The Science of Learning: The Motivation of an Audience

Today I'm going to jump back and post another article about motivation. This article is about writing for an audience and how that motivates students. An audience has always been a part of any writing. In the past, an audience was an abstract entity or a “work of fiction” (Ong, 1975, p. 9) that was … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Mindset

Carol Dweck is the principle figure behind mindset theory and in my opinion is one of the giants in the science of learning. To understand where Dweck is coming from, we need to go back decades. In the early 1980’s Dweck started looking into the perplexing question of why females consistently score lower than males … Continue reading


The Science of Education: Usefulness and Interest in Motivation

The two aspects of academic motivation I am focussing on seem obvious for motivation: usefulness and interest. As obvious as they may appear, they are aspects that don’t usually get the attention (or the kind of attention) they need in education. Usefulness Usefulness has to do with the perception that the learner has that the … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Motivating Students Academically

Work by Jones (2009) brought together the research on academic motivation and found that there are five principles that run throughout the academic motivation literature (remember, this is real research and not just someone's good ideas). They are empowerment, usefulness, belief, interest, and caring. In my own research and experience, I would add one more principle … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Internalization of Motivation

From my previous articles, it is obvious that intrinsic motivation is what we want to foster in our learners. We can reinforce intrinsic motivation in learners, but it takes effort to do it right. With reinforcement for learners, we can maintain intrinsic motivation in learners, in spite of the opposition from the system (system - … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Extrinsic Motivation in Education

After talking about both extrinsic and extrinsic motivation, how does this apply to education? I'll start by touching on some of the extrinsic motivators in education that get us and our students to play our part. In formal education, the further along you progress, the more extrinsic the motivators become. By the third grade, children … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Intrinsic Motivation Basics

As promised, my second piece on motivation. When I was growing up, I was a Yankees baseball fan. They were winning, my third-grade teacher read us a story about Mickey Mantle, and my dad loved the Dodgers – so I picked the Yankees. I listened to an interview on the radio with Reggie Jackson one … Continue reading

Motivation, The Science of Learning

The Science of Learning: Extrinsic Motivation

Over the next few days, I will present a few articles about academic motivation. First, I need to lay the groundwork for understanding the basics of motivation. Ryan and Deci are the two principle researchers in this field, and they tell us that intrinsic motivation is the self-desire to seek out new things and new … Continue reading