Dr. Avi Kaplan’s research interests focus on student and teacher motivation and identity development, with particular interest in the role of the environment in these processes. His recent research involves the application of the complex dynamic systems approach to identity and motivation, and employing collaborative design-based interventions that focus on promoting educators’ and students’ motivation and identity exploration around the curriculum. His recent publications include chapters in the 2012 APA Educational Psychology Handbook on the application of motivation theory to educational practice, in the 2016 Handbook of Motivation at School on learning environments and motivation, and in the 2019 Advances in Motivation and Achievement volume on motivation and identity in the 21st century. Avi is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, of Division 15 of the American Psychological Association, and of the Eastern Psychological Association. He is the former editor of the Journal of Experimental Education, and serves on the editorial boards of the Educational Psychologist, the Journal of Educational Psychology, and Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Research Interests

  • Motivation
  • Identity
  • Learning Environments

Courses Taught




EDUC 5402

Child and Adol Develop


EDUC 8401

Philosophical Foundations of Educational Research


EDUC 8501

Motivation in Education


HIED 8262

Advanced Practice-Based Qualitative Research in Higher Education


EPSY 5523

Introduction to Educational Psychology


EPSY 5561

Development and Learning Over the Lifespan


EPSY 8986

Proseminar in Educational Psychology


Selected Publications

  • Mara, K.R., Kaplan, A., Balsai, M.J., Cromley, J.G., Perez, T., & Dai, T. (2021). How instructors can enhance biology students' motivation, learning, and grades through brief relevance writing and worked-example interventions. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 22(2). doi: 10.1128/JMBE.00110-21

  • Garner, J.K. & Kaplan, A. (2021). A complex dynamic systems approach to the design and evaluation of teacher professional development. Professional Development in Education, 47(2-3), pp. 289-314. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2021.1879231

  • Carver, A., Garner, J.K., Kaplan, A., & Pugh, K.J. (2021). Visitors’ attendance motivation and meaning making at a public science event. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 11(1), pp. 75-89. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2021.1874620

  • Hathcock, S.J., Garner, J.K., & Kaplan, A. (2020). Examining micro-change within and among science teachers' identities: A multiple case study. Science Education, 104(5), pp. 827-856. doi: 10.1002/sce.21577

  • Kaplan, A. & Garner, J.K. (2020). Steps for Applying the Complex Dynamical Systems Approach in Educational Research: A Guide for the Perplexed Scholar. Journal of Experimental Education, 88(3), pp. 486-502. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2020.1745738

  • Kaplan, A., Cromley, J., Perez, T., Dai, T., Mara, K., & Balsai, M. (2020). The Role of Context in Educational RCT Findings: A Call to Redefine “Evidence-Based Practice”. Educational Researcher, 49(4), pp. 285-288. doi: 10.3102/0013189X20921862

  • Urdan, T. & Kaplan, A. (2020). The origins, evolution, and future directions of achievement goal theory. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 61. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101862

  • Garner, J.K., Kaplan, A., Hathcock, S., & Bergey, B. (2020). Concept Mapping as a Mechanism for Assessing Science Teachers’ Cross-Disciplinary Field-Based Learning. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 31(1), pp. 8-33. doi: 10.1080/1046560X.2019.1625573

  • Bergey, B.W., Ranellucci, J., & Kaplan, A. (2019). The conceptualization of costs and barriers of a teaching career among Latino preservice teachers. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 59. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.101794

  • Kaplan, A., Neuber, A., & Garner, J.K. (2019). An identity systems perspective on high ability in self-regulated learning. High Ability Studies, 30(1-2), pp. 53-78. doi: 10.1080/13598139.2019.1568830

  • Perez, T., Dai, T., Kaplan, A., Cromley, J.G., Brooks, W.D., White, A.C., Mara, K.R., & Balsai, M.J. (2019). Interrelations among expectancies, task values, and perceived costs in undergraduate biology achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 72, pp. 26-38. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2019.04.001

  • Garner, J.K. & Kaplan, A. (2019). A complex dynamic systems perspective on teacher learning and identity formation: an instrumental case. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 25(1), pp. 7-33. doi: 10.1080/13540602.2018.1533811

  • Kaplan, A., Garner, J.K., & Brock, B. (2019). Identity and motivation in a changing world: A complex dynamic systems perspective. In Advances in Motivation and Achievement, 20 (pp. 101-127). doi: 10.1108/S0749-742320190000020006

  • O'Shea, A. & Kaplan, A. (2018). Disability identity and use of services among college students with psychiatric disabilities. Qualitative Psychology, 5(3), pp. 358-379. doi: 10.1037/qup0000099

