Manual Motivation for Achievement: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning

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Focusing on the context of Macao, there are unique circumstances involved that I summarise as 3H-3L circumstances. Due to the high demand for a workforce, low unemployment rate, and low education requirement, people do not require a good educational background to increase their competitiveness in the job market and they will get a job as long as they do not have a high preference for their job content. Owing to the prosperity of the gambling and tourism industry and the subsequent strong economic position of Macao, most of the job types are casino-related and administrative or office-work.

The large number of casinos requires a large workforce, so they open up abundant positions. The majority of these positions have a low demand of educational level yet they offer a high salary. Administration and service-providing jobs also do not necessarily require education higher than bachelor level.

L2 Teacher Characteristics as Predictors of Students’ Academic Achievement

More importantly, jobs in casinos provide a higher salary than office jobs although the former require less education. Educational background and income are not in a linear relationship under the 3H-3L circumstances, thus downplaying the value of academic achievement. The necessity of obtaining a high education is comparatively less patent.

In addition, parents of school-children may also be working in casinos and earning sufficiently to maintain family expenses despite a low level of education, and hence may not have aspirations for them to acquire higher education. Similar to studies e. African Americans in North America , when people see education as a means to ensure themselves an affluent future or to uplift their social status, they may have a higher achievement motivation compared to those who do not expect a beneficial outcome to pursuing higher education.

Cognitive-Motivational Model While evidence of the direct association between values and academic achievement has a long history of documentation, there are also studies exhibiting the indirect effect of values on academic achievement. With a high expectancy that one will succeed in certain subjects, high motivation for achievement may follow. The result indicates that competency belief and ability attribution for success and failure can matter. Evaluation of the task per se is also important in triggering motivation.


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A sense of competence in the task may make students want to persist with the task until they succeed. Indeed, self-efficacy is found to have stronger correlation coefficients with general school-learning than ability and effort Bong, In addition to his individual work, Bong and colleagues substantiate the significant predictive powers of self-efficacy and self-concept on achievement in Korean students although the powers are stronger amongst higher-level students than lower-level students, and in mathematics than in arts.

Phan uses the concept of information sources to explain the association between self-efficacy and achievement. Four information sources, namely enactive performance accomplishment i. Phan adds that emotional and physiological states are closely linked to the other two contributing sources. When students have succeeded in the task and others encourage them, their emotional and physiological states will be positive and altogether will increase their motivation to achieve the task. Personal attributes such as psychosocial characteristics and behavioural factors e. Plausibly, effort can be heightened by a sense of competence.

Nonetheless, past failure will not inevitably hinder students from devoting effort to the task. This is revealed in an important cross-cultural investigation on the consequences of success and failure with North American and Japanese students Heine, et al. In the study, Japanese participants persisted more in the task they failed before. Given the difficulty of winning in the rivalry of admission to university i. Taken together, the factors of abundant vacancies, the low demands of job recruitment, and the low unemployment rate, all minimise the value of pursuing higher qualifications and the motivation of achievement in the academic sphere.

Sociocultural Model The Sociocultural model extends the cognitive-motivational model by adding social factors to the analysis, including culture, achievement goals i. Doing poorly initially on a task may not be the determining factor of the next performance of the same task because external elements can matter. The four widely investigated goals in studies in academic settings are mastery-approach goal, mastery-avoidance goal, performance-approach goal, and performance-avoidance goal. Approach goals refer to pursuing a result better than the standard, whereas avoidance goals refer to avoiding a worse performance than the standard.

Seemingly, the approach goal may lead to a significantly higher achievement compared to the avoidance goal. The social-orientated motive exhibits the greatest effect on the performance-approach goal, which indicates that achievement may be a means for those students tending to be socially motivated to connect to other people and increase a sense of worthiness as being a member in their identified groups.

Similarly, more personal-orientated students are more subject to personal attributes in their achievement. Echoing the investigation of motive orientations, King, McInemey, and Watkins add social goals to the model of academic engagement. Recalling the notion of self-regulation, personal assets influence social assets that in turn affect personal attributes in achievement.

The cross-cultural history of Macao means that the culture of Macao may not be identical to that of China, although it may tend more to Chinese than to European culture. In Asian culture, social elements may contribute more than personal elements to academic achievement.

