves, (c) attitudes towards learning, achievement, and school, (d) study skills, and (e) reasons for learning. Also at a meta-level, intervention involves (a) educators' messages to students, (b) educators' expectations for students, (c), how learning is structured and paced, (d) feedback to students on their work, and (e) classroom goals and assessment.

To enhance students' motivation and academic resilience, however, it is important to move beyond the meta-level to determine the specific ways in which motivation and resilience are enacted in students' lives and in the classroom. This is where our model is able to assist. This model holds that educators are to do one or more of the following: keep high boosters high; keep low guzzlers low; increase low boosters; and reduce high guzzlers. I now describe ways that this can be done.

Keeping high boosters high and increasing low boosters

Self-belief Self-belief is perhaps the most critical booster to develop in students. It is one of the strongest predictors of achievement and enjoyment at school (Bandura, 1997; Marsh, 1990; Martin & Debus, 1998). Developing students' self-belief involves restructuring learning so as to maximise opportunities for success. Students' experience of success increases their self-belief. Ways to structure learning along these lines include breaking schoolwork into components so that students can experience small successes along the way (thus building confidence and intrinsic motivation), perhaps individualising tasks so that challenges match students' capacities, and repositioning success in terms of personal bests and improvement (Covington, 1992). To build students' self-belief, it is important to challenge their negative thinking. When harnessing principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (Beck, 1976; Meichenbaum, 1974), it is desirable to encourage students to challenge their negative thinking through (a) observing their automatic thoughts when they receive a mark or are assigned schoolwork, (b) looking for the evidence that challenges their negative thinking habits, and (c) challenging these thoughts with this evidence.

Value of schooling Underpinning students' value of schooling is the issue of relevance and meaning. Maximising the relevance and meaning of school requires educators to link what is taught with world events, students' lives or interests, what they may do when they leave school, and perhaps what they learn in other school subjects. In doing this, students see the relevance, utility, and importance of what they learn--this builds a value of schooling. Value of schooling is also developed by showing how school not only teaches students facts but also teaches them how to think and analyse and that these help them in many walks of life including their social and personal lives, in the workplace, and on the sporting field. A value of schooling is enhanced when educators are role models showing that they value what they are teaching (McInerney, 2000).

Learning focus, persistence, planning and monitoring, and study management Motivation orientation theory provides guidance in promoting students' learning focus, persistence, planning and monitoring, and study management. From a motivation orientation perspective, enhancing students' motivation in these respects essentially involves promoting a focus on mastery (Nicholls, 1989; Qin, Johnson, & Johnson, 1995). In practical terms, this is achieved by showing students how effort and strategy are key means of improvement and accomplishment (Craven et al., 1991; Martin et al., 2001b), encouraging students to set goals and showing them how to work towards these, making it clear to students how to break schoolwork into components, plan how to do each component, how to review their progress, and overcome obstacles they may experience in working towards their goals (McInerney, 2000). In essence, these strategies encourage students to focus on the task at hand and this reduces cognitive interference in the form of concern (or fear) about how they are being evaluated or their performance relative to other students in the class.

Keeping low guzzlers low and reducing high guzzlers

Low control A perception of low control over outcomes underpins maladaptive motivation in students' academic lives (Covington, 1992; Martin et al., 2001b). Students who believe they have little control over maintaining success or avoiding failure are at risk of counterproductive manoeuvring in the form of self-sabotage or even helplessness (Martin et al., 2001a, 2001b, in press). Students develop a sense of control when they see the connection between their effort and strategy and academic outcomes. Ways to build students' sense of control include showing them how hard work and effective study strategies impact on achievement, reviewing study skills in class, and giving students some choice (within sensible parameters) over lesson objectives, assessment tasks, criteria for marking, and due dates for assignments (McInerney, 2000). Other ways to build control involve providing feedback in effective and consistent ways. This requires teachers to provide task-based feedback on students' work that makes it very clear how they can improve (Craven et al., 1991; Martin et al., 2001b). It also requires teachers to administer rewards (or punishment) that are directly contingent on what students do--often inconsistent reward contingencies create confusion and uncertainty in students' minds as to what they did to receive that reward (Thompson, 1994).

Avoidance, self-sabotage, and anxiety Strategies to deal with avoidance, anxiety, and self-sabotage are underpinned by need achievement and self-worth motivation theories. These theories can be drawn upon to show students how to handle motivational gaps and sustain motivational strengths. The primary factor that underpins these three guzzlers is a fear of failure (Covington, 1992). To reduce these guzzlers in students' lives, requires that students' fear of failure is investigated. Ways to do this include promoting a classroom climate of co-operation, self-improvement, and personal bests (Qin et al., 1995), showing that mistakes can be a springboard for success and do not reflect on students' worth as a person (Covington, 1992), and repositioning success so that it is seen more in terms of personal progress and improvement than outperforming others (Covington, 1992). Reducing anxiety, avoidance, and self-sabotage is also achieved by enhancing students' control as discussed above (Martin et al., 2001b). Dealing with these guzzlers is essentially about assisting students towards success orientation and away from failure avoidance or failure acceptance. Doing this requires educators to build success into students' lives as much as is feasible. Two ways to do this are to rework the definition of success so that it encompasses improvement and personal progress (which is attainable by every student) and to break tasks into smaller components to maximise opportunities for success along the way (McInerney, 2000); a greater sense of self-belief for the next task increases the likelihood that the student will meet with success on it.

