Tag Archives: motivation

Motivation = “Self-Determination” + Common Sense

Common sense tells us that teachers should offer clear goals and specific feedback. Research supports that guidance, with an important caveat. Continue reading



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What (De)Motivates Struggling Math Students?

When teachers focus on their students’ “innate math ability,” what happens to their students’ motivation? Researchers in Germany wanted to find out. Continue reading



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The Simplest Motivation Strategy that You’re (Probably) Not Using

Two simple techniques to overcome mundane daily obstacles make it much likelier that our students — and we — will get work done. Continue reading



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grades and motivation

True/False: Grades Motivate Students to Study Better?

The following story is true. (The names have been left out because I’ve forgotten them.) When I attended graduate school in education, I handed in my first essay with some trepidation, and lots of excitement. Like my classmates, I had



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personal best goals

New Research: Personal Best Goals (Might) Boost Learning

Some research-based suggestions for teaching require a lot of complex changes. (If you want to develop an interleaved syllabus, you’re going to need some time.) Others couldn’t be simpler to adopt. Here’s a suggestion from researchers Down Under: encourage your



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mindset controversy

The Mindset Controversy: Is It Time to Give Up?

Few theories have gotten more teacherly attention than Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset. As you no doubt know, she has found that a “fixed mindset” (the belief that ability and intelligence can’t really change) demotivates people. On the other hand,



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motivation vs. IQ

Motivation vs. IQ: Which Is More Important?

In the “motivation vs. IQ” debate, the Gottfrieds’ research suggests that intrinsic love of learning sets students on a path to lifetime fulfillment. And, parents can help them get there by encouraging curiosity. Continue reading



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Autonomy and Motivation

Self-determination theory, developed by Edward Deci & Richard Ryan, argues that people are motivated by a desire for three things: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. (Here‘s a handy place to brush up on self-determination theory.) This theory suggests that teachers can



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Promoting Motivation?

Over at 3 Star Learning Experiences, Kirschner and Neelan are skeptical about research into academic motivation. In essence, they argue that defining motivation can be quite a trick, and measuring it even more so. If we struggle to define and



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Gender and Competition

According to new research, a key difference might be the choice of opponent.  Whereas men typically prefer to compete against others, women often choose to compete against themselves. (As always: be careful about oversimplifcation of gender roles. I myself am much likelier to



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