Beyond Cold Conceptual Change: The Role of Motivational Beliefs and Classroom Contextual Factors in the Process of Conceptual Change

Paul R. Pintrich, Ronald W. Marx, Robert A. Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Conceptual change models of student learning are useful for explicating the role of prior knowledge in students' learning and are very popular in the research on learning in the subject areas. This article presents an analysis of a conceptual change model for describing student learning by applying research on student motivation to the process of conceptual change. Four general motivational constructs (goals, values, self-efficacy, and control beliefs) are suggested as potential mediators of the process of conceptual change. In addition, there is a discussion of the role of classroom contextual factors as moderators of the relations between student motivation and conceptual change. The article highlights the theoretical difficulties of a cold, or overly rational, model of conceptual change that focuses only on student cognition without considering the ways in which students' motivational beliefs about themselves as learners and the roles of individuals in a classroom learning community can facilitate or hinder conceptual change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-199
Number of pages33
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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