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Final Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
SYM-15: Teachers’ Motivation as related to Teacher-Researcher Collaborative Research on Student Motivation
Time: Wednesday, 29/Aug/2012: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Session Chair: Julianne Turner, University of Notre Dame
Discussant: Maarten Vansteenkiste, University of Gent
Organizer: Julianne Turner, University of Notre Dame
Location: 457

Session Abstract

There is a frustratingly persistent gap between knowledge generated from motivation research and what takes place in classrooms. It is not sufficient for researchers to understand the processes underlying adaptive engagement; this knowledge must find its way into classrooms. One of the challenges to teachers applying motivational theory and research to their classroom practices is that many find theoretical concepts and theory-driven recommendations alien to their experiences, beliefs, and perspectives. One way to address this challenge is for teachers and researchers to work together to affect student motivation. The symposium will address four projects in which researchers and teachers have worked together to affect change in some aspects of teachers’ classroom practices. All projects were guided by motivation theory and research, and researchers sought to create respectful relationships with teachers that valued their experiences and perspectives and encouraged their autonomy. The goal was that these interventions would result in fundamental changes in teachers’ motivation and commitment to apply and sustain the practices. Through the process of implementing the interventions, each research group has learned much about working with teachers to apply motivational research and theory to classroom practice. This has included identifying issues not typically discussed in motivation scholarship, but which are integral to the success of the intervention. Together, the presentations will provide a framework for integrating theory and research on teachers’ motivation for promoting more effective utilization of motivation research. This framework may lead to better utility of motivation research for educational practice.


Maintaining Instructional Practices when the Intervention is Over: The Role of Teacher Beliefs

Helen Patrick, Panayota Mantzicopoulos

Purdue University, United States of America

The context of our presentation is a successful three-year intervention in which researchers and teachers collaborated to develop integrated literacy and inquiry lessons for students during the first year of school. The project’s objectives included fostering students’ science learning and motivation and teachers’ motivation for teaching science. Considerable research evidence shows our objectives were met, and fidelity observational data showed that all intervention teachers were using the central practices. However two years after the project ended, participating teachers were not continuing to use many of the practices developed during the intervention. In this study we investigate reasons the practices were not maintained. We focus on four teachers who participated in the intervention for the entire three years. Data for the present study were semi-structured interviews conducted individually with teachers at the end of the first and last years of the project, and again two years after the project had finished, in addition to science lessons videotaped throughout the project. Our findings indicate that teachers’ beliefs about students’ development and the kinds of instruction that are reasonable for their development play a key role in the continued use of previously adopted instructional practices. Thus, this study suggests that even long-term collaborations, where researchers and teachers work together to instantiate recommended practices and principles in classrooms, may not be sufficient to promote teachers’ continued use of those practices. It appears necessary to also consider teachers’ beliefs about their students’ development and the kinds of instruction that are reasonable for their development.

Supporting Teachers’ Autonomy in a University-School Collaboration

Julianne Turner, Hayal Kackar

University of Notre Dame, United States of America

Teachers’ motivation to learn new ways of thinking and acting are requisite to the success of any school- university collaboration. Therefore researchers must support teachers’ motivation while providing opportunities to think differently about their practice. The context for this paper is a 3-year school-university collaboration to support students’ engagement in learning. During the first year, researchers introduced constructs related to student motivation and how they could be enacted during instruction. During the second year, to promote teacher ownership, researchers asked teachers to lead the project and tailor the strategies and interpretation of theory to their unique needs. We facilitated the formation of teacher learning communities (TLCs) in each subject area with group members choosing one member as “coach.” Coaches were to lead colleagues in activities, planning and discussion around the motivational principles. After each of four TLCs, we conducted interviews with coaches about their goals for the TLC, satisfaction with the TLC, their coach role, and strategies for working with colleagues. In this paper we analyze the interviews of two teacher coaches over the year. The coaches differed remarkably in their goals for and roles in the TLC, and often from the original intent of the research design. The analyses reveal both the necessity and challenges of providing teacher colleagues with autonomy to interpret and enact the goals of a university-designed project. Significant for theoretical debate is how to support and guide teachers through theory and activities that are unfamiliar and, at the same time, support their autonomy.

The Contribution of Design-Based Collaborative Research on Students’ Identity Formation to Teachers’ Motivation to Learn Theory and Apply it in Practice

Mirit Sinai1, Avi Kaplan2, Hanoch Flum1

1Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; 2Temple University

The current presentation concerns a persistent and formidable challenge to motivational research in education: Teachers’ motivation to learn about motivation theory and to apply it in their practice. This study employed a design-based approach in which the theoretical concepts and their practical implications constitute content for an open collaborative dialogue among researchers and educators as they design practice aiming to promote adaptive student engagement. This collaborative approach builds on educators’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Ryan & Deci, 2000), and promotes the teachers’ as well as the researchers’ identity exploration (Flum & Kaplan, 2006), through affording the educators’ voice, knowledge of the context, and perspectives on teaching and learning equal status to the researchers’ conceptual and empirical knowledge in the interpretation of theory and the design of educational practice (Kaplan, Katz & Flum, 2012). The research contributed simultaneously to educators’ ownership over the conceptual understanding and practical design, to the researchers’ insight into motivational processes, and to the improvement of educational practice and students’ engagement. The study described focused collaborative work with two teachers aiming to promote 9th-grade students’ identity exploration (Flum & Kaplan, 2006) in two academic domains: literature and math. Analysis of data from protocols of the researcher-educators’ meetings, observations of lessons, and in-process and summative interviews with the teachers, demonstrated how the theoretical concepts and processes provided the teachers language to conceptualize and elaborate on practices they engaged before the intervention and motivation for incorporating the theoretical understandings in new practices

Teachers’ diffiulties in using scaffolding to create opportunities for student engagement and strategy learning

Anu Kajamies, Marja Vauras, Riitta Kinnunen

University of Turku, Finland

This paper aims to show whether teachers do create genuine learning opportunities for the low-achieving students to promote engagement and to reach higher levels of independent functioning, and to display real-time coordination between teacher and student situational motivational engagement during a reading comprehension intervention. Further, it illustrates how dynamic instructional match/mismatch can be analyzed with the State Space Grid (SSG) technique, which is particularly well-suited for the analysis of multimodal patterns of real-time interaction observed during developmental transition phases. Low-achieving students (n = 57) were selected from 437 ten-year-olds on the basis of the pre-test scores in reading comprehension and motivational vulnerability. Pre-, post-, and follow-up tests indicate significant intervention effects on students' reading comprehension with rather large variability. Preliminary interaction analyses show that the teachers had difficulties in acting sensitively and flexibly and finding a dynamic match regardless of the guidance provided to them in counseling sessions. Reading comprehension was mainly practiced at low levels with too little opportunities at the higher levels. In addition, indications of the students' and the teachers' motivation were coded, thus making it possible to relate scaffolding analyses in synchrony to motivational dynamics. The interaction patterns will be further related to teacher evaluations of students' motivational orientations before, during, and after the intervention. Outcomes of these analyses to understand consequences of instructional mismatches for detrimental effects both on the students and the teachers' motivation, and with their implications to challenges for instructional interaction and teacher training will be discussed in the presentation.

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