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ED209I: Cognitive Perspectives on Achievement Motivation (Spring 2016) Instructor: Hunter Gehlbach @HunterGehlbach Website: #Motivation209 Class Meetings Tuesdays 1:00 - 3:50 pm GGSE 1201 Office: GGSE 3113 Office hours: By appointment

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson Our capacity to “create” motivation is essential to our well-being. But how does that happen? What goes into motivation? The course introduces students to several “grand theories” of motivation and then covers a number of the crucial components of motivation in more detail. The hope is that these two foci of the course provide both an architecture for thinking about the structure of motivation and how the foundational building blocks of motivation might come together within that architecture. With these elements in place, students should have the requisite tools to manufacture motivation for themselves and for others in educational settings. Thus, the focus of the course is very much on applications of theories. Assignments are designed towards these two ends…

Preliminary Syllabus 1

Assignments/Exams/Papers: This course requires three primary assignments. The goals are (respectively) to: (a) have a deep experience in which you attempt to motivate yourself towards some goal that you then map back onto the course content; (b) share your rich knowledge of the complexities of human motivation with (lay) others in a language that they will understand; and (c) educate others in a highly motivation way (i.e., by applying what you have learned in class). Detailed descriptions are posted on GauchoSpace. Be your own guinea pig: In the spirit of experiential education, your task is to employ some intervention on… yourself. The rationale, quite simply, is that if we, as educators are going to spend lots of time motivating students, we should probably try out some of these techniques and approaches on ourselves first (and learn from those experiences). The basic gist of the assignment is that you are to select a goal that can be accomplished in about a two week period. Ideally, the goal represents a significant challenge for you – perhaps even something you have attempted on multiple occasions but have failed at. You will then design a motivational intervention to administer to yourself. On at least 10 of these 14 days during the period of the intervention, you need to record at least a brief paragraph in which you reflect on the progress you are (or are not) making towards this goal. Data collection is encouraged! Please submit: (1) Some evidence of your motivation diary (I will skim this, not grade it), and (2) A theoretically-grounded “post-mortem” report in which you summarize the intervention, the results of the intervention, and then analyze how successful the intervention was, why, what might make it stronger next time, as well as how you might use the intervention in your future professional endeavors. Translational writing: Multiple big theories pervade motivation. Each uses its own vocabulary to describe different terms; many of the concepts are complex and unintuitive (think: introjected motivation); and motivation researchers haven’t necessarily excelled at demonstrating the relevance of their work. As a consequence, practitioners often follow their own pet theories and intuitions about how to motivate students (think: use of rewards). With this state of affairs in mind, your task is to write a translational piece to educate practitioners or perhaps even the lay public more broadly about some important aspect of motivation. The one constraint is that you need to pull from more than one major idea in the motivation literature. Motivational teaching: In small groups, you need to select an article that fills an important gap in the syllabus. You then need to present the key content of this article during the final day of class in such a compelling, riveting way that your classmates will (a) go read the article in its entirety, (b) remember the key idea(s) from the article in a year, or (c) both! Note: Other minor tasks may pop up on an “as needed” basis e.g., a minor data collection or responding to questions about readings, being prepared to summarize a reading for next class, etc…

Preliminary Syllabus 2

Grading Assignments will be weighted as follows: Motivation Diary Motivation Post-Mortem Peer edit Translational writing Motivational teaching Citizenship*

= 5 points = 25 points = 5 points = 35 points = 10 points = 20 points --------------= 100 points

Total possible

The following guidelines should give a general sense of what type of expectations correspond with what types of grades for the major written assignments):

A. Extremely strong work; to the extent that flaws exist, they are trivial; I would be willing to put my name on it A-. Strong understanding of the material, but one or more flaws that detract from the work more than trivially B+. Work shows substantial strengths but a substantive weakness: either a misconception of one or more concepts, errors of application, or substantial problems of presentation. B. Work has one or more serious weaknesses B- (and below). Work has multiple weaknesses or one “fatal flaw” (e.g., a fundamental premise of the work is faulty); work may be incomplete or evidence a lack of effort *Please see ‘the fine print’ section at the end.


WEEK 1 3/29/16 Themes

Introduction to the course Motivation in education Grand motivation theories Part I: Goal Theory

Required Reading Due

Read the whole syllabus thoroughly.

WEEK 2 4/5/16 Themes

Grand motivation theories: Part II Attribution theory Expectancy-Value theory

Required Reading

Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy–value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 68-81. doi:

1) Come into class with any/all questions you have about the syllabus.

