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November 3rd, 2015

Where Brains Are

The test focuses on deep understanding and testing of concepts
o Tested on essays and problems
o Not multiple choice
o Different kind of learning
Look at statistics
o Finland came out number one in all three
o Followed by Hong Kong
Improving Our Schools
There are number of things that are currently taking place in the US
Stark differences when comparing USA and Finland
What can teachers do to help children maintain their intrinsic motivation?
Encourage cooperation
o Values cooperation, kids getting along; egalitarian society
Contextual and personalize learning
o Do not teach in an abstract manner
o Tend to make the learning environment contextualized
o Try to make kids see why it is important and meaningful to learn about the subjects
Support autonomy
o Teachers try to see things from the perspective of the kids
o Try to focus on what the kids are interested in
o Try to support intrinsic motivation
Competition and School Outcomes
Johnson & Johnson (1999) 3 Goal Structures:
o Competition people attain their goals only if others do not
o Cooperative people attain their goals only when others do also
o Individualism people attain their goals without affecting the goal attainment of others
Most people feel most comfortable if people can be judged on how they learn
and how they do
Most people do not want to compete
o With younger kids in grade school, you can construct learning environments that are any
of the three
Results of this study: the best by far is Cooperation (followed by individualism; worst is
o Cooperation is associated with:
Greater intrinsic motivation
Greater mastery of principles and concepts
Greater development of communication skills
Better attitudes toward teachers and schools
Better attitudes toward classmates, including opposite sex and minorities
Higher self-esteem and mental health
Making Learning relevant (Cordova & Lepper, 1996)
Benefits of contextualization and personalization
Decontextualization of instruction: Teachers often seek to present new material in its most
abstract or decontextualized form, presumably in the belief that learning in this abstract form will
promote generalization of that learning
Autonomy Support
Attunement: taking perspective of the student and using student interest and input to guide
What is autonomy support not?
o Rewards (symbolic & tangible)
o Praise
o Threats
o Competition
o Surveillance
o Deadlines
o Evaluation
o Imposed goals
Autonomy is informational vs. controlling
Teacher Self-Regulation Scale: (see slide)
Make them drill more and give them special privileges for improvements
Have regular spelling bees that that the Rangers will be motivated to do as well as other
o Fostering competition
Have each child keep a spelling chart and emphasize how important it is to have a good chart
o Emphasizing self-regulation
o Autonomy supportive in a way
Help the group devise ways of learning the words together (skits, games, and so on)
o Most autonomy supportive
Correlations with Teacher Autonomy Support
Seems that autonomy supportive teachers have intrinsically motivated children
Controlling teachers report low levels of intrinsic motivation, cognitive competence, and general
Something that surprised him very little difference in October and May
The teaching style on the first day of school was predictive of what would happen to students
o If you a highly supportive autonomous teacher, the three variables will either stay at the
same level or increase
o Controlling teacher significant fall of these three categories
What signifies control rather than autonomy support?
Woman is controlling the gymnasts to an extreme
Behavioral Indicators (Reeve 2004)
o Emphasize evaluation
o Emphasize high standards
o Direct and give answers
o Emphasize competition
Autonomy supportive
o Listened more
o Encourage conversations
o Allocated time for independent work
o Show interest in what they were learning
Rest of lecture see slides