Untangling what teachers mean by the motivational value of practical work

Ian Zoller Abrahams, Rachael Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on a study of teachers’ views on the motivational value of
practical work. The findings suggest that what teachers frequently refer to as motivation is, in a psychological sense, better understood in terms of situational interest. The fact that situational interest is unlikely to endure beyond the end of a lesson helps to explain why students need to be continually re-stimulated by the frequent use of practical work. The implication is that simply doing more of the same practical work is unlikely to motivate students towards opting to study science in the post-compulsory phase of education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111
Number of pages115
JournalSchool Science Review
Issue number339
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • practical work
  • teachers
  • motivation

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