Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Farber

Second Advisor

Dr. Dini Metro-Roland

Third Advisor

Dr. Allison Hart-Young


Motivation, engagement, intention, apathetic. practical knowledge

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper explores the conceptions of motivation from the standpoint of two very different types of discourse; the first from important theories of educational psychology such as Weiner’s attribution theory, Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory, and social constructivist theory of motivation, all of which rely on theoretical knowledge to investigate motivation; and the other found in philosophical/analytical discussions of motivation such as in the work of G.E.M. Anscombe, Julia Annas, and Rollo May, all of which make use of practical knowledge in their conceptualization of human motivation. The paper questions whether inquiry into motivation with the goal of positively impacting apathetic learners might be better served by the latter type which includes the concepts of intention and judgment as being components of practical knowledge and which may be characterized as expressing the moral dimension of motivation.