Weiner, B. (2010). The development of an attribution-based theory of motivation: A history of ideas. Educational Psychologist, 45(1), 2836. doi: Harackiewicz, Judith M., Rozek, Christopher S., Hulleman, Chris S., & Hyde, Janet S. (2012). Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value Preliminary Syllabus 3

intervention. Psychological Science, 23(8), 1-8. doi: 10.1177/0956797611435530 Applications

Imagine a teacher is complaining that Student X isn’t motivated: doesn’t care about the content and doesn’t think s/he can do well anyway. What suggestions might you develop to help bolster the student’s valuing of the subject matter? The student’s expectancies? In reflecting on your own educational history, what is the most detrimental attribution you have tended to make over the years? Knowing what you now know (after having done the readings), what advice would you offer yourself to redress that attribution?


1) Submit 1 (or more) questions that you had about the content of the reading (e.g., something you did not understand), and 1 (or more) questions about the reading that you would like to discuss in class. Please post these to the class discussion thread by Monday: 11:59 p.m. on 4/3/16. Feel free to reply/respond to others questions. Please do not repeat questions that have already been asked (though feel free to expand on questions previously posed questions).

WEEK 3 4/12/16 Themes

Grant motivation theories: Part III Self-determination theory Ford’s theory

Required Reading

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67. Ford, M. E., & Smith, P. R. (2007). Thriving with social purpose: An integrative approach to the development of optimal human functioning. Educational Psychologist, 42(3), 153-171.


At one level Ryan & Deci offer one of the simplest theories of motivation (people are intrinsically motivated towards three ends: autonomy, belongingness, competence – as simple as a, b, c). Ford (and Smith) offer one of the most complex. If you had 30 minutes to teach a room full of preservice teachers about motivation, what would you pull from these two approaches to teach to teachers? Why would you choose those aspects of their theories?



Preliminary Syllabus 4

WEEK 4 4/19/16 Themes Required Reading

Shaping the direction of motivation Goals Purpose Mindset Bronk, K. C., Hill, P. L., Lapsley, D. K., Talib, T. L., & Finch, H. (2009). Purpose, hope, and life satisfaction in three age groups. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(6), 500-510. doi: Paunesku, D., Walton, G., Romero, C., Smith, E., Yeager, D., & Dweck, C. (2015). Mind-set interventions are a scalable treatment for academic underachievement. Psychological science, 26(6), 784-793. doi: Rattan, A., Savani, K., Chugh, D., & Dweck, C. S. (2015). Leveraging mindsets to promote academic achievement: Policy recommendations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 721-726. doi: Senko, C., Hulleman, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2011). Achievement goal theory at the crossroads: Old controversies, current challenges, and new directions. Educational Psychologist, 46(1), 26-47. doi:


What are the most important aspects of goals that we should be studying as researchers? After putting your practitioner hats on, how would you answer the same question? Should we take school time to enact mindset interventions with students? If so, what should they look like?



WEEK 5 4/26/16

Pre-requisites for motivation: Energizing force and efficacy Emotions Efficacy/Expectancies/Personal agency beliefs

Themes Required Reading

Pekrun, R., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2012). Academic emotions and student engagement Handbook of research on student engagement. (pp. 259-282): Springer Science + Business Media, New York, NY. Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Sources of self-efficacy in school: Critical review of the literature and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 751-796. doi: Preliminary Syllabus 5

Lin-Siegler, X., Ahn, J. N., Chen, J., Fang, F.-F. A., & Luna-Lucero, M. (2016). Even Einstein struggled: Effects of learning about great scientists’ struggles on high school students’ motivation to learn science. Journal of Educational Psychology. doi: Applications

What sort of impact do negative emotions/experiences such as frustration or struggle have on students’ motivation? How do they impact students’ efficacy? How, if at all, do we want to structure how students experience these emotions?



WEEK 6 5/3/16

Intrinsic &/or Extrinsic Motivation Praise Delay of Gratification

Themes Required Reading

Henderlong, J., & Lepper, M. R. (2002). The effects of praise on children's intrinsic motivation: A review and synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 128(5), 774-795. doi: Lepper, M. R., & Henderlong, J. (2000). Turning "play" into "work" and "work" into "play": 25 years of research on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. In C. Sansone & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance (pp. 257-307). San Diego, CA: Academic Press, Inc. Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Rodriguez, M. L. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244(4907), 933-938.


How might you encourage teachers to use praise to bolster students’ intrinsic (or internalized) motivation ? In what way is the capacity to delay gratification a motivational attribute ? In what way is it a distinct construct from motivation ? As you think about what practitioners should know about delay of gratification, do these distinctions matter ?


Motivation diary and post-mortem by 5/2/16 at 11:59 pm.

