Motivation and learning seminar


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This seminar accompanies the lecture slides that are also on slideshare. The aim of the seminar was to lexplore motivation and learning from the viewpoint of an educational psychologist, but also scaffold learning for the module assignment.

I adapted some exercises from Connexions website and from TeachingEdPsych website

As always, it would be great to get some feedback and share ideas around teaching and learning educational psychology. Also, if you use this material, it would be great to hear about how things went.

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Motivation and learning seminar

  1. 1. Educational Psychology Level 6 2012-2013Motivation and LearningLearning Outcomes - Apply your knowledge of motivation to a real case study. - Recognise individual differences in motivation - Develop a teacher expectation intervention. - Examine creativity and look for evidence of divergent thinking. - Consider motivations to learn in relation to your assignment seminars.Activity One: Motivations to LearnBelow are a teacher‟s recollections of how some of her students responded to ageneral science project on insects and spiders. In pairs, discuss and identify themotivations to learn for each child.Try to use some of the concepts introduced today: intrinsic motivation, extrinsicmotivation, effectance motivation, learned helplessness, contextualised,decontextualised, agency, mastery orientation, HLE, self-efficacy, self-esteem,empowerment, edutainment, creativity.1. Jose: “I remember Jose couldn‟t wait to get started, and couldn‟t bear to end the assignment either! Every day he brought more bugs or spiders—eventually 25 different kinds. Every day he drew pictures of them in his journal and wrote copious notes about them. At the end he gave the best oral presentation I‟ve ever seen from a third-grader; he called it „They Have Us Outnumbered!‟ I wish I had filmed it, he was so poised and so enthusiastic.” a) What are Jose‟s motivations to learn? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ b) How might the teacher enhance Jose‟s motivation to learn in future projects? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________2. Lindsey: “Then there was Lindsey—the one who was always wanted to be the best in everything, regardless of whether it interested her. She started off the work rather 1
  2. 2. slowly—just brought in a few bugs and only one spider. But she kept an eye on what everyone else was bringing, and how much. When she saw how much Jose was doing, though, she picked up her pace, like she was trying to match his level. Except that instead of bringing a diversity of creatures as Jose was doing, she just brought more and more of the same ones—almost twenty dead house flies, as I recall! Her presentation was OK—I really could not give her a bad mark for it—but it wasn‟t as creative or insightful as Jose‟s. I think she was more concerned about her mark than about the material.” a) What are Lindsey‟s motivations to learn? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ b) How might the teacher enhance Lindsey‟s motivation to learn in future projects? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________3. Tobias: “And there was Tobias—discouraging old Tobias. He did the work, but just barely. I noticed him looking a lot at other students‟ insect collections and at their journal entries. He wasn‟t cheating, I believe, just figuring out what the basic level of work was for the assignment—what he needed to do simply to avoid failing it. He brought in fewer bugs than most others, though still a number that was acceptable. He also wrote shorter answers in his journal and gave one of the shortest oral reports. It was all acceptable, but not much more than that.” a) What are Tobias‟ motivations to learn? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ b) How might the teacher enhance Tobias‟ motivation to learn in future projects? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________4. Zoey: “And Zoey: she was quite a case! I never knew whether to laugh or cry about her. She didn‟t exactly resist doing the assignment, but she certainly liked to chat with other students. So she was easily distracted, and that cut down on getting her work done, especially about her journal entries. What really saved her—what kept her work at a reasonably high level of quality—were the two girls 2
  3. 3. she ended up chatting with. The other two were already pretty motivated to do a lot with the assignment —create fine looking bug collections, write good journal entries, and make interesting oral presentations. So when Zoey attempted chitchat with them, the conversations often ended up focusing on the assignment anyway! She had them to thank for keeping her mind on the work. I don‟t know what Zoey would have done without them.”a) What are Zoey‟s motivations to learn? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________b) How might the teacher enhance Zoey‟s motivation to learn in future projects? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________Activity Two: High Expectation and Low Expectation TeachersDr Christine Rubie-Davies is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland.Her area of expertise is teacher expectations and the impact of high and lowexpectations upon students‟ motivations to learn. In one studyRubie-Davies (2006)found that over the academic year, students‟ self-perceptions declined in classeswith low expectation teachers. Teachers with high-expectations influence students‟self-perceptions positively (Rubie-Davies, 2005, 2007). Rubie-Davies (2010) arguedthat such research findingscould lead to interventions thatfoster the beliefs andpractices of high-expectation teachers among all teachers.Based on your knowledge of learning theories (and also general psychology),createan intervention to develop higher expectations amongst low-expectationteachers.Brief overview of your intervention:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________What are the theoretical underpinnings of your intervention? Why will it work? 3
  4. 4. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Activity Three: Divergent Thinking and Creativity a) In small groups, pick six words from the wordle below. b) Using your chosen words, construct a story to tell the rest of the group. The story can be silly, reasonable, or somewhere in between - it is up to you. c) To illustrate your story, draw a simple picture (no artistic talent needed). Try to incorporate your chosen words somehow. d) Choose someone to tellyour story to the class, while also showing the picture to the class.Group Discussion a) How much does this activity really use "divergent thinking"? How much does it use other cognitive or social skills? b) Does this exercise represent an example of "creativity"? Do the variations among the groups stories suggest that creativity was at work, or do the variations suggest something else is going on? c) Could people learn to do the activity better with practice? What does this imply about the nature of divergent thinking and creativity? 4
  5. 5. d) How could you use the above exercise if you were to deliver a training session about creativity for new teachers?Activity Four: Creating Motivating SeminarsOne of the requirements of your assignment is to include the “planned method ofdelivery with a rationale for the chosen method” for your seminars for teachers.The following activity can be discussed now as a group „thought shower‟ activity,used to „scaffold‟ the development of your seminar ideas, and assist in the writing ofyour assignment.In relation to your assignment, how might you motivate teachers to learn in yourseminar?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Thinking about your “intended audience / participants”, what might be the motivation forteachers to attend your seminar?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Thank you for participating in this session. Have a good weekend#edupsych 5