Motivation and Research Methods in Teaching

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In reviewing the Nine Central Topics of Educational Psychology, the topic under review is - Motivation. “Why do students engage or not engage in certain activities/tasks? How can teachers use student interest to facilitate learning? How can students self -regulate their learning and behavior?” (Edmunds & Edmunds, 2010, p.11) This topic is of particular interest to me as it relates to the instruction of adult learners. I am currently facilitating employment preparatory courses to adult students and am observing differentiated learners with a very wide range of motivation. The course outcomes are to prepare them for careers, however many have not indicated what, in fact, if any, their career goals are. My initial question…show more content…
There may be an extrinsic reason to learn course material in order to remain in school, have a room in residence, and have a modest income and provision of meals. Having identified a problem and formulating an informal hypothesis with the problem, what research method would be the best match for the question being asked? Educational psychology uses both qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research involves the human factor and contains the methods of both idiographic and ethnographic research. (Edmunds & Edmunds, 2010, p.16) Idiographic research could be used in this case when examining the situation of specific individuals who have no clear goals or career aspirations and are enrolled in a course for employment preparation. Ethnographic research could also be used to determine if there are any cultural influences that would affect the lack of stating a career goal. You could ask, “What’s wrong with no goals?” Perhaps it is only certain societies that are goal focused. I heard a Taoist quote that said, “A good traveller has not fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving”. In other word, if you have no ambitions you cannot fail; those who never fail succeed? Qualitative methods use interviews, observation, and videos to gather data and are very flexible and explorative in practice. In this case, there are differentiated learners,
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