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Sparking Student Motivation

Sparking Student Motivation
The Power of Teachers to Rekindle a Love for Learning

August 2020 | 240 pages | Corwin

Be the change that lights the learning fire.

Facing a classroom of attentive, focused, and ready-to-learn students is a teacher’s dream. Nevertheless, this is not always the reality, and pulling students along when they don’t seem interested is frustrating. Too often, a teacher’s daily experience does not align with the dream. 

This book is here to show how you, as a classroom teacher, can generate enthusiasm, confidence, and joy in your students. You can affect motivation and make a difference in their lives. Delve into the what, why, and how by reflecting on your own experiences and unpacking multiple factors that affect motivation. Then, learn how to spark motivation using practical, research-informed strategies that address how to

  • Hone student grouping, rewards, technology, and competition for positive impact
  • Confront and disarm testing conflicts to make assessments a pleasant student experience
  • Examine and empower teacher–student relationships
  • Rethink rules and procedures to improve behavioral outcomes

Read this book and you’ll come away prepared to implement strategies that rekindle a love for learning.


About the Author
The Power of a Teacher to Impact Student Motivation

Rationale for This Book

Organization of the Book

Some Final Words

Chapter 1. What Is Motivation?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

Defining Motivation




Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Revisiting Our Definition of Motivation

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 2. Who Shapes Student Motivation?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

Students’ Personalities




Communities, Neighborhoods, and Society

How Do We Get All of These Parties to Work Together?

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 3. The Secret Sauce
Understanding Your Own Motivation

The Secret Sauce

Instructional Strategies for Building Students’ Self-Efficacy

An Important Note About Self-Efficacy


Setting Short-Term Goals

Providing Appropriate Feedback

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 4. The Second Secret Sauce
Understanding Your Own Motivation

The Second Secret Sauce

Influences on Achievement Values

Making Content Enjoyable and Interesting

Making Content Useful and Important

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 5. How Should I Teach?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

A Daily Question: How Do I Teach?

How Do I Present New Material to My Students?

Practicing and Perfecting

Grouping Students

Using Technology

To Reward or Not to Reward?

To Compete or Not to Compete?

Teaching to Students’ Preferred Learning Styles

Promoting Growth Mindsets

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 6. What About Testing?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

The Purpose of Testing

Why Does Everyone Hate Tests?

Why Am I Giving This Test?

Testing and Time

What Are the Consequences of the Test?

How Much Do I Talk About Tests?

What About Those High-Stakes Tests?

Cheating and Testing

Providing Feedback

Testing and Motivation Don’t Have to Be Like Oil and Vinegar

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 7. Should I Be Nice?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

Your Relationships With Your Students

Caring About Our Students

Effects of Positive Teacher-Student Relationships

All Are Welcome Here

Teacher-Student Relationships Across the Years

Culture, Diversity, and Teacher-Student Relationships

Strategies for Promoting Positive Teacher-Student Relationships

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 8. What About Behavior Management?
Understanding Your Own Motivation

Why Are We Talking About Behavior Management in a Book About Motivation?

Rules and Procedures


Summing Up Engagement

Proactive or Reactive?

Supporting Student Motivation While Managing Behavior

Summing Up

Applying What You Have Learned

Chapter 9. How Do I Make This All Work?
Remember That Quiz?

Be the Bravest

Appendix: Daily Motivation Planning
Key features
The book contains a number of features, across all chapters, that will help the reader to

understand student motivation, and to become efficacious at implementing research-informed

strategies to positively enhance student motivation.

• Summary tables/figures: several brief tables and figures are integrated into each chapter

to summarize key points.

• Understanding Your Own Motivation: within each chapter, there are opportunities for

readers to engage in brief thought-experiments that will allow them to experience some

of the motivational issues that their own students encounter on a daily basis.

Anderman Proposal 4

• Developmental perspective: each chapter includes discussions of developmental

differences in motivation; whereas the topics addressed in each chapter are relevant to

students of all ages, effective implementation of these strategies must consider students’

ages and grade levels.

• Diversity perspective: motivation is not a “one size fits all” topic, and strategies to

enhance student motivation must be sensitive to students’ varying backgrounds, culture,

and experiences. This is addressed throughout the book.

• Chapter summaries: Each chapter concludes with a chapter summary, recapping the main

take-away points that were covered.

• Applying What You Have Learned: At the end of each chapter, there is an additional

application exercise.

• Strategies: Research-informed instructional strategies are presented in call-out boxes in

each chapter.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781071803219

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