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The result suggests an open communication on standards between parents and children is necessary to let children know clearly what parents expect. A quantitative approach can then test the validity and reliability of the model. The values dimension should be studied to give further knowledge of what youths in Macao prioritise so as to address elements influencing their perception of education. Bearing a resemblance to the colonial history of Hong Kong, it may be assumed that culture in Macao has similar characteristics.

Hong Kong teenagers, in accordance with the pattern revealed by Asians and Westerners in literature, prioritise values in the domain of conservation i. Students will also experience lower levels of stress because they do not need to compete with others. School operators should be aware of the size of the school despite the scarcity of relevant evidence about this factor in the East-Asian context. Thus far, the suggestions and advice stated in this paper focus on students in general.

Given the unique culture and context of Macao, educators cannot simply construct their teaching style, school structure, and ethos based on the evidence in Western literature. Employing Asian literature without adjustment via recognition of and consideration of the differences between Macao and other Asian regions can also be ineffective. References Alva, S. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 22, Anderman, E. Associacao das Escolas Catolicas de Macau. Bardi, A. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29 10 , Journal of Applied Psychology 93, Berndt, T.

Journal of Educational Psychology 82, Berzonsky, M. Identity style, parental authority, and identity commitment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 33, Bond, M. European Jorunal of Peresonality 18, Bong, M. Academic motivation in self-efficacy, task value, achievement goal orientations, and attributional beliefs. L2 teacher reflection: A construct validation study. Manuscript submitted for publication in System. Alexander, C. Effects of teacher qualifications on student achievement in middle school mathematics in Texa s. Teacher Education and Special Education , 17 , Anderson, R.

Greene, M. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 34 2 , Ashton, P. White Plains, NY: Longman. Baily, G. Bainer, O. The relationship between instructional domain and the content of reflection among preservice teacher. Bandura, A. Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societies. Bandura Ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. Bennett, N. Teaching Styles and pupil progress. London: Open Books Publishing Limited. Berman, P. Federal programs supporting educational change.

Black, R. A match of learning style to teaching style based on use of hemispheric dominance theory to enhance learning of creative thinking skills. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. USA: University of Georgia. Burley, W. Conti, G. The relationship between teaching style and adult student learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 35 4 , Teaching learning styles and the adult learner.

Lifelong Learning, 9 8 , University of Missouri, Kansas City. Dewey, J. How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Farrell, T. English Teaching Forum, 41 4 , Ferguson, R. Paying for public education: New evidence on how and why money matters. Harvard Journal of Legislation, 28 , Jencks and M. Phillips Eds. Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of language teacher education. Galbraith, M.

Philosophy and the instructional process. Adult Learning, 11 2 , Garman, N. An open letter of Thomas J. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision , 2 1 , Gibson, S. Teacher efficacy: A construct validation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76 , — Glickman, C. A comparison of first-year, fifth-year, and former teachers on efficacy, ego development, and problem solving.

Psychology in Schools, 19, — Goldhaber, D. Education Next, 2 1 , Good, T. Looking in the classroom. Grasha, A. A matter of style: The teacher as expert, formal authority, personal model, facilitator, and delegator. College Teaching, 42 , Gray, P. Transformational leadership and teacher commitment to organizational values: The mediating effects of collective teacher efficacy. School Effectiveness and School Improvements, 17 , Guskey, T. Context variables that affect measures of teacher efficacy. Journal of Educational Research , 81 1 , Heimlich, J. Developing teaching style in adult education.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hoover-Dempsey, K. Parent efficacy, teacher efficacy and teacher and parent involvement. Journal of Educational Research, 85 , Hoy, A. Educational psychology in teacher education. Educational Psychologist, 35 , Hoy, W. Socialization of student teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 27 , Iran-Nejad, A. The brain-mind cycle of reflection. Teachers College Record, 5 , Jarvis, P.

Adult education and lifelong learning: Theory and practice. London: Routledge Falmer. Knobloch, N. Journal of Agricultural Education, 47 2 , Knowles, M. The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy. LaBoskey, V. Development of reflective practice: A study of preservice teachers. New York: Teachers College Press. Larson, D. Self-awareness about teaching style: Development of a tool. The Mathematics Educator, 13 2 , 23— Lowman, J.