WEEK 7 5/10/16

Foundations of intrinsic motivation Choice Interest Autonomy


Preliminary Syllabus 6

Required Reading

Hulleman, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2009). Promoting interest and performance in high school science classes. Science, 326(5958), 1410-1412. doi:10.1126/science.1177067 Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. R. (2000). When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6), 995-1006.

Required Viewing Applications

Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students' autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 209-218. doi: Sheena Iyengar: The art of choosing. Can we use choice to make students more interested in their scholastic pursuits? How? Ryan and Deci discuss choice at length as a powerful support for students’ autonomy. How else might you structure classrooms to support students’ autonomy above and beyond providing them with choices?


Translational writing to peer editor by 5/9/16 at 11:59 pm.

WEEK 8 5/17/16

Social motivation Relatedness Belonging Social comparisons Relationships

Themes Required Reading

Rogers, T., & Feller, A. (2016, online). Discouraged by peer excellence: Exposure to exemplary peer performance causes quitting. Psychological science, 1-10. doi:10.1177/0956797615623770 Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students. Science, 331(6023), 1447-1451. doi:10.1126/science.1198364 Wentzel, K. R., & Watkins, D. E. (2002). Peer relationships and collaborative learning as contexts for academic enablers. School Psychology Review, 31(3), 366-377.


If students are indeed intrinsically motivated to pursue belongingness goals, how might educators use this to help improve students’ academic learning?

Preliminary Syllabus 7

What are the three most important applications of social motivation that you can think of for teachers’ professional lives? Due

Translational writing feedback due back to author with a cc’ to HG by 5/16/16 at 11:59 pm.

WEEK 9 5/24/16

Meetings on your own Prepare for motivational teaching presentations.

WEEK 10 5/31/16

Final wrap-up Summary Cultural influences on motivation

Themes Required Reading

Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Patall, E. A. (2016). Motivation. In E. Anderman & L. Corno (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology, 3rd edition (pp. 91-103). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Due 5/31/16

Motivational teaching presentations.

Due 6/3/16

Final translational writing by 11:59 pm.

Preliminary Syllabus 8

The Fine Print

Grading. Please consider the following in deciding whether to take the course C/NC or for a grade: My sense is that those students who really “need” a good grade and/or are concerned about their GPA tend to be better off taking the course C/NC. Those who are not so invested in their GPA will be fine either way. The rationale is two-fold: (1) if you are focused on your grade, you may be more likely to avoid taking-risks or being creative with assignments, (2) some students find it hard to come up with original and novel applications of motivational theories with the pressure of a grade. Regardless of your choice, you will receive grades on each assignment and thus won’t lose out on information. Citizenship. Expect a few quick assignments (e.g., bring in two questions from the readings, etc.) on a regular basis. I find it essential that everybody in class find ways to present their point of view so that our classroom community benefits from the full diversity of opinions. Thus, this component of your grade ensures that people contribute to the classroom community in ways that include and extend beyond mere class participation. This portion of your grade also allows me to capture the little contributions that are key to a productive learning experience for all – it motivates people to focus on the spirit of the class rather than obsessing over the letter of the law. Late Papers. I deduct 5 % of the original point total for each day that an assignment is late. Academic Integrity. Students must take responsibility for knowing and adhering to UCSB’s academic integrity policy. Students who violate the academic integrity policy will be subject to academic sanctions from me and nonacademic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). If you have any questions, please review the Honor Code ( and/or come see me. Absences/lateness. Class will start on time. If you are late, please do not ask questions regarding what we have already covered. If you have to miss class, please let me know at least 36 hours ahead of time as it may influence certain activities we have planned. I expect you to catch up on what you missed with a classmate or two first, then if you have additional questions, please see me. General Academic Support & Writing. Students are encouraged to visit Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) early and often. CLAS offers instructional groups, drop-in tutoring, writing and ESL services, skills workshops and one-on-one consultations. CLAS is located on the third floor of the Student Resource Building, or visit Students with Learning Disabilities. In addition to discussing needs, requests, strategies, etc. with me, students with disabilities who need accommodations are encouraged to check in with the folks at Disability Services – they can help suggest/determine accommodations. Contact: 805-893-2668, 2120 Student Resource Building, and all, please come see me – we’ll work something out! Managing Stress. Personal concerns such as stress, anxiety, relationships, depression, cultural differences, can interfere with the ability of students to succeed and thrive. For helpful resources, please contact UCSB Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at 805-893-4411 or visit .

Preliminary Syllabus 9

Achievementmotivation syllabus(spring2016)  

Achievement Motivation Course (Spring 2016)

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