Six elements of self-motivated learning

Six characteristics of tasks have strong support in theory and research for fostering self-motivated learning by students, according to a recent study in The Reading Teacher. The article proposes an organizational framework (ACCESS) for helping teachers plan instruction that motivates students as well as improving reading proficiency.

The six characteristics associated with student motivation are: Authenticity, collaboration, challenge, end product, self direction and sustained effort, writes researcher Seth Parsons.

“ACCESS enables teachers, administrators, and researchers to discuss instruction that promotes self-regulated literacy learning,” he writes. Teachers can use the ACCESS framework to create interdisciplinary assignments that encourage self-regulation.

“Administratosr or literacy coaches can use this organizational framework to plan professional development or to evaluate teachers’ instruction over time.” ACCESS is not an added activity, but a tool for planning learning tasks, he notes. With the intense focus on preparing students for high-stakes tests, use of ACCESS can remind educators to also nurture students’ own motivations to learn.

“Providing All Students ACCESS to Self-Regulated Literacy Learning,” by Seth Parsons, The Reading Teacher May 2008, pp. 623-635.

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