Student conceptions of motivation to study in upper secondary school in Sweden revealed through phenomenography
Lena Boström 1 * , Göran Bostedt 1
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1 Department of Education, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
* Corresponding Author


The motivation to study may affect students’ successes and setbacks in their studies. Research has shown that multiple factors affect students’ motivation to study. The purpose of this article is to describe how students conceptualize the motivation to study. We gathered empirical data through group interviews with 32 Swedish students in six study programs. Through phenomenographical analyses, we identified six categories of how students experience the motivation to study: the importance of teachers, the subject, student characteristics and attitude, study results, and support from friends and family and the environment. Within each category, we distinguished various aspects. Differences in conceptions between students and programs or types of programs exist, but they are small. Only students from study preparation programs emphasized the importance of student characteristics and attitude for increasing study motivation and getting good jobs. The study’s results show both general and distinctive content in the meaning of study motivation. We make recommendations to develop incentives for all students, not just those who have favourable socio-economic study conditions, to develop motivational strategies to study.



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