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ERIC Number: EJ864275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1933-4850
Inspiring Student Self-Motivation
Brackett, Virginia
InSight: A Collection of Faculty Scholarship, v2 p26-31 2007
While normally appreciative of the invitation to join colleagues in a discussion of pedagogy and what "works" in the classroom, the author has in most instances reluctantly participated in discussion of student motivation. She dips her toe into this philosophical quagmire only if permitted license to substitute the phrase student "inspiration" in place of student "motivation." She also finds it helpful to turn the rhetorical tables, as it were, and consider "self"-motivation on the part of students. The concept of individuals who hold some sense of self that a classroom mentor may nurture through student inspiration is one in which she places a modicum of trust. To "inspire" is literally to "breathe in," to actively pull sustenance from a proffered external source. Active student determination based on some sense of self may couple with instructor inspiration to promote academic success. The idea of student motivation elicits discomfort on the part of instructors for various reasons, the most important being that it has been discussed for eons without clear determination of how to achieve or even define it. Drawing on Frank Pajares' "Toward a Positive Psychology of Academic Motivation," the author shares her views on student motivation. She contends that if students come to class without any real "self-identified" needs, but instead bring to the classroom a passive nebulous desire for a certain something that an outside agent is to supply, few will enjoy a satisfying academic experience. Students must arrive with some sense of self, which, combined with the desire to contribute to classroom experiences, will help that sense grow and mature and take chances in order to enjoy academic success.
Park University, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152. Tel: 816-584-6770; Fax: 308-224-3493; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A