Helping Kids Achieve Their Best

Understanding and Using Motivation in the Classroom (revised edition)

Dennis M. McInerney, The Education University of Hong Kong

Published 2006

This is a practical guide to motivating younger and older learners. It looks at why some students are easier to motivate than others, and why students lose motivation as they become older. McInerney outlines strategies teachers can use in the classroom, taking into account the needs of students from different backgrounds. The book is richly illustrated with vignettes and case studies, and includes questions and exercises to help teachers apply the suggested approaches in their own situations.

Foreword. Introduction. Chapter 1. Motivation and Learning. Chapter 2. What’s In It for Me? Chapter 3. Why Should I Do It? You Can’t Make Me Do It! Chapter 4. Shooting for Goals. Chapter 5. I Feel Good About Myself. Chapter 6. Why Did I Fail? Chapter 7. Stars, Stamps, and Jelly Beans (or Treat Them Like Animals). Chapter 8. But I Teach Well, Don’t I? Recommended Reading and References.

"This very accessible book reflects the insight and breadth of understanding of an acknowledged expert. It also instructs in a most engaging fashion. While current theory and research provide a sound substantive base, the author has succeeded in speaking realistically and engagingly to those who must put theory into pratice in the everyday world of school. It is not just a book about motivation, though it certainly handles that topic competently. It is above all a significant contribution to the practice of teaching, especially as it engagingly portrays challenges and solutions for eliciting a student’s best efforts toward thoughful learning. Unlike many, if not most, texts, this one is truly interactive in nature. This should not only encourage the reader to pay attention but also to become a coconstructor of meaningful and useful ways to approach teaching. In design and content, this book practises what it preaches regarding teaching, motivation and learning. As one who has spent a career reading books on “motivation,” I can recall only a mere few that have managed to hit the right tone for those who would teach. And, this one does so fully mindful of current theory and research. This is an excellent little book for a wide variety of classes, but especially for classes that are designed to help prospective teachers develop an approach to the persistent questions of student motivation." Martin L. Maehr University of Michigan