Response to Motivating Students with the Brain in Mind

Courtney Brazeau
Courtney Brazeau Community Member Posts: 5
@LieslMcConchie Article:

@LieslMcConchie In this article you indicate that using deficit language like “this is an unmotivated student” is dangerous because it can result in teachers lowering their expectations for students’ learning potential. The idea of all students having the potential for learning is rooted in the Humanistic, Learner-Centered educational philosophy (to which I subscribe). It has been interesting to engage with articles such as this on ASCD’s site and to observe how the Whole Child approach to education integrates several curricular conceptions. It draws from Learner-Centered curricular design in the emphasis on personalized learning, Social-Reconstructivism in its emphasis on education’s role in the broader community, and Cognitive-Process Orientation and Technology as curriculum in appropriately challenging students to develop critical thinking skills and technological proficiency that will prepare them for the 21st century world.

Specifically within this article, you articulate that teachers play a role in shaping cognitive and motivational responses in students. The view of the teacher as a guide in shaping students’ experience of learning material and fostering their intrinsic motivation is tied to a socio-constructivist view of learning, where students form meaning through their interactions with learning experiences and socially construct knowledge. As teachers invest time in knowing their students, they are better equipped to design learning experiences that are relevant and interesting to students and to know how to best spark that intrinsic motivation that makes learning fun!

One of the most important motivators I have found in my classroom is projects that are collaborative. The social element of the classroom is something middle and high school students really enjoy, so I am trying to find more ways of making art projects group based rather than individual. I’m curious to hear others’ thoughts on what curricular, instructional, or assessment approaches increase their students’ motivation?


  • Maira Khalid
    Maira Khalid Community Member Posts: 9
    Hello Courtney,

    I certainly agree with the ideologies you shared regarding the Learner Centered Curriculum design. Educators should adopt a social constructivist approach towards planning, instruction and assessment in each of the respective curricular designs. In the social constructivist approach, planning occurs through professional dialogue in collaborative teams. Instruction demands that the teacher adopts the role of facilitator who guides students in the inquiry process and constructs shared knowledge in a social context. In essence, assessment that promises student-learning and deep understanding of concepts is implemented through projects, reflections, journals and observations.

    Currently I am taking a course titled "Integrated Planning, Instruction & Assessment". In the course “Integrated Planning, Instruction and Assessment” we discussed the relationships amongst the philosophical foundations of curriculum, conceptions of curriculum and curriculum designs.

    - Philosophical foundations of curriculum (Perennialism, Essentialism, Reconstructionism and Progressivism)

    - Conceptions of curriculum (Academic rationalism, Cognitive processes, Curriculum as technology, Social Reconstructionist, Personal relevance)

    - Curricular Designs ( Subject Centred, Problem/Society Centred, and Learner Centred)
    Consequently, we determined what kind of planning, instruction, and assessment would best fit each curriculum design. In partners we created a model showcasing our understanding. I have attached the model in this post. My partner and I believe that an amalgamation of all three curriculum designs would be beneficial for the students, and we extended our understanding by tying the conceptions of curriculum to the different domains of the "Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy". It is evident that the learner centred curriculum design and the problem centered curriculum design contribute to in depth learning. Please share your feedback on the model.