Thea Peetsma carries out research into the development of learner motivation, and particularly into decreasing motivation among adolescent school students. She focuses on the role of students’ time perspectives and especially their perspective on the future, in relation to their investment in school.
Peetsma has also studied motivation in innovative learning contexts and developed an intervention aimed at increasing students’ learning motivation. The focus of her current research and that of the coming years is on differentiation between students and a more in-depth study of the underlying motivational processes, aimed at developing interventions that are tailored to individual needs.
Peetsma has been chair of the UvA’s Department of Child Development and Education since 2011. She is also the programme director of PhD Training at the Graduate School of Child Development and Education. Between 1994 and 1998 she led a special research programme on educational and parenting difficulties at the UvA’s SCO-Kohnstamm Institute van de UvA. She was a research coordinator of the Division for Fundamental Research of that institute between 1998 and 2009.
Peetsma is a member of the editorial board of Educational Research Review and of Learning and Instruction, of which she was previously an associate editor. She has been an active member of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) for many years.