  • Hartwell, M. & Kaplan, A. (2018). Students' Personal Connection with Science: Investigating the Multidimensional Phenomenological Structure of Self-Relevance. Journal of Experimental Education, 86(1), pp. 86-104. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2017.1381581

  • Kaplan, A. & Garner, J.K. (2018). Teacher identity and motivation: The dynamic systems model of role identity. In Research on Teacher Identity: Mapping Challenges and Innovations (pp. 71-82). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-93836-3_7

  • Kaplan, A. & Garner, J.K. (2017). A complex dynamic systems perspective on identity and its development: The dynamic systems model of role identity. Developmental Psychology, 53(11), pp. 2036-2051. doi: 10.1037/dev0000339

  • Garner, J.K., Alley, M., Haas, C., Sontgerath, S., & Kaplan, A. (2017). Developing a role identity as an ambassador through hands-on activities. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2017-June.

  • Granit-Dgani, D., Kaplan, A., & Flum, H. (2017). Theory-based assessment in environmental education: a tool for formative evaluation. Environmental Education Research, 23(2), pp. 269-299. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1144172

  • Madjar, N., Weinstock, M., & Kaplan, A. (2017). Epistemic beliefs and achievement goal orientations: Relations between constructs versus personal profiles. Journal of Educational Research, 110(1), pp. 32-49. doi: 10.1080/00220671.2015.1034353

  • Kaplan, A. & Yahia, Y. (2017). High school students’ academic causal attributions in the cultural-political context of the Arab school system in Israel. Intercultural Education, 28(1), pp. 60-74. doi: 10.1080/14675986.2016.1271558

  • Garner, J.K., Kaplan, A., & Pugh, K. (2016). Museums as Contexts for Transformative Experiences and Identity Development. Journal of Museum Education, 41(4), pp. 341-352. doi: 10.1080/10598650.2016.1199343

  • Gunersel, A.B., Kaplan, A., Barnett, P., Etienne, M., & Ponnock, A.R. (2016). Profiles of change in motivation for teaching in higher education at an American research university. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(6), pp. 628-643. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2016.1163668

  • Peterson, S.K. & Kaplan, A. (2016). Bayesian analysis in educational psychology research: An example of gender differences in achievement goals. Learning and Individual Differences, 47, pp. 129-135. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.01.005

  • Kaplan, A. & Patrick, H. (2016). Learning Environments and Motivation. In K.R. Wentzel & D.B. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of Motivation at School (pp. 251-274). New York and London: Routledge.

  • Flum, H. & Kaplan, A. (2016). Higher education in a transforming society: The case of Arabs in Israel. International Journal of Educational Research, 76, pp. 89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2016.02.008

  • Kaplan, A. (2015). Opinion: Paradigms, methods, and the (as yet) failed striving for methodological diversity in educational psychology published research. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01370

  • Lichtinger, E. & Kaplan, A. (2015). Employing a case study approach to capture motivation and self-regulation of young students with learning disabilities in authentic educational contexts. Metacognition and Learning, 10(1), pp. 119-149. doi: 10.1007/s11409-014-9131-1

  • Cromley, J.G., Perez, T., & Kaplan, A. (2015). Undergraduate STEM Achievement and Retention: Cognitive, Motivational, and Institutional Factors and Solutions. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(1), pp. 4-11. doi: 10.1177/2372732215622648

  • Ben-Eliyahu, A. & Kaplan, A. (2015). Growth curve modeling analysis of social and academic coping during elementary school. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 41, pp. 99-109. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2015.09.001

  • Pendergast, L.L. & Kaplan, A. (2015). Instructional context and student motivation, learning, and development: Commentary and implications for school psychologists. School Psychology International, 36(6), pp. 638-647. doi: 10.1177/0143034315613560

  • Kaplan, A. (2014). Section commentary: Theory and research on teachers' motivation mapping an emerging conceptual terrain. In Teacher Motivation: Theory and Practice (pp. 52-66). doi: 10.4324/9780203119273

  • Perez, T., Cromley, J.G., & Kaplan, A. (2014). The role of identity development, values, and costs in college STEM retention. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(1), pp. 315-329. doi: 10.1037/a0034027

  • Sideridis, G.D., Kaplan, A., Papadopoulos, C., & Anastasiadis, V. (2014). The affective experience of normative-performance and outcome goal pursuit: Physiological, observed, and self-report indicators. Learning and Individual Differences, 32, pp. 114-123. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2014.03.006

  • Kaplan, A., Sinai, M., & Flum, H. (2014). Design-based interventions for promoting students' identity exploration within the school curriculum. Advances in Motivation and Achievement, 18, pp. 243-291. doi: 10.1108/S0749-742320140000018007

