Teaching Motivation for Student Engagement

Edited by:
Debra K. Meyer, Elmhurst University
Alyssa Emery, Iowa State University

A volume in the series: Theory to Practice: Educational Psychology for Teachers and Teaching. Editor(s): Mike Yough, Oklahoma State University. Jane S. Vogler, Oklahoma State University. Eric M. Anderman, The Ohio State University.

Published 2021

Helping teachers understand and apply theory and research is one of the most challenging tasks of teacher preparation and professional development. As they learn about motivation and engagement, teachers need conceptually rich, yet easy-to-use, frameworks. At the same time, teachers must understand that student engagement is not separate from development, instructional decision-making, classroom management, student relationships, and assessment. This volume on teaching teachers about motivation addresses these challenges. The authors share multiple approaches and frameworks to cut through the growing complexity and variety of motivational theories, and tie theory and research to real-world experiences that teachers are likely to encounter in their courses and classroom experiences. Additionally, each chapter is summarized with key “take away” practices.

A shared perspective across all the chapters in this volume on teaching teachers about motivation is “walking the talk.” In every chapter, readers will be provided with rich examples of how research on and principles of classroom motivation can be re-conceptualized through a variety of college teaching strategies. Teachers and future teachers learning about motivation need to experience explicit modeling, practice, and constructive feedback in their college courses and professional development in order to incorporate those into their own practice. In addition, a core assumption throughout this volume is the importance of understanding the situated nature of motivation, and avoiding a “one-size-fits” all approach in the classroom. Teachers need to fully interrogate their instructional practices not only in terms of motivational principles, but also for their cultural relevance, equity, and developmental appropriateness.

Just like P-12 students, college students bring their histories as learners and beliefs about motivation to their formal study of motivation. That is why college instructors teaching motivation must begin by helping students evaluate their personal beliefs and experiences. Relatedly, college instructors need to know their students and model differentiating their interactions to support each of them. The authors in this volume have, collectively, decades of experience teaching at the college level and conducting research in motivation, and provide readers with a variety of strategies to help teachers and future teachers explore how motivation is supported and undermined. In each chapter in this volume, readers will learn how college instructors can demonstrate what effective, motivationally supportive classrooms look, sound, and feel like.

Introduction: Teaching Teachers about Classroom Motivation, Debra K. Meyer and Alyssa Emery. SECTION I: ADDRESSING PRINCIPLES AND ISSUES IN TEACHING MOTIVATION. Understanding the Practical, Contextual, and Malleable Nature of Motivation—And Why It Matters, Lauren C. Hensley, Anna Brady, Yeo-eun Kim, and Robin Sayers. How Energy Flows in Groups: Motivational Dynamics in the Classroom, Kelly B. Henry and Holly Arrow. Common Misconceptions and Challenges in the Teaching of Motivation Principles, Marcus Lee Johnson, Ashley R. Vaughn, and Gita Taasoobshirazi. Shifting Mindsets Before Teaching Mindsets: The Role of Belief Change Among Preservice Teachers Learning about Motivation, Melissa C. Duffy and Gregory J. Trevors. Cultivating the Motivation of African American Students, Kimberley Edelin Freeman, Elizabeth D. Ricks, Danyelle Tauryce Ireland, Felicia Gangloff-Bailey, and Oral B. Grant. Understanding Psychological Needs to Guide Culturally-Responsive Instruction for Students from Under-Represented Minority Backgrounds, Sharon Zumbrunn, Christine Bae, Jennifer Furman, and Marquita Sea. SECTION II: TEACHING AND MODELING MOTIVATION IN THE COLLEGE CLASSROOM. Using the Essential Self-Regulation Model as an Organizational Structure to Teach Motivation, Steven R. Wininger, Antony D. Norman, and Lisa C. Duffin. Teaching and Modeling Motivation to Support Learning: Four Principles for Fostering Motivationally-Supportive Classrooms, Charlotte A. Agger and Alison C. Koenka. Teaching with Visible Motivation Principles: Autonomy, Belonging, Competence, and Meaning (ABC+M), Rhonda Bondie and Akane Zusho. Motivating Calvin: Using Problem-Based Learning to Teach Motivation, Kevin J. Pugh. Using Case-Based Instruction to Promote Preservice Teachers’ Understanding and Application of Motivation Theory, Amanda R. Baker and Alyssa Emery. From Theory to Practice: Scaffolding Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of Student Motivation and Engagement, Sheree E. Springer, Janice A. Dole, and Colli R. Lucas. Biographies.