Teaching in New Times

Teaching in New Times

Motivation, learning and the MeE framework

Task description and guidelines
Motivation and learning are inextricably linked together. However, as children progress through school, they often become less interested, less intrinsically motivated and more anxious (Krause, Bochner and Duchesne, 2003), impacting on their engagement and achievement.  This assignment requires you to critically reflect on this process, drawing on unit content. Please complete both Part A and Part B in your answer.

Part A     (max. 1000 words)

Drawing on relevant theorizing and research, discuss the possible reasons for such a negative trend.  Your answer should include some (though not necessarily all) of the central themes we looked at in the unit, for instance:
•    The way learning is structured (e.g. Rogoff et al.)
•    Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (reward system, token economy)
•    Classroom culture: focus on behavior or focus on learning
•    Cultural, social and linguistic factors (including socio-economic status, ethnicity, ESL etc.)
•    The role of creativity (e.g. Csikszentmihalyi, Sawyer)
•    Attitude towards failure: risk taking vs. risk avoidance.
•    Resilience vs. learned helplessness
You can also cover any other aspect discussed in the relevant literature (both in the unit content and elsewhere).  Keep your discussion coherent and concise: synthesize the different issues instead of simply listing them.

Part B        (max. 1000 words)

Explain how the MeE framework (as described in your core text and in ‘School is for Me’) can help teachers and students to overcome the problems you have outlined in Part A. Make sure that your discussion of the strengths and benefits of the MeE framework makes direct links to the issues discussed in Part A. Keep your discussion coherent and concise, and offer a conclusive summary paragraph.

In order to pass the task, it is sufficient to rely on the readings associated with the unit (see below). However, you are welcome to read more widely and include other sources in your answer.

1. Key texts
Munns, G., Sawyer, W. & Cole, B. (Eds.) (2013). Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty. London: Routledge. (Core text)
Hayes, D., Mills, M., Christie, P. & Lingard, B. (2006) Teachers and Schooling Making A Difference. Crows Nest, Sydney: Allen and Unwin. (Chapters 2 and 3).

2. Additional resources (in Learning materials folder; Online articles and reading resources subfolder / Blended learning activities subfolder)
Fair Go Team (2006) School Is For Me: Pathways to Student Engagement. Sydney: Priority Schools Funding Program, NSW Department of Education and Training
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000) Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (Chapter 4.)
Haberman, M. (1995). Star Teachers of Children in Poverty. Bloomington, IN: Kappa Delta Pi. (Chapter: What Star teachers don’t do.)
Rogoff et al (2003) Firsthand learning through intent participation. Annual Review of Psychology Vol. 54.pp. 175-203.

3 Online copy of this book in UWS library
Sawyer, K. (2013). Zig Zag: The surprising path to greater creativity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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