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Motivation of New Generation Students for Learning Physics and Mathematics

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Palmira Pečiuliauskienė and Valdemaras Aleksa

The aim of the research is to reveal the effects of inquiry on the motivation of new generation students for learning Physics and Mathematics. Self-Determination Theory gives a theoretical background for the research. Quantitative methods dominate in this monograph. The monograph analyses the motivation for learning science in terms of inquiry levels, as well as in terms of real and digital Physics labs. The monograph also reveals the role of significant social issues in promoting intrinsic motivation and communication of lower secondary school students. The monograph considers motivation for learning Mathematics. The research discloses students’ attitude towards the educational and social benefit of learning Mathematics.

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1 Theoretical background of new generation students’ motivation for learning

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1Theoretical background of new generation students’ motivation for learning

1.1Motivation for learning: the issue of self-determination theory

By Palmira Pečiuliauskienė

The section focuses on Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which explores the reasons why individuals engage in education activities. According to SDT, it is important to fulfil three basic psychological needs of learners: the need for autonomy, the need for competence, and the need for relatedness. The article examines Physics education activity in the light of SDT.

The 21st century is famous for a fast advancement in science and technologies. Science is a part of European cultural heritage but “in recent times fewer young people seem to be interested in science and technical subjects. Why this?” (Osborne & Dillon, 2008). When searching for an answer to the question what factors determine a positive approach to the studies of natural sciences, first at all, we have to answer the question what motivation is. In scholarly literature, motivation is considered from various viewpoints. Therefore, the conceptualisation of motivation is a big challenge.

What does it mean to be motivated? The Latin root of the word motivation means to move. In this sense the study of motivation is the study of an action (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). “To be motivated means to be moved to do something” (Rayan & Deci, 2000, p. 54). A person who feels no inspiration to act is, thus, characterised as unmotivated, whereas someone who is activated to the end...

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