Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

Learning Motivation: The Role of Opportunity

by Mary McCaslin - 2008

Background/Context: Student motivation typically has been studied as it relates to extrinsic (e.g., reinforcement) and intrinsic (e.g., choice) sources of influence. Our observation of Grades 3–5 classrooms engaged in Comprehensive School Reform (CSR), however, unexpectedly indicated that opportunities for both rewards and choice were scarce. This study sought to better understand what might influence student motivation in these settings.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was (1) to listen to students to understand how they talked about school, classroom learning, and related issues that appeared to matter to them; (2) to observe students in their daily negotiations of school tasks, challenges, and relationships; (3) to then design survey measures to capture these students’ perspectives and motivational dynamics; and (4) to determine if the apparent student motivational dynamics generalized to other students in similar contexts.

Research Design: The author conducted a participant observation project in a single school, engaged in school reform, that served students living in poverty. The study involved frequent (N = 45) school visits from the spring of one school year through the spring of the next. The goal was to generate hypotheses about what might inform student motivational dynamics in the context of CSR schools.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The central theme to emerge from the participant observation study was the key role of opportunity in students’ learning motivation and motivation to learn. Motivational opportunities were organized into three types: supports, challenges, and threats. Each was represented in survey measures that appear useful in capturing the motivational dispositions and beliefs about school of students in Grades 3–5 in similar contexts.

Project directors Good and McCaslin (p.k.a. McCaslin Rohrkemper) have spent much of their careers observing in classrooms (e.g., Ebmeier & Good, 1979; Good, 1970) and listening to teachers and students (e.g., Rohrkemper, 1984; Rohrkemper & Bershon, 1984); the current project, however, presented three new challenges. The first challenge concerned the national region. We had conducted our previous work in the Midwest and East, so the Southwest region of the country was new to us in ways that we expected to matter (e.g., larger concentrations of English language learners). Second, the notion of comprehensive schoolwide reform in which curricula are prescribed and organized across grade levels was a relatively new approach to school reform. This Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) also overlapped with the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates and high-stakes state-level testing, school performance labels, and sanctions. Third, unexpectedly, several of the CSR schools were in remote locations, which involved a different set of challenges than schools located in the urban, small city, and suburban settings to which we were accustomed. Remote locations also differed from one another. For example, one remote school had as its only local resource a convenience stop/gas station down the road; another was encased in a sort of urban island because surrounding industry cut it off from the large city within which it was located; still another school was in a small town 100 miles from the next small city. To better understand what might be happening in these new settings and conditions, and what participants say and do in them, the author conducted a yearlong participant observation study in one CSR school. Insights obtained through this process were then used to develop two approaches to tapping student motivational dynamics: survey measures that are described in this article, and student story analyses described in Dolan and McCaslin (2008).


This participant observation study occurred in one of five case study schools; the school was remotely located and served primarily Hispanic students living in poverty. The school enrolled approximately 550 students in the fall semester prior to the study (the average case study school enrollment was 624). Of the case study schools, the target school served families with the lowest median family income ($29,300; M = $32,712), somewhat fewer children (3.64; M = 3.75), and more than twice as many persons under age 18 living in the home as compared with the average home of other case study schools. The target school was judged by the state as “maintaining” student achievement based on the 2003–2004 school year testing results, compared with two case study schools that were labeled “underperforming” and two labeled “improving.”

The goal of this participant observation study was to generate hypotheses about what might inform student motivational dynamics in the context of CSR schools, particularly those that are remotely located. The study involved frequent school visits from the spring of one school year through the spring of the next. In all, there were 45 visits to the school. The average length of an individual visit was 3 hours; the range was 1–6 hours per visit. On-site note-taking was restricted to classroom observations; no notes were taken during staff meetings, in the teachers’ lounge or principal’s office, or during special events. The author was introduced to school staff as a researcher interested in school reform who wanted to understand the challenges that schools face. Students were told that the researcher taught teachers and wanted to learn more about what it was like for kids in school so she could do a better job of preparing teachers. The stance adopted by the researcher with the students, teachers, staff, and principal was that of a sympathetic bystander, there to witness events but not to initiate them.

The primary focus of the study was the experiences of students in fourth grade, in the context of student experiences in Grades 3–5, within the larger school setting. Observations focused in particular on one classroom per grade level. Students were observed in their classrooms and other school settings (e.g., library, lunch), at special events (e.g., career day, family awards day), with multiple adults (e.g., teachers, principal, school support staff, parents), and with other children (e.g., classmates, peers, siblings). In addition to observations, informal interviews and conversations occurred with teachers, support staff, and the principal to better understand the interpersonal contexts of students’ schooling experiences.

