“The cutting-edge research on motivation to learn”
by Prof. Dr. Mojca Juriševič
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scholars have long recognized the core role of motivation in supporting students’ learning, and numerous empirical studies have evidenced the effect of motivation on the teaching and learning process. Despite the importance of the construct, researchers still differ in their understanding of its nature and nurture, probably due to the adoption of diverse theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches, as well as to existing gaps between professional considerations, on the one hand, and the reality of everyday school life influenced by the broader sociocultural context, on the other.
For the purpose of this presentation, we define motivation within a general cognitive framework as a psychological process manifested by various motivational components and patterns that instigate and sustain goal-directed learning activities, and thus reciprocally relate to learning and performance. Keeping the research in mind, we will address some of the main principles that guide contemporary research and practice related to motivation, e.g., the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the balance between the underlying motivation goals, and the power of teachers’ formative feedback in cultivating the motivation to learn. In explaining the basic motivational dynamics, we will use selected case studies and findings from empirical research, specifically related to the motivational structure of high-achieving students.
Finally, central to the talk is an attempt to provide evidence-based reflection on current motivation-related dilemmas from the scientific perspective, and to examine the role of motivation in systematic empirical work, e.g., individual differences in motivation, development of mindsets, the role of praise and feedback, students’ lack of motivation, and assessment of motivation.
Mojca Juriševič is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education. Her research interests span the fields of learning and teaching with studies focusing on topics such as motivation to learn, self-concept, creativity, gifted education, portfolio development, mentoring, and teacher professional development. She has been involved in many research projects and she has published books, chapters and papers in both national and international peer-reviewed periodicals. She is the Head of the Centre for Research and Promotion of Giftedness at the Faculty of Education University of Ljubljana. She is a member of different scientific and professional organizations on national and international level and she serves as the Chair of the division “Psychologists in Education” of the Slovenian Psychologists’ Association. She is also an affiliated member of the American Psychological Association.