Using motivation theories
to sustainably maximise
outcomes in school.
to fill the spaces untouched by programs like Art andScience of teaching andVisible Learning.
to engage teachers’ motivation to improve teaching using autonomy supportive approaches.
To engage student’s motivation to improve learning behaviours.
Motivation is an internal and personal decision but can be changed by external
factors over time.
Students are individuals whose motivations are derived from all previous
experiences. Motivations may be dysfunctional, but they aren’t ‘bad’ or
Motivational factors such as prior success are all high performers in Hattie’s
The more ‘autonomous’ or internalised motivation is, the more effective it is in
affecting sustainable behaviours.
Sincerity is necessary forgood professional relationships.
Motivation can be effected by environmental factors (nudges) that meet the
three needs of efficacy, relatedness, and autonomy.
Efficacy, relatedness, autonomy, social maturity and emotional maturity all
interact in producing motivation.
Efficacy beliefs (expectations of possibility and probability of success orfailure)
in a specific context is a key driver in motivation and continued effort.
Rewards and punishments (including grades and comparison) are demotivating.
Autonomous supporting environments are better for motivation than controlling
Ability beliefs are better for motivation than competence beliefs. (similarto
growth and fixed mindset)
Learning goals are better for motivation than performance goals.
Growth mindset is better for motivation than fixed.
Specific efficacy beliefs eg that students are capable of success in this task or
context are more important than general beliefs such as a growth mindset.
My brain develops when I put in effort to learn.
Improvement = success, learning = success.
Effort leads to improvement through learning
Abilities can improve with effort
Putting in effort at school is useful in later life
Teachers and school support my growth
Teachers do not judge, just evaluate.
Learning can be enjoyable.
Feedback is just useful information
The work at school is designed so that I can succeed at it.
What happens to me depends a lot on what I do
Success (progress/learning) at school is valuable to me.
Motivation theories say that high quality motivation occurs when:
1. Relationships of teachers andschool with students isautonomysupportive,
ie meeting 3 needs ofautonomy,relatednessand efficacy.
2. Relationshipsof administratorswith teachers isautonomysupportive.
3. Teachers accept andwork with each student’sperspective (even if they
appear dysfunctional tostartwith).
4. Teachers are acceptingof students’responses to learningeg boredomor
disinterest,appreciatingbothinner and outer obstaclesto motivation.
5. Students perceive themselves assupported (never judged).
6. Use of controllinglanguage,wheredirectivesand words thatconvey
control—wordssuchas should,must,andhave to, are minimised.
7. Use of autonomysupportivelanguage,wherewords that convey choice,
possibilityandsocial orempathicbenefits are maximised.
8. Processes, languageandbehavioursthatrespect autonomy are internalised
9. Teachers convey a sense of invitationrather thancoercion.
10. Opportunitiesto exploreand try new thingswithout pressure are provided.
11. Teachers provide structure, includingclearguidelines,goals,andlimits,
withouta controllingattitudeor approach
a. Structures that minimisesnecessityfor control.
b. Structures that provide directionwithflexibilityandtrust.
c. Structures that minimisenecessityfor correction.
12. A meaningful rationaleisprovidedwhen askingstudentsto do something.
13. Feedback isperceived asinformational,notjudgmental.Specificandclear
positivefeedback aboutwhat was donewell tends to enhance autonomous
14. Explicitimprovementis clearlyalignedwith effort (efficacy,growthmindset)
15. Classroomandtask structures are designedto conveymessages of
16. Students perceive they have real choice, particularlycognitivechoice(not
just content or context) either individuallyoras a group.
Eg insteadof 3 teacher-generated options,explaintherationaleof a task,
ask for possibleapproachesandselect the 3 most manageable.(autonomy)
17. Students understandthe purposeof learning (value).
18. Students understandthe process oflearning (competence).
19. Students havea process for integratingfeedback. (efficacy,value,cost)
20. Productiveresponse to feedback is expected and time given for it.
21. Teachers themselves need to experience autonomy,competence,and
relatedness intheir jobs.
22. Goalsare focusedon learning for intrinsicpurposessuchas:
a. contributeto society,
b. be physicallyfit,or
c. grow as a person.
23. Excessive oversightof teachers externalisesand therefore limits motivation.
24. Teachers have the resources andpermissionto attend to the (three) basic
25. Teachers and students are NOT asked to focuson outcome measures beyond
‘improvement’, andmetrics are notrequired to be met.
Potentialschool environment changes/interventions
Administrator’s mindset and beliefs
• Accept that each teacher’s perceptions of their job at school is their
• Clarify what you mean by a functional teacher to use as a base line for
• Meet each teacher’s needs and respectfully support them to replace
dysfunctional behaviours with more functional.
• Absolutely avoid judgement of a teacher because of behaviour or
outcomes. Regard behaviours and outcomes as information to guide
your next strategies.
• Be subtle in your behaviours to support sincerity and trust.
• ‘Sit beside’ teachers and appreciate what they are doing rather than
• Accept that assessment is for ‘discovering what students know’ rather
than ‘seeing how well they have done’.
