Motivating Students: School Psychologists as Motivational Change Agents

By Gubi, Aaron; Platton, Peter et al. | National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Motivating Students: School Psychologists as Motivational Change Agents


Gubi, Aaron, Platton, Peter, Nelson, Amy, National Association of School Psychologists. Communique


Motivating the academically unmotivated has been called a "critical issue for the 21st century" (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000), and some people believe that "a thorough understanding of student motivation ... is essential towards transforming schools" (Gilman & Anderman, 2006, p. 325). Based on these needs, the Self-Regulation Empowerment Program (SREP; Cleary & Zimmerman, 2004) was developed to support school professionals in empowering adolescent students to engage in more positive, self-motivating strategies for learning.

We have had many positive experiences providing motivational interventions with diverse, urban, at-risk adolescents in small groups through the SREP and in a consultative role by sharing teaching methods that maximize student self-determination with classroom educators. Our small group intervention work is designed to bolster school motivation and academic outcomes. We do this by addressing the cognitive and affective needs of youth and showing them the power of efficient and effective learning strategies. In this article, we will share the small-group intervention experiences that we have had through the SREP program. We hope that our experiences will empower other graduate students to seek out and utilize motivational approaches to improving student academic performance.

Teachers are an instrumental part of the success of SREP. They collaborate with us to identify students who are not performing at a level commensurate with their capabilities. This identification process includes performance indicators (grades) as well as ratings of students' behaviors, such as homework completion and accuracy, and class participation. They also collect parental consent, provide our team with student data (grades, work samples, curriculum lesson plans) and complete pretest and posttest rating scales so that we can follow student behavioral changes that occur throughout our intervention.

School psychology graduate students-"coaches" as we are called within SREP-receive training prior to the intervention. Coaches facilitate small groups, generally consisting of 2-4 students. Groups meet twice per week for 40 minutes per session over the course of 12 weeks. This program requires a large commitment of time from both the coaches and the students who voluntarily participate in our program. Our collaborative efforts with students take place either before or after school, a requirement set by the cooperating school administration. This requirement is often a barrier to student attendance and we are actively attempting to implement SREP during the school day so that more students can access the services we provide.

The autonomy and choice given to the coaches and to the students serves as a cornerstone of SREP. The students decide whether to participate in the program, the extent to which they will engage in discussions of their thoughts and feelings related to school and learning, and whether or not they will utilize the strategies we share and demonstrate with them. In these ways, we believe the program empowers youth and fits within the purview of a positive psychological perspective, a framework that works to improve the well-being and learning of individuals by tapping into personal strengths and interests, rather than by diagnosing and attempting to impose change (Hunter & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003).

Generally, the students we work with in this program experience deficits in self-motivation toward a particular subject and/or use poor strategies to learn. We have worked with numerous students through SREP over the past 3 years with the intention of empowering them to improve their academic performance in mathematics and science.

Lewis is in many ways typical of the type of student we encounter in our work. Like most students, Lewis wanted to do well in school. He had good grades in middle school but had not been exposed to complex academic material or effective learning strategies that he needed in order to perform well in a more academically rigorous high school setting. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Motivating Students: School Psychologists as Motivational Change Agents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.