The central organizing theme that emerged from these observations was motivational opportunity, categorized into three types: supports, challenges, and threats.


Supports were embedded in school policies, procedures, and people. For example, there were extra clean clothes should they be needed, and a compassionate secretary who listened patiently and helped with calls to home. The principal knew every child by name. Teachers sent students to the principal’s office to recite a poem, take a needed break, or show off their good work because teachers knew how responsive the audience would be. Interpersonal boundaries were permeable within school; teacher and student exchanges were not always aligned with their expected roles. This may be one result of the multiple tasks and settings in which teachers and students participated within a school day. “School” was bracketed by heavily used before- and after-school programs throughout the week; summer school, with its focus on language and communication that encouraged talking and singing, was a lot more fun than the regular year.

Perhaps the array of situations and the sheer amount of time together contributed to teachers and students infusing role behavior with personal interests and information. Typical exchanges, for example, might include a teacher beginning class talking about last night’s dinner, which would launch comments and comparisons around the room; a girl asking her pregnant teacher what she is going to name her baby, which would spark a dozen suggestions from the class; a boy asking his teacher how you learn to dance, which would be met with jokes and teasing all around. These exchanges were part of the “everyday-ness” of school.  It seemed that these teachers were teaching children who happened to be students, and students were interacting with trusted adults who happened to be teachers. This is not to say that social talk took the place of instruction; rather, it filled in the spaces around instruction. These rooms were not especially quiet; even silent reading involved whispering and typically was done in pairs. It also is not meant to suggest that all teachers liked all their kids all the time. Nerves could get frayed, and when that happened, the response could be as much emotional as managerial, as reactive as strategic.

Permeable boundaries made it possible for families to be present in school. Some of this was due to formal programs targeting parent involvement and home literacy initiatives, and some was due to staff members whose own children attended the school. Much of it, however, was in response to special school events, like spaghetti dinners and student performances, that families (parents and siblings) were invited to attend. Students were quick to introduce parents and especially younger siblings to teacher, principal, and peers. Classrooms also held special events. Two fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, for example, along with parents and teachers, prepared Thanksgiving dinner for their families. It was served by the students who had practiced “restaurant manners” (e.g., no burping) the entire month.  

It did not appear that school permeated home in the same manner, however. It was startling to observe students try to stash their work in their desks during the semester rather than take it home, and literally to trash their work at the end of a semester, especially summer school. What was “done in school” apparently stayed in school. A reasonable hypothesis for this observation includes the remoteness of the school location. Teachers and students shared experiences and recognized each other in school, not outside it. They did not share the same grocery stores, gas stations, or churches. Teachers and many students traveled considerable distances from home to school; perhaps students’ behavior mirrored the disconnection of teachers’ work and home lives. An alternative hypothesis concerns the here and now, the feeling of in-the-moment in these students’ lives that receives some support when listening to student talk, presented subsequently.

Finally, the participant observation revealed the fundamental generosity of these students. The students who attended this school are from the lowest economic rung in our society, yet they collected “pennies for the poor” and brought food and special items to share with their classmates. A bag of popcorn or other treat would be passed from one student to another; I never observed anyone putting more than expected onto their paper towel. Students looked out for one another. They would look the other way when a teary classmate came back from the school dentist. Students with social-emotional challenges were protected and respected by classmates. For example, one student said of a moderately autistic peer, “She tries every day.”

There was a reward system in place as part of a reading program organized by library staff. Students earned points by successfully completing reading tests on books of appropriate difficulty. Once a month, students could exchange their points for toys of varied interest and value. Several students pooled their points—those with a lot and those with a few—to get soccer balls or basketballs for everyone to use. This was not only a display of kindness to those whose achievement points warranted a plain pencil; it also was strategic. The quality of many of the earned “prizes” was such that items were broken before the end of the day. One boy noticed that I saw his paddle ball break as he put it away for later. “It’s ok,” he confided. “They just give us junk anyway.”

The intent of the reading reward program was to encourage reading progress and attainment through differential reinforcements; however, the strategy used to accomplish this failed. Within the reward program, students engaged in collaboration through pooled points or serving as an appreciative audience of another’s attainment. A music box available to a capable reader, for example, was widely admired. Students did not appear to engage in social comparison that would promote envy, increase their desire to attain similar rewards, or spur the capable to do even better next time. The function of rewards to reinforce reading seemed lost on them. It could be argued that students’ collaborative actions may have subverted the efforts of the less able readers; however, so too might the quality of the rewards the less able readers were able to attain. Perhaps the program is better thought of as an “almost reinforcement” program, with all the challenges and disappointments of “almost-opportunities” discussed subsequently.