• Define (and describe) success as ‘progress’ and ‘learning’.
• Accept an action research model of personal/professional
Acceptthat each student’sperceptionsof theirlife atschool istheirreality.
Be subtle in yourbehaviourstosupportsincerityandtrust.
‘Sitbeside’studentsand appreciate whattheyare doing ratherthanpraise.
Clarifymeaning(tooneself) of ‘passconceded’orC- (thinkfunctional inthat
Assessmentis for‘discoveringwhatstudentsknow’ ratherthan‘seeinghow
well they havedone’.
Define (anddescribe) successas‘progress’or‘learning’.
Create curriculumthatis clearly developmental sostudentsperceive
Monitorimprovementexplicitlyandinvolve the students.(NoteA – E is a poor
metric for this.Explicit learningsor learningcontinuaarebetter).
Use ‘NY’ inreporting(wherepossible) tosignifynotlearnedyetwhenever
Buildprocessesthatalloweffective monitoringandsupportof learning.
Allowinterimsuccesstocontribute tofinal success.
Designprocesses toreduce ‘cost’tostudentswhere possible.
o Time – do more in school time,lessathome exceptforenrichment or
o Emotional – be autonomysupportive,avoidjudgementorcriticism,help
studentsreframe theirbeliefsaboutsuccessandfailure,give early
Designeverythingto make ALLforms of value explicit(butsubtle).
o Pleasure inlearning–successfullysolvingproblems,groupworkand
i. (longterm) forthe good of society, environment,personalgrowth,
ii. (shortterm) growbrain,improve chance of successin otherareas,
Designtasksas problemsthatcan be solvedinmultiple waysandatmultiple
Provide amixture of noveltyandconsistencyinlesson/taskdesign.
Give meaningfulchoice inunitdesign. (topic,mode,methodandcomplexity)
have done on whatwas taught.
Ensure clarityof outcomes,processes,requirementsof atask or learning
Model pleasure indiscoveryandlearning.
Avoidrewardsunlesstheycanbe framedasmeasurement(of improvement).
Avoidpunishmentbytreating problematicbehaviourasan ‘opportunityto
Give constructive,informational feedbackwithoutgrades(initially)andclass
time to discussoract on it.
Minimise oversightandcompliance butbuildprocessesthatalloweffective
Give studentsopportunitiesto‘share’ theirknowledge to‘help’ others.
Organise foreasilymanaged earlyinformational feedbacktoensure direction
and keyskillsare correct.
Teach abouthowthe brainchangeswhile learning(Paul).
Use pre,and post-tests,andeffectsize (withcare).
Mean whatyou say.
Describe all learningasbrainexercisenotforfuture benefitorachievement.
Use autonomysupportive language inall school interactionsanddocuments.
Language of appreciationisbetterthanpraise.
Praise little buthonestly.
If you praise,praise processandeffort,notintelligence orachievement.
Say ‘yesand’,ratherthan‘notuntil’ to requeststoimplyautonomy andbuild
Use positive languageof assessmente.g. assessmentis a‘chancetoget credit’
Usingmotivationtheorytomaximise studentoutcomesandwellbeing - asustainable ‘nudge’based pedagogical framework.
Outcomes – achievement. wellbeing
Learning behaviours: engagement, focus,
performance, persistence, resilience
not controllable at school
SES, family,cultural milieu
Masters: Curriculum as
continuum, assessment of what
that are controllable at school.
Self Determination Theory
and viable curriculum
Ability vs competency beliefs
I can ‘do’ school
I value myteacher’sopinion
I enjoy learning
My brain develops when I
put in effort to learn.
My abilities can improve with effort
Learning = Improvement = success
Effort equates to
I am not judged
Teachers and school
support my growth
Hattie: Effect sizes
Feedback is just
Locus of control
Pedagogical style Parent support
What happens to me
depends a lot on what I do.
Level and type of
Putting in effort at school will
be useful to me in later life
I value successat school
I knowwhatmy jobis
Language of school communications
I am able to do the work.
Martin: Personal Best
Perceived task values
Goals and general self schemata
Critical self schemata
Long range goals
Perceptions of socialiser’s attitudes
Efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations
Interpretations of past events
Task specific beliefs
Self concept of ability
Perceptions of task difficulty
A growth mindset correlates
strongest with learning goals
goals and narrow
Gould:Task design, pedagogy,
Hattie High influence activities
Visible Learning p256
Types of motivation
(modified fromIntrinsicandExtrinsic Motivations:ClassicDefinitionsandNewDirectionsRichard M.RyanandEdwardL. Deci)
Motivationisbestunderstoodasa continuumfromamotivatedtointrinsicallymotivatedasinthe followingdiagram:
External regulation Introjection identification Integration
Authority Approval from others
activity with goals
The behaviour is maintained because it is:
threat or reward
expected by others
linked to future
basic needs and
Students engage because
they are made to
they know parents
and/or teachers want
they want good
they know it is a
good thing for
Effective learningbehaviours,suchasfocusand attention,increasefromlefttorightthroughthe formsof motivation,withminimal inamotivation.
