Reading PK-3

Motivation

Factor Connections

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Motivation is the desire that guides behavior. We are all affected by whether or not we want to do something. When we are motivated, we value what we are doing more and, as a result, learn more. Providing supports that help students value their work is critical to helping them become successful readers.

Main Ideas

There are two main types of Motivation:

  • Intrinsic Motivation is the inherent desire to learn and accomplish goals. Some intrinsic motivations to read include having interest in the subject matter, wanting to relax or prevent boredom, and finding reading fun or exciting.
  • Extrinsic Motivation is the desire to accomplish goals because of external rewards or recognition or to avoid a negative consequence. An external Motivation to read might be achieving a milestone set by a teacher or parent (e.g., reading four books over the summer).

Research shows that students who are intrinsically motivated to read achieve greater reading comprehension skills than students who are externally motivated. Students will be more likely to have intrinsic Motivation when they can connect learning material to their own lives and interests. Also, students are more intrinsically motivated to read material that is personally engaging.

Finally, self-efficacy for reading, that is a student's belief about their ability to successfully execute reading tasks, underlies the Motivation to read. Because of this, students with a higher literacy self-efficacy will choose to engage in more challenging reading tasks.

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