Teachers have just returned from a workshop conducted by a well-known motivational researcher. The researcher has presented the latest findings about goal theories of motivation and in doing so has raised a number of questions about the features of schooling that might affect motivation. The researcher has been particularly critical of the types of teaching strategies that many teachers at this school employ. The researcher suggests that these strategies promote performance goals that lead to superficial understanding of material. Some of the teachers are quite impressed by the theory and are pleased that their strategies seem to promote deeper learning and mastery of the subject. A debate breaks out in the staff room about whether or not performance goals are such a bad thing. Aaron is miffed and says, ‘What are we supposed to do when there is so much stuff to get through?’ Jo says, ‘Yeah, what is so wrong with encouraging those kids who really want to get the top grades?’ The Head of the Department walks in and adds,‘Well, I think the researcher had a good point. We do have students who just don’t want to be here, or worse, aren’t interested in helping themselves. Shouldn’t we be thinking of ways of engaging them more deeply?’
The debate goes on and the teachers agree to use the pupil-free day next term as a way to think about teaching strategies that balance the best features of goals in learning.
They decide that each staff member needs to write a statement (with references) that outlines how they will promote motivation and achievement for all students, use teaching strategies to engage all students in learning, and employ assessment strategies that help students learn in the classroom. Importantly, you need to include a convincing argument for why this should be done.
Task: Write your statement about how you will encourage learning for all students by promoting motivation, developing learning strategies, teaching for learning and using assessment to assist students’ learning. Remember to justify why you believe it is important to do these things.
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