Judith Meece

Judith Meece is Co-Director of the Rural High School Aspirations Project and Investigator for the Rural Early Adolescent Learning Program of the National Research Center on Rural Education Support. Dr. Meece is a member of the School of Education faculty and serves as Area Chair of Human Development and Psychological Studies. Dr. Meece teaches courses on development, learning, and educational psychology for pre-service and experienced teachers. She is also a nationally recognized scholar in the field of achievement motivation, and she has provided professional development for teachers to enhance student academic engagement and motivation in schools across the country. Dr. Meece’s research focuses on the role of classroom and school environments in the development of adolescents' academic motivation and future aspirations, and she is especially interested in the influence of school transitions on achievement motivation, learning, and school adjustment. Dr. Meece has completed a national study of 5600 middle and high school students from rural, suburban, and urban communities. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of learner-centered teaching practices on student academic motivation and achievement. Dr. Meece has also served as an educational consultant to North Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (NCDJJDP) for five years. She was responsible for developing and implementing an educational program in a juvenile detention facility that was designed to re-engage troubled youth in learning. This effort involved providing in-service training to DJJDP teachers in a rural area of North Carolina. Dr. Meece grew up on a farm in Southeastern Michigan and spent many summers with her extended family in rural Illinois. She also served as co-principal investigator of Gear-Up in Ohio (1999-2000), which targeted youths in the Appalachian regions of Southern Ohio. Dr. Meece’s future research interests focus on the effects of high school reform efforts on students’ transitions to the workforce or college.


Recent Related Publications

Meece, J., & Painter, J. (in press). Gender, self-regulation, and motivation. In D. Schunk & B. Zimmerman (Eds.). Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning. New York: Routledge/Taylor Francis.

Meece, J.L., & Daniels, D. (2008). Child Development for Educators. New York: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Schunk, D., Pintrich, P., & Meece, J. (2008). Motivation in Education. Theory, Research, and Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

Meece, J., Glienke, B., & Burg, S. (2006). Gender and motivation. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 351-353.

Meece, J. L. & Foreman, K. (2004, October). The HEART Project: Blended Education & Treatment. Final Report submitted to the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Meece, J.L., Herman, P., & McCombs, B. (2003). Relations of learner-centered teaching practices to adolescents’ achievement goals. International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 457-475.

Meece, J. L. (2003). Applying learner-centered principles to middle school education. Theory into Practice, 42, 109-116.

Meece, J.L., & Kurtz-Costes, B. (2001). Introduction: The schooling of ethnic minority children and youth. Educational Psychologist, 36, 1-7.

Meece, J.L. (1997). Improving Student Motivation: A Guide for Teachers and School Improvement Teams. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement Educational Resources Information Center.

Related Research Projects
Dr. Meece directed the educational component of the Holistic Enrichment for At-Risk Teens (HEART) project to develop a classroom environment and curriculum to re-engage incarcerated youth in learning. Funded by North Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DJJDP), this project was implemented in a rural county of North Carolina. Dr. Meece was also Co-Principal Investigator of the Developmental and Contextual Perspective on Identity and Learning in Reform-Oriented Mathematics Classrooms (MIDDLE) project (funded by the National Science Foundation), which examined the influence of instructional strategies on adolescents’ conceptual understanding, achievement, peer relations, and motivation in middle school mathematics classrooms. This project served as the basis for teacher training in the Center’s outreach efforts in 2005-2006.


Judith Meece
School of Education
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
114 Peabody Hall
CB# 3500
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
(919) 962-9295