  • Flum, H. & Kaplan, A. (2012). Identity formation in educational settings: A contextualized view of theory and research in practice. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37(3), pp. 240-245. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2012.01.003

  • Sinai, M., Kaplan, A., & Flum, H. (2012). Promoting identity exploration within the school curriculum: A design-based study in a Junior High literature lesson in Israel. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37(3), pp. 195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2012.01.006

  • Kaplan, A. & Flum, H. (2012). Identity formation in educational settings: A critical focus for education in the 21st century. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37(3), pp. 171-175. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2012.01.005

  • Karspeck, A.R., Kaplan, A., & Sain, S.R. (2012). Bayesian modelling and ensemble reconstruction of mid-scale spatial variability in North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures for 1850-2008. QUARTERLY JOURNAL of the ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 138(662), pp. 234-248. doi: 10.1002/qj.900

  • Madjar, N., Kaplan, A., & Weinstock, M. (2011). Clarifying mastery-avoidance goals in high school: Distinguishing between intrapersonal and task-based standards of competence. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(4), pp. 268-279. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2011.03.003

  • Sideridis, G.D. & Kaplan, A. (2011). Achievement goals and persistence across tasks: The roles of failure and success. Journal of Experimental Education, 79(4), pp. 429-451. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2010.539634

  • Lichtinger, E. & Kaplan, A. (2011). Purpose of engagement in academic self-regulation. New Directions for Teaching and Learning(126), pp. 9-19. doi: 10.1002/tl.440

  • Patrick, H., Kaplan, A., & Ryan, A.M. (2011). Positive Classroom Motivational Environments: Convergence Between Mastery Goal Structure and Classroom Social Climate. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), pp. 367-382. doi: 10.1037/a0023311

  • Katz, I., Kaplan, A., & Buzukashvily, T. (2011). The role of parents' motivation in students' autonomous motivation for doing homework. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), pp. 376-386. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2011.04.001

  • Kaplan, A., Lichtinger, E., & Margulis, M. (2011). The situated dynamics of purposes of engagement and self-regulation strategies: A mixed-methods case study of writing. Teachers College Record, 113(2), pp. 284-324.

  • Bergey, B.W. & Kaplan, A. (2010). What do social groups have to do with culture? The crucial role of shared experience. Frontiers in Psychology, 1(NOV). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00199

  • Kaplan, A. & Flum, H. (2010). Achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles. Educational Research Review, 5(1), pp. 50-67. doi: 10.1016/j.edurev.2009.06.004

  • Kaplan, A. & Flum, H. (2009). Motivation and identity: The relations of action and development in educational contextsan introduction to the special issue. Educational Psychologist, 44(2), pp. 73-77. doi: 10.1080/00461520902832418

  • Cohen-Malayev, M., Assor, A., & Kaplan, A. (2009). Religious exploration in a modern world: The case of Modern-Orthodox Jews in Israel. Identity, 9(3), pp. 233-251. doi: 10.1080/15283480903344547

  • Katz, I., Kaplan, A., & Gueta, G. (2009). Students' needs, teachers' support, and motivation for doing homework: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Experimental Education, 78(2), pp. 246-267. doi: 10.1080/00220970903292868

  • Assor, A., Vansteenkiste, M., & Kaplan, A. (2009). Identified Versus Introjected Approach and Introjected Avoidance Motivations in School and in Sports: The Limited Benefits of Self-Worth Strivings. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(2), pp. 482-497. doi: 10.1037/a0014236

  • Kaplan, A., Lichtinger, E., & Gorodetsky, M. (2009). Achievement Goal Orientations and Self-Regulation in Writing: An Integrative Perspective. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(1), pp. 51-69. doi: 10.1037/a0013200

  • Kaplan, A. (2008). Clarifying metacognition, self-regulation, and self-regulated learning: What's the purpose? Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), pp. 477-484. doi: 10.1007/s10648-008-9087-2

  • Anderman, L.H. & Kaplan, A. (2008). The role of interpersonal relationships in student motivation: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Experimental Education, 76(2), pp. 115-119. doi: 10.3200/JEXE.76.2.115-120

  • Kaplan, A. (2008). Investigating the integration of motivational orientations and self-regulation strategies: Employing a stimulated recall methodology. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL of PSYCHOLOGY, 43(3-4), pp. 356-356. Retrieved from

  • Kaplan, A. & Maehr, M.L. (2007). The contributions and prospects of goal orientation theory. Educational Psychology Review, 19(2), pp. 141-184. doi: 10.1007/s10648-006-9012-5

