Socio-Emotional Development and Motivation

Three things I learned are:

1) “Other psychologists see motivation more as a state, a temporary situation” (Winnie, Woolfolk, Perry, p. 400).

2) “The types of goals we set influence the amount of motivation we have to reach them” (Winnie, Woolfolk, Perry, p. 403).

3) “If students believe they lack the ability to understand higher mathematics, they will probably act on this belief even if their actual abilities are well above average” (Winnie, Woolfolk, Perry, p. 416).

Two Connections I made are:

1) I was the student who truly believed I was not good at math. No matter how hard I tried or the amount of effort I put into learning math I never improved and therefore the belief became so strong that I was unable to understand higher mathematics.

2) I can see how some psychologists see motivation more as a state, a temporary situation. For example: when studying for an exam that is the next day that motivation is a temporary situation. After the exam is done the motivation will be gone.

One question I still have is:

How do we teach students and give them the tools to be confident in their abilities?


4 thoughts on “Socio-Emotional Development and Motivation

  1. I love your question Laura! Mostly because I don’t think it is a question we can ever have a single answer to. That means it is something that we can continually develop and work towards! I think the biggest thing surrounding this question is that everyone is individual and requires different tools.
    Great conversation starter!


  2. Hi Laura,

    I identified with your connection made to higher mathematics! I did good in high school math up to Grade 10 and then all of a sudden it seemed like a wall went up and nothing else made sense. Once I got to Grade 11 my marks began to slip tremendously in that area. I went on to take two Grade 12 math classes but just about failed and ever since then mathematics has caused a great deal of stress for me. Even in Math 101 I found it extremely hard at times to understand the “new” ways of doing things. I believe this stems from the negative view I have on that subject from all these years. In reference to your question, I think positive reinforcement is a huge tool in trying to help guide children to be confident in their abilities. Even if there are areas that a child can work on or improve it’s still important to point out to them the areas they are doing great in. This is something I sure wish I had more of while going through school.

    Great post!


  3. Hey Laura,
    I also learnt about the two diverse types of motivation and found that it is interesting to me that motivation can be temporary based on the activity or the situation that the activity is taking place. Example how you said if you are studying for an exam, the motivation is only temporary.

    I also struggled in math solely for two reasons 1. I felt like I did not understand so then I did not try which obviously resulted in poor math marks. 2. Because of my poor math marks that I received because I did not try my high school math teacher told me not to do calculus because I was not smart enough. Obviously, I did not take calculus because why waste my time right? So, when I was taking math in university I was like ok, here we go again I am going to fail, even was prepared to get a tutor. My prof was supportive and I did surprisingly amazing and it changed my outlook on math. I love math, always have and since I had someone who was supportive and did not shut me down I did in my eyes surprisingly amazing. So maybe it isn’t our outlook on a class, maybe it is more the teacher not being supportive enough? I think supporting them and helping them along the way should be enough to get anyone through a class!



  4. I definitely agree with the connection you made about motivation being more of a state, something that is temporary. This is true in relation to learning and schoolwork and can definitely be seen in our society today. I know for me personally, I find I go through periods of motivation. I’ll have times where I am especially motivated to complete assignments, usually because of an approaching due date, and after I have completed it my sense of motivation will slowly die down. Then there are also times where I have no motivation whatsoever and have to make myself do schoolwork, which usually ends of taking twice as long as it should because I don’t have any motivation to do it.
    Great post!


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