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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: February 2019

10 - The Promise and Peril of Choosing for Motivation and Learning

from Part II - Rewards, Incentives, and Choice


In this chapter, an overview of the concept of choice provision and a discussion of the benefits and detriments of providing choice for motivation and learning in educational contexts is discussed. A review of the theoretical perspectives explaining how and why choice may have benefits, and sometimes detriments, is provided. In reviewing the relevant theories and the corresponding empirical evidence, we highlight a diverse set of perspectives – motivational, cognitive, social, and neuroscientific – to provide a nuanced understanding of the role of choice in educational settings. We focus the second half of the chapter on areas of contention within choice theory and research, including a discussion of the conceptual confluence of choice and autonomy and the various characteristics of individuals, tasks, choices, classrooms, and cultures that predict divergent choice effects. In closing the chapter, we discuss the implications of this research for educational practice and make recommendations for future research.

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