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In regards to the utility of theory in education, Stephen Brookfield (2005) wrote, "Like it or not, we are all theorists and our formal and informal theories of practice inevitably frame how we approach helping students learn. The formal theory that appears in books and journals may be a more codified, regulated, and abstracted form of thinking about general problems, but it is not different in kind from the understandings embedded in our local decisions and actions" (p. 10).


[[#Week 2 | How does what I bring to the mix impact my teaching and students' learning?]]Week 3 | What are the prevailing theories and models of learning? [Part 2]



Scholarly Tasks

1. READ: Chapter 9 in Goodman, " Affective and Motivational Factors for Learning and Achievement" (p. 163-183).

2. WATCH: Daniel Pink's 2009 TED Talk on "The surprising science of motivation" [Note: In Pink's talk on motivation, the business environment is analogous to a learning environment.]



3. READ: I recently received a letter from a high school teacher in France, Mme. Culnu. She has a North American, English as a first language, exchange student in her class. She believes he is no longer motivated to learn French. Mme. Culnu asked for our advice. Here is her letter.


4. WRITE: Craft a letter responding to Mme. Culnu's request for assistance. Your correspondence should take the form and function of a letter to a colleague. It should weave together your individual take on the scenario she's presented and what you have gathered from your scholarly investigations on motivation and its role in learning. For the purposes of this task, your letter must include the attributes listed below. Bring a printed copy of your letter to class with you.
  • A summary of your understanding of how motivation it relates to teaching and student learning with at least three references to key points from this week's reading and video.
  • At least two online resources you believe could assist Mme. Culnu to learn about motivating students in general or students within a specific demographic (i.e., high school aged youth, boys, second language learners, exchange students, students with exceptionalities, etc.). For each of your resources include: (a) citations along with links and (b) a brief description of how you believe the resource could help Mme. Culnu's.
  • One speculation that presents an alternate interpretation of the "problem" Mme. Culnu has encountered with her student. In other words, beyond issues of motivation, what might you speculate to be the main problem in this situation? Base your speculation on a relevant learning theory or concept (one from our class or another).

in class resources





"Experimental School gets rid of Classes and Teachers" (Abramson, 2007)

"This is our classroom" (@teachpaperless blog, 2010)











Summary of key points related to motivation, the affective domain, and self-determination theory.

Prompt for Group 2 (Monday group) related to learner difference podcasts (prepared by Group 1) and self-determination theory.