Pre-Service Teachers’ Initial Thoughts about Motivation

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GATEways to Teacher Education


As teacher educators, we believe it is critical for teachers to understand how they can promote and support students' motivation. Motivation is a top concern of teachers and other educators (Mansfield & Volet, 2010; Turner, Warzon, & Christensen, 2011). As an example, each year the International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association) publishes responses to a survey of literacy leaders on various topic related to literacy. These literacy leaders are primarily college professors but also teachers, principals, and others (Cassidy, Garrett, & Barrera, 2006). On several recent surveys (e.g., Cassidy et al., 2006; Cassidy, Grote-Garcia, & Ortlieb, 2015), students' motivation and engagement have been ranked as topics that are "not hot," but also as topics that "should be hot." Given the importance of motivation for teaching, we explored how pre-service teachers defined and thought about student motivation.