Making the Grade

A Self-Worth Perspective on Motivation and School Reform

Achievement behavior in schools can be understood best in terms of students' attempts to maintain a positive self-image. For many students, expending effort is frightening because a combination of effort and failure implies low ability. They have a variety of techniques for avoiding failure, ranging from cheating to setting goals that are so easily achieved that no risk is involved. Although teachers usually reward achievement and punish lack of effort, for many students risking the sense of defeat that comes from trying hard and not succeeding is too daunting. In Making the Grade, Martin Covington extracts powerful educational implications from self-worth theory and other contemporary views that will be useful for educators, parents, and all people concerned with the educational dilemmas we face.


 Reviews:

"...very readable, insightful, and sensible. It offers a framework for curriculum planning, raises questions concerning what should be the goals of education and suggests some meaningful ways schools can prepare students for the future...provides a valuable discussion of the motivation issues that need greater attention in debates on school reform." Judith L. Meece, Educational Researcher

"An extensive and thoughtful conversation about achievement behavior (motivation). It is a book that is hard to put down if one is seriously inquiring into the topic." Choice

"...presents a good compilation of the author's research over the last 20 years. The book is very readable, insightful, and sensible. It offers a framework for curriculum planning, raises questions concerning what should be the goals of education, and suggests some meaningful ways schools can prepare students for the future....a valuable discussion of the motivation issues that need greater attention in debates on school reform." Educational Researcher