Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Motivation and Student Value

I have been meaning to write an amazing commentary about these quotes, but realized I just kept putting it off. So, here are the excerpts from a chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences that taps into some themes I am really excited about. 

"There are several ways in which students can value subject matter. Intrinsic value is influenced by interest for the topic and enjoyment experienced when performing the task. Instrumental value refers to students' perceptions of how tasks are related to their future goals and everyday life. Attainment value refers to the personal importance that students place on accomplishing the task."

"Drawing connections to student's personal lives, embedding the introduction of new concepts and skills within meaningful tasks, and emphasizing the instrumental value of mastering a skill or doing well in a subject matter enhances value . . . A second way to enhance value is by incorporating topics that students find interesting."

"Teachers can support autonomy by allowing students to make decisions about topics, selection and planning of activities, and artifact development. When teacher practices are autonomy-supportive, students respond with increased interest and willingly approach challenges."

"One instructional challenge is to determine what students find meaningful."

"Descriptions of how students engage in initial experiences with inquiry suggest that another motivational challenge is that students are often interested in surface features of the investigation, not in the underlying content. Students often get excited about what they are seeing and doing during inquiry. However, students who lack the skills cited above can appear interested an excited about what they are doing, even though this does not necessarily translate into cognitive engagement with the content."

"Beyond the classroom, collaboration with other students, experts, and neighborhood members enhances student motivation. Students are excited when they have the chance to communicate with other students outside of the classroom via the World Wide Web. Opportunities for sharing work with their peers and community members beyond the classroom enhance feelings of ownership and value."

"To meet the instructional challenges of motivating students and promoting cognitive engagement  teachers must be motivated and invested in improving their own knowledge and enactment skills."

"We argue that the field (of Learning Sciences) would profit from making motivation an explicit concern."

Kempler, Toni M., and Joseph S. Krajcik. "Motivation and Cognitive Engagement in Learning Environments." The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. By Phyllis C. Blumenfeld. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. 475-86. Print.

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