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Ability conceptions, motivation and development

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In this article, I use the literature on the development of ability conceptions to emphasize several points about motivation and development: (1) that development does not always proceed toward one correct or mature concept; (2) that analogous concepts or conceptual frameworks can arise at different points in development; and (3) that there is a critical difference between when a concept is formed and when it has motivational impact. Here I will show that only when ability conceptions coalesce into a coherent framework (a 'meaning system') do they begin to exert a consistent and systematic influence on children's motivation. I also suggest that within their constructed meaning systems, children may follow qualitatively different developmental trajectories.

Language: English


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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