Integrative and theoretical reviews of achievement motivation for school psychologists: Introduction to the special issue

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  • Although school psychologists have a wide range of expertise, generally speaking theories of motivation. The papers in this special issue were selected for their focus specifically on the integration of theories of achievement motivation to the practice of school psychology Among their various roles, school psychologists are tasked with evaluating students’ cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and emotional/behavioural functioning and then attending to current dysfunction or implementing preventative measures (Canadian Psychological Association, 2016). They also serve as consultants to teachers, parents, administrative staff, and other inclusive learning professionals (Canadian Psychological Association, 2016). They bring expertise in assessment, intervention, and child development to bear on the complex learning needs of the students and their school systems. Despite this high level of expertise, a theoretically grounded understanding of achievement motivation appears to be largely overlooked in both initial education programmes and ongoing professional development (Cleary, 2009). This oversight is unfortunate because the field of achievement motivation has many well-developed theories supported by a robust body of empirical research that could be relevant to the practice of school psychology. In fact, when it comes to predicting students’ performance, constructs related to achievement motivation are second only to intelligence (Kriegbaum et al., 2018). From this perspective, school psychologists may benefit from a clearer understanding of both the intra-individual components of achievement motivation and its contextual applications (Urdan & Schoenfelder, 2006). The five review articles in this special issue are designed to focus specifically on the integration of theories of achievement motivation to the practice of school psychology. Collectively, they meet the goal of providing school psychologists with an overview of five of the most common motivation frameworks tailored to school psychology in order to support student motivation at both the individual and contextual levels. The final commentary article explicates a whole-child framework to highlight the role motivation can hold alongside the recognizable school psychology constructs of cognition and affect.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International