If motivation is the desire to act or move toward a particular activity, task or goal, just what influences one’s desire to do so remains complex. The impact of social context, or even just the perception of social context, can greatly influence what one attributes to their sense of self, as conveyed in attribution theory (AT), their perception of self-worth, as conveyed in self-worth theories (SWT) and subsequently their mindset and their behaviour to act, as conveyed in self-determination theory (SDT). Even more unclear is exactly what role the education system plays in fostering/hindering one’s motivation to learn. It is clear however, that the structure of the education system, the influence of educator’s actions and attitudes (whether deliberate or inadvertent), and the nature of peer competition can act as detrimental forces on the impact of one’s sense of ability and self. Educational policy that is created based on generalizations about universally innate human abilities, needs and drives, makes the question of how to foster intrinsically motivated students in schools even more challenging. Outside school programs such as Motivate Canada, which aim to foster motivation in youth by strengthening their self-confidence, and in-school programs, such as Inter-A, which aims to generate intrinsic, mastery orientated motivation, may not address all the complex factors underlying student motivation, but are a good start. Subsequently, motivational theories, despite their inconclusiveness provide hope that for students to grow into emotionally well-adjusted adults prepared to constructively contribute to our societies.