Motivation for Achievement: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning / Edition 3

Mastering the techniques of teaching 2nd ed. Midgley, C. Change in teacher efficacy and student self- and task-related beliefs in mathematics during the transition to junior high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, — Miglietti, C. Learning styles, classroom environment preferences, teaching styles, and remedial course outcomes for underprepared adults at a two-year college.

Community College Review, 26 1 , Milrood, R. A Module for English language teacher trainers. He intended to manage the family farm, and he failed to see a relationship between school and his career choice. He might have valued school more if his parents had shared how the skills he was acquiring in school would enhance his chosen career. Valuing a long-term outcome also became important for the oldest brother.

From an early age he was fascinated with tractors. During his elementary and high school years, he did not see any relationship between his interest and school. During his sophomore year of college he became interested in designing tractors. He changed his major to engineering and went on to earn a Masters degree. Today he is a design engineer for a major tractor manufacturer.

Encourage and promote your children's interests and passions. Help your children see beyond the immediate activity to the long-term outcomes. A school assignment may seem unimportant, but acceptance into a prestigious university or a lucrative college scholarship may be outcomes that they value and are willing to strive toward. Help your children set short and long-term goals. Small, short-term goals work better for younger children. It is essential that the goals are meaningful to your children. Talk with your children about possible goals. Remember, goals that you value may have little meaning to them.

The factors of self-confidence, believing the situation is conducive to succeeding, and valuing outcomes of the activity are critical to being motivated. But being motivated is not sufficient. Assuming that children have the skills to do well and are motivated, they must also become engaged and self-regulated. Children may believe that they can do well in mathematics. They may like their school and teachers, and feel that math is important, but still not follow through and do the math. There may be several reasons for this. Perhaps they lack the necessary study skills to complete the assignment.

Because gifted children traditionally progress through the early years of school without being challenged, they sometimes fail to develop the study skills that other children master. At an early age, good memory and fast processing skills can compensate for note taking and other study skills. They learn the material easily and fail to develop basic study skills, such as note taking, outlining, or identifying main points. If your children are not being academically challenged, encourage them to go beyond what is expected of them.

This might include supplementing assignments with more challenging and interesting material. You may wish to discuss the level of challenge they are receiving from their teachers. Discuss with their teachers what study skills are needed to succeed in their classes. A word of caution: teaching study skills to gifted and talented students when they don't need them is counterproductive. Another aspect of self-regulation is setting personal standards. Some children may feel that what they are doing is "good enough.

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In a society where Wall Street advertising firms spend millions of dollars bombarding consumers with ads to convince them that perfectionism is attainable with the "right" product, there is little wonder that perfectionism has become a problem with young people. The gifted are more vulnerable because they, more than any other group, approximate perfection to a higher degree, are more often rewarded for it through their accomplishments, and often come to believe perfection is possible.

Encourage your children to be pursuers of excellence, rather than perfection. Model acceptance of your own mistakes while striving for excellence. Help them map out tasks.

This serves two functions. First, it minimizes the unknown. Young people are often reluctant to begin a task because they are unsure how to begin. Second, it develops a mindset that the task is doable. Through planning, children can visual a task coming to fruition.

Help your children set realistic expectations. This involves setting goals that are difficult enough to be challenging and attainable, yet not so difficult as to be unachievable and discouraging. Learning occurs best when the new material cannot be mastered without assistance, but can be mastered with minor direction from someone more knowledgeable.

Much that motivates children is still a mystery. The suggestions presented in this article provide insights into some parenting strategies that promote achievement orientation in children. We need to support our children and to encourage them to pursue their interests and passions. If we help our children to recognize that they have the skills to perform well, trust that their environments will encourage their productivity, accept what they are doing serves a purpose, and set realistic expectations for themselves, they will lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Adderholdt-Elliott, M. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.


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  • ISBN: Alderman, M. Motivation for Achievement: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning Rimm, S. Del Siegle is a professor in residence at the University of Connecticut where his research focuses on attitudes that influence achievement. This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a c 3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute.

    All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness.

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