This research examined the influence of the educational system on schoolchildren’s subject academic motivation. The intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of the study of mathematics and Russian language in elementary schoolchildren enrolled in the Elkonin-Davydov system of developmental education (N = 337) and the so-called traditional education (N = 669) is analyzed. The children enrolled in the developmental education classes showed significantly higher rates of intrinsic motivation and identified motivation, which are two most beneficial types of academic motivation. This means that learning activities in the developmental education classes are more so than in the so-called traditional classes are based on interest, desire for self-development and understanding the value of the educational process. Another meaningful and independent contribution to the quality of academic motivation (especially children’s intrinsic motivation and identified motivation) is made by children’s satisfaction with their teachers’ personality. Features of developmental education that contribute to student motivation are discussed.