The best moments occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen. … These periods of overcoming challenges are what people find to be the most enjoyable times of their lives. … By stretching skills, by reaching toward higher challenges, such a person becomes an increasingly extraordinary individual.
—Csikszentmihalyi (1990, p. 6)
This chapter focuses on the personal capabilities needed for motivation to learn. Self-agency, self-motivation, self-determination, and empowerment are terms used to describe the personal capabilities that enable students to be independent learners and develop a core of resiliency. A framework for the development of personal capabilities is a social-cognitive perspective of selfregulation. This refers to the degree to which “students are metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviorally active participants in their own learning process” (Zimmerman, 2001, p. 5). The use of self-regulatory capabilities was found to differentiate between underprepared and regular admission college students (Ley & Young, 1998), differentiate between high and low achieving high school students (Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986), and improve performance of students with LD (Graham, Harris, & Troia, 1998).