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Digital Promise: How Educators Can Foster Student Motivation

Posted on 10/05/2016

Digital Promise spoke with Dr. Christina Hinton, faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Founder and Executive Director of Research Schools International (RSI), and Dr. Tom Callahan, Director of the Merck-Horton Center for Teaching and Learning, and educator at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, to learn about the core principles surrounding student motivation.

Intriguing research shows that popular approaches to motivate students using rewards such as money, gold stars, or points (called “extrinsic motivators”) may in fact lead them to lose interest in learning. But when students have intrinsic motives for learning, or learning because they find the activity itself interesting and gratifying, they become more likely to attach meaning to their work, explore new topics, and persist in the face of learning challenges.

For several years, the pair has worked as part of a research partnership that supports St. George’s to implement research-informed practices. One theory that has greatly informed their work is self-determination theory, which identifies three components that can help students develop intrinsic motivation: autonomy in learning, relatedness, and competence.

Read more on Digital Promise blog about these core principles which provide a useful framework for teachers seeking to improve student motivation.

Source: Digital Promise blog post External link opens in new window or tab on August 18, 2016: How Educators Can Foster Student Motivation