Close the Stable Doors: Effects of Motivation and Engagement on Learner Achievement?  

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

A very popular one-liner, used by parents, teachers, politicians, and also educational scientists is that “THE current problem in education is a lack of learner motivation”. In other words: learners find education boring, not appealing, unattractive and that’s why they don’t achieve their full potential.

 Concepts such as motivation and engagement are often perceived as keys to improving education. The trend is to assume that if we’re able to increase learners’ motivation, then they’ll perform better and achieve more. According to Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory it’s even better if that motivation is intrinsic (in contrast to externally driven – extrinsic – motivation, such as rewards).

Let’s stay on that train of thought. Self-determination proponents argue that, as long as you can make sure that a learner is more engaged in learning then (s)he will learn more effectively. One example of a…

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