Using the strategies in the classroom

These strategies provide a number of directions for action in the classroom. Depending on what facets of the motivation model are particularly salient in the classroom can determine which strategies educators will use. These strategies can be implemented in a systematic and consistent way or they can be used on an ad-hoc basis as the need arises. There are specific programs that previous researchers and practitioners have implemented that are quite consistent with the above-mentioned strategies and which also draw in additional student domains such as metacognition. One such program is the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (PEEL) (Baird, 1999; Baird & Mitchell, 1986, 1991; Baird, Mitchell, & Northfield, 1987; White & Baird, 1992) and is reported on here as just one example of how the strategies described above can be incorporated into a single program.

PEEL has been a collaborative action research project involving teachers and students. Ideas central to PEEL are related to learning tendencies and behaviours, attitudes and conceptions, and reflection and metacognition. The project provides a series of actions that focus students' attention on strategies for receiving information, establishing meaningfulness, defining tasks and the type of processing required, considering alternative approaches and related advantages and disadvantages, monitoring progress, reflecting on thinking and actions taken, completing the processing, evaluating the outcome, and establishing an approach for future learning.

This project can be directly related to the motivation model proposed here in that it is a way of enhancing students' learning focus (through a clear focus on the task and how to tackle it), value of schooling (through the student's reflection on meaning, relevance, and utility), control (through skill building), planning and monitoring (through focus on information processing and metacognition), study management (through allocating activities and priorities), persistence (through goal setting at the outset), and self-belief (through enhanced chances of success on the task). At the same time, students are less likely to be anxious or fear failure as a result of their elevated level of self-belief and perceived control.

For which students is the motivation model relevant?

The motivation model developed here holds implications for students at different points on the academic spectrum. These include underachievers, disruptive students who have little interest in learning, highly anxious students or students constantly fearful of failure, at-risk students, students who may cheat, and even the highly motivated students who need to be sustained. From a cognitive perspective, the underachiever needs to develop a greater sense of self-belief and perceived control while also developing motivated behaviours in the forms of persistence, planning and monitoring, and study management. Disruptive students can benefit from a greater value of schooling as well as an intrinsic orientation to schoolwork that is developed through a learning focus. These students may also be disruptive for self-worth protection reasons (i.e. their disruption may be a form of self-sabotage) and so a fear of failure needs to be faced. This also applies to the cheater who it seems would rather run the risk of being caught for cheating than risk failing and being seen to perform poorly. Students high in anxiety also need to work on fear of failure, reduce a possible avoidance orientation, while developing a greater and more stable sense of self-belief. Anxiety also arises through an over-emphasis on how one compares with others; and so a learning focus, a focus on the task at hand, and a model of personal bests (rather than being better than others) could assist these students. Although educators find themselves spending disproportionate amounts of time and energy on these more problematic students, it is important not to forget that the stronger students also need to be sustained and this model provides direction on how to do this through keeping high boosters high and low guzzlers low. It appears that this model applies to all students--the students in difficulty who need to be assisted, the motivated students who need to be sustained, and the majority who lie somewhere in between and who need some fine-tuning on particular dimensions.

Where to from here?

What has been presented here is a conceptual model of motivation and academic resilience. There is obviously a need for empirical work to explore this model more fully. Although preliminary work has been conducted (see Martin, 2001) through the Student Motivation Scale which measures each booster and guzzler, it is important to validate this Scale as one that is able to predict academic resilience as is argued in this paper. Although we are able to infer from related research and theory about the predictive validity of the constructs described here, empirical work needs to establish this directly. There is also further work required to ascertain whether any more constructs (boosters and guzzlers) need to be incorporated into the model or if, in fact, some need to be dropped through limited predictive validity. Finally, because this model has been framed in a way to maximise its transportability into the classroom, there is a need for research that tests the extent to which this occurs from both student and teacher perspectives.


This paper has sought to articulate a model of motivation that can be readily located in the classroom, used by educators and counsellors, and understandable for students. It has also explored the notion of academic resilience and shown that it is desirable for students not only to be motivated to achieve to their potential but also better prepared to deal with academic setback and pressure from a resilience perspective. It is well and good to have students that are motivated and achieve to their potential but, without academic resilience, these progressions are at risk of being undone in the face of setback, stress, or pressure in the school setting. Taken together, the arguments and model presented in this paper hold not only substantive and methodological implications for researchers studying motivation and academic resilience, but are also relevant to practitioners operating in contexts in which students require assistance to sustain motivational strengths and deal with areas of motivation that may be of some concern.

academic aptitude performance factors student motivation
motivation techniques stress management underachievement


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Dr Andrew Martin is Principal Researcher at AJ Martin Research, PO Box 380, Summer Hill, New South Wales 2130. Email: Internet:
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Author:Martin, Andrew
Publication:Australian Journal of Education
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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