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We recently developed the Framework of Achievement Bests to explain the importance of effective functioning, personal growth, and enrichment of well-being experiences. This framework postulates a concept known as optimal achievement best, which stipulates the idea that individuals may, in general, strive to achieve personal outcomes, reflecting their maximum capabilities. Realistic achievement best, in contrast, indicates personal functioning that may show moderate capability without any aspiration, motivation, and/or effort expenditure. Furthermore, our conceptualization indicates the process of optimization, which involves the optimization of achievement of optimal best from realistic best. In this article, we explore the Framework of Achievement Bests by situating it within the context of student motivation. In our discussion of this theoretical orientation, we explore in detail the impact of instructional designs for effective mathematics learning as an optimizer of optimal achievement best. Our focus of examination of instructional designs is based, to a large extent, on cognitive load paradigm, theorized by Sweller and his colleagues. We contend that, in this case, cognitive load imposition plays a central role in the structure of instructional designs for effective learning, which could in turn influence individuals’ achievements of optimal best. This article, conceptual in nature, explores varying efficiencies of different instructional approaches, taking into consideration the potency of cognitive load imposition. Focusing on mathematical problem solving, we discuss the potentials for instructional approaches to influence individuals’ striving of optimal best from realistic best.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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