2007 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, 2007
HUB West Ballroom

Session Description


Motivational Filters: How students decide which material is worth the effort

Susan B. Nolen, Chris Ward, Ilana S. Horn, S. Sunshine Campbell, Karan Mahna - Educational Psychology and Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education


We are conducting a longitudinal case-based ethnographic study of student learning, motivation, and identity development in our teacher education program. Specifically, we are interested in why and how students take up certain promoted ideas and teaching practices and reject others, both in courses and in field practica. Students go from the university classroom ("TEPworld")to the schools ("Fieldworld")and back multiple times, and must negotiate both their developing teacher identities and practices in each context. We collected fieldnotes in all courses and practica, conducted multiple interviews with TEP students, instructors, cooperating teachers, and supervisors. Presented with multiple, sometimes conflicting promoted practices and ideas, we focused on the motivational filters students use to decide what is worth learning, and aspects of the learning contexts that support or hinder motivation. We have taken what we have learned back to our courses and to inform our program renewal efforts. This presentation will focus on how students use motivational filters to decide what to learn.



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