  • Levy-Tossman, I., Kaplan, A., & Assor, A. (2007). Academic goal orientations, multiple goal profiles, and friendship intimacy among early adolescents. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32(2), pp. 231-252. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2006.06.001

  • Patrick, H., Ryan, A.M., & Kaplan, A. (2007). Early adolescents' perceptions of the classroom social environment, motivational beliefs, and engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(1), pp. 83-98. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.99.1.83

  • Flum, H. & Kaplan, A. (2006). Exploratory orientation as an educational goal. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), pp. 99-110. doi: 10.1207/s15326985ep4102_3

  • Bereby-Meyer, Y. & Kaplan, A. (2005). Motivational influences on transfer of problem-solving strategies. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30(1), pp. 1-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2004.06.003

  • Yonah, Y., Abu-Saad, I., & Kaplan, A. (2004). De-arabization of the bedouin: A study of an inevitable failure. Interchange, 35(4), pp. 387-406. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1007/bf02698890

  • Levy, I., Kaplan, A., & Patrick, H. (2004). Early adolescents' achievement goals, social status, and attitudes towards cooperation with peers. Social Psychology of Education, 7(2), pp. 127-159. doi: 10.1023/B:SPOE.0000018547.08294.b6

  • Middleton, M.J., Kaplan, A., & Midgley, C. (2004). The change in middle school students' achievement goals in mathematics over time. Social Psychology of Education, 7(3), pp. 289-311. doi: 10.1023/B:SPOE.0000037484.86850.fa

  • Kaplan, A. & Middleton, M.J. (2002). Should childhood be a journey or a race? Response to Harackiewicz et al. (2002). JOURNAL of EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 94(3), pp. 646-648. doi: 10.1037//0022-0663.94.3.646

  • Kaplan, A. & Middleton, M.J. (2002). Should childhood be a journey of a race? Response to Harackiewicz et al. (2002). Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), pp. 646-648. American Psychological Association (APA). doi: 10.1037//0022-0663.94.3.646

  • Sagy, S., Adwan, S., & Kaplan, A. (2002). Interpretations of the past and expectations for the future among Israeli and Palestinian youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72(1), pp. 26-38. American Psychological Association (APA). doi: 10.1037//0002-9432.72.1.26

  • Sagy, S., Adwan, S., & Kaplan, A. (2002). Interpretations of the past and expectations for the future among Israeli and Palestinian youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72(1), pp. 26-38. doi: 10.1037/0002-9432.72.1.26

  • Kaplan, A., Abu-Sa'ad, I., & Yonah, Y. (2001). Jewish-Arab relations in Israel: Perceptions, emotions, and attitudes of university students of education. Intercultural Education, 12(3), pp. 289-307. Informa UK Limited. doi: 10.1080/14675980120087499

  • Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., & Middleton, M. (2001). Performance-approach goals: Good for what, for whom, under what circumstances, and at what cost? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), pp. 77-86. American Psychological Association (APA). doi: 10.1037//0022-0663.93.1.77

  • Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., & Middleton, M. (2001). Performance-approach goals: Good for what, for whom, under what circumstances, and at what cost? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), pp. 77-86. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.93.1.77

  • Abu-Saad, I., Yonah, Y., & Kaplan, A. (2000). Identity and political stability in an ethnically diverse state: A study of Bedouin Arab Youth in Israel. Social Identities, 6(1), pp. 49-61. doi: 10.1080/13504630051354

  • Kaplan, A. & Maehr, M.L. (1999). Achievement Goals and Student Well-Being. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24(4), pp. 330-358. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.0993

  • Maehr, M.L., Kaplan, S.K.A., & Peng, W. (1999). Culture, Motivation and Achievement: Towards Meeting the New Challenge. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 19(2), pp. 15-29. Informa UK Limited. doi: 10.1080/0218879990190203

  • Kaplan, A. & Midgley, C. (1999). The relationship between perceptions of the classroom goal structure and early adolescents' affect in school: The mediating role of coping strategies. Learning and Individual Differences, 11(2), pp. 187-212. doi: 10.1016/S1041-6080(00)80005-9

  • Kaplan, A. & Maehr, M.L. (1999). Enhancing the motivation of African American students: An achievement goal theory perspective. Journal of Negro Education, 68(1), pp. 23-41. doi: 10.2307/2668207

  • Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., Middleton, M., Maehr, M.L., Urdan, T., Anderman, L.H., Anderman, E., & Roeser, R. (1998). The Development and Validation of Scales Assessing Students' Achievement Goal Orientations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 23(2), pp. 113-131. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1998.0965

  • Kaplan, A. & Midgley, C. (1997). The effect of achievement goals: Does level of perceived academic competence make a difference? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22(4), pp. 415-435. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1997.0943