Adoptingasone’s own,an extrinsicgoal requiresthatone feel efficaciouswithrespecttoit.Studentswillmore likelyadoptandinternalize agoal if theyunderstanditand
have the relevantskillstosucceed atit. Thus,we theorize thatsupportsforcompetence (e.g.,offeringoptimal challengesandeffectance-relevantfeedback)facilitate
Controllingcontextsmayyieldintrojectedregulationif theysupportcompetence andrelatedness,butonlyautonomysupportivecontextswill yieldintegratedself-regulation.
To fullyinternalizearegulation,andthustobecome autonomouswithrespecttoit,people mustinwardlygraspitsmeaningandworth.Itis these meaningsthatbecome
internalizedandintegratedinenvironmentsthatprovide supportsforthe needsforcompetence,relatedness,andautonomy.
Ability beliefs Broadbeliefs aboutcompetenceinagiven domain,thattend to befixed.
Achievementvalues Importanceofdoingwell (integratedextrinsic),intrinsic orinterestvalue, utility value (identifiedextrinsic)orusefulnessof the task, andcost
Attributions Themeaningpeopleapplyto experiencesbasedontheirinternalisedbeliefsystems.
Autonomous Internalto oneself,arisingfrom the personthemselvesandintegratedinto their beliefsystem.
Behaviours that aim to meetthe three needsof studentsin classrooms(Efficacy,Autonomy andRelatedness),entailtakingstudents' perspectives,
acknowledgingtheirneedsandfeelings,providingsupportwhenthey faceobstacles,andproviding choiceandsupportinginitiativewherepossible.Inaddition,
positive, non-evaluative feedbackthat is informationalratherthanpressuringorperformancedriven,supportsautonomy.
Climate The‘feeling’inacontextsuchas a classroom orwholeschoolthatconveys messagesorexpectations.
Choice In school,choicecanbesuperficialormeaningful.Meaningful choicecanhaveasignificantimpacton motivation.
Competencebeliefs Ability to be successfulinagiven task (similarto efficacy).
Controlbeliefs Thebeliefsoneholdsaboutone’spowerto effect outcomes.Relatestolocusof control.An internallocusofcontrolis when someonebelievestheyare the
majoreffectorof their outcomesegbystudying or not. An externallocusof controlis the opposite egthat poorperformanceisbecausetheteacheris‘bad’etc.
Controlled Externalto oneself,arisingoutsidethe person (ega system or teacherorrule)
Controllingapproaches Behaviours suchasrewards, punishments,demands,andevaluative pressuresto controlbehaviourand to foster desiredachievementoutcomes.
Cost (of behaviour) A generalterm for the time,effort andrisks of behavingin a certainway. In Expectancy-Valuetheory, cost is weighedagainstexpectationsofsuccessand
outcomesandthevalue of achievingthosegoals.
CulturalMilieu Therangeof messagesarisingfrom thewholeenvironment,media,friends,family, etc
Efficacy Ability to be successfulinagiven task (similarto competence)
Specific beliefsaboutwhetheronecaneffectivelyperform the behavioursnecessaryto producetheoutcome(e.g.,“I canpracticesufficientlyhardto winthe
next tennis match”).
Expectancies Set of expectationsaboutpotential success,outcomesorresults of an action.
Externalregulation Least autonomous.Externalmotivatorssuchas classic rewardsandpunishmentswidelygivento controlpeople'sbehaviours.
Extrinsic motivation Motivationsexternalto the behaviouror task suchas rewardor punishment,sociallyinfavour or marginalised.InSDT theory, thereare 4 levels of extrinsic
motivationfrom least(worst) to most(best) autonomous –external, introjected,identified,integrated.
Fixedmindset Thebeliefthat one’sintelligenceorabilityis fixed at birthand canNOT improvewitheffort.
Goal An aim that one is committedtothat serves as a guidefor future behaviour.
Growthmindset Thebeliefthat one’sintelligenceorabilitycanimprovewith effort.
Internalregulation Mostautonomous.Internalmotivators suchas personalgoals,personalimprovement,beingofsocialbenefit.
Intrinsic motivation Motivationsrelatedto interest inthe behaviour or task itself.
Learninggoals Seekingafter new skills,knowledgesorideas
Motivation Theinternaldriveto engageina behaviour.It canbeintrinsic orextrinsic.
Generalbeliefsthat certainbehaviourswillleadto certainoutcomes(e.g.,the beliefthat practicingwillimproveone’sperformance
Overjustification effect Theeffectof decreasingaperson'sintrinsic motivationto perform a task dueto anexpectedexternalincentivesuchasmoneyor prizes.
Performance-approachgoals Desireto demonstratecompetenceandoutperform others.
Performance-avoidancegoals Desireto avoid lookingincompetent.
Resilience Theabilityto try againin the faceof adversity.
Socialisers People(or systems) that influenceaperson’sbeliefsystems, teachers,parents, friendsor schools,home-life,clubsetc
Values The‘worth’andsocialimportanceofanoutcome,orabstract,desirableendstate that peoplestrive for or aim to uphold,suchasfreedom,loyalty, or tradition.