As these observations suggest, students generally were affable; however, this did not preclude disagreements and disputes that could get verbally and physically aggressive. They did. Sometimes teachers could mediate, other times not. At one point, for example, fifth-grade girls told the boys to start acting like particular girls’ boyfriends. Their requests evolved from hesitant to flirtatious to insistent. The boys, unable to escape, begged their teacher not to let the students be boyfriends and girlfriends. A new rule was posted in the classroom. The result: Girls annoyed, boys relieved. On other occasions, students did not seek teacher support. In the final weeks of the school year, student talk moved to “next year,” when several students matter-of-factly reported that they were not returning to this school. Reported reasons for leaving ranged from “my mom is taking me to a better school” to “we are moving” to “I don’t like school.” On the last day of the school year, three of the fourth-grade boys whom I had observed to be friendly throughout the year were suspended for fighting—with each other. I wondered then, and still do, how hard it must be for these students to say goodbye. Students who stayed could return to school in the fall to find that not only were former classmates gone, but so too was a favorite teacher. One well-liked teacher who left especially was missed. On multiple occasions, I was asked to deliver messages for students (e.g., “tell [teacher] that I passed”), should I see their former teacher at another school.

Together, these observations suggested that students were learning to seek out and look out for others as part of their school experience. If so, student perceptions of social supports likely were core to student disposition toward school and motivation to learn. Student motivational dynamics related to interpersonal supports were assessed by survey with items relating to school, teachers, and classmates, and by analysis of student stories in response to a picture of a student with a teacher (see Dolan & McCaslin, 2008) and a picture of students in a small group (see Florez & McCaslin, 2008).


Challenges consisted of hassles and hurdles that teachers and students confronted. Some of these were a result of the remote location of the school; others were due to poor planning, bad luck, or lack of procedural knowledge. Whatever the cause, one result of many challenges was what I came to understand as “almost-opportunities.” Almost-opportunities were events that were to have been special, but instead were undermined. In isolation, each is disappointing: an almost-party with ice cream but the delivery truck was too late, the ice cream melted and not allowed on the bus; an almost-garden on Thursday returned to desert by Monday, the donated plants withered to begin with and without water over the weekend; and an almost-award assembly, the blocked aisles and limited time preventing honorees—every student in school—from reaching the stage to receive their certificates.

Almost-opportunities began with anticipation and ended in disarray, participants sort of wondering off not knowing what to do next. In isolation, almost-opportunities were deflating; what about in aggregation? Might a steady stream of almost-opportunities deplete student (and staff) motivation? Almost-opportunities seemed a constant challenge to staff attempts to establish school rituals and routines that might help students identify with their school and celebrate their learning.

Mostly, though, challenges due to hassles and hurdles were more pervasive and mundane and resulted in missed opportunities. Forgetting homework is a hassle familiar to many, but not being allowed, or even having, a book to take home to help with homework is a hurdle that can undermine more than the assignment. In remote settings, hassles readily can turn into hurdles. For many students, a missed bus is a missed school day, not a tardy slip when Mom drives you. A forgotten permission slip is a missed field trip and a long day in study hall or another grade’s classroom. Missed opportunities of all sorts were constant challenges to staff and students (e.g., not enough materials, broken equipment, an untimely fire drill, school absences, misplaced confidence). Rather than being undone, however, staff and students mostly appeared to regroup and retry. Second attempts often involved substitution of the original with more accessible tasks, plans, and goals. One thing seemed for sure: Nothing was easy, but unlike almost-opportunities, missed opportunities were never expected to be more than, or different from, the norm. Paddle balls break.

These observations supported a conception of student motivation in the context of hassles and hurdles: Perhaps struggle and negotiation, alternative paths, and substitute goals were core to these students’ motivation. This hypothesis was tested by survey with items representing beliefs about flexibility in learning and social negotiation, and the learning potential of mistakes. It was also tested with content analysis of the student stories described previously.


CSR is a program supported by the federal government that recognizes the importance of educational opportunity—defined by standards, curriculum, and instruction—if students are to meet the achievement mandates set by NCLB. In the abstract, it is a laudable attempt to ensure that everyone—principal, teachers, parents, and students—is committed to the same plan, if not on the same page. The enactment of these best practices plans is another story, however, in part because funding increases support assessment more than instruction. Threats to the workings of the school were directly and less directly related to NCLB mandates. This was in part due to the tensions that NCLB created among participants that disrupted community, commitments, and cohesion.

The school principal was young, enthusiastic, a curriculum grant (and related financial supports) go-getter, and new to this first principal assignment after teaching relatively few years. The teaching staff included inexperienced teachers and those who had been around the same block for some time. The principal embraced an accountability perspective and welcomed the opportunity that NCLB provided to get teachers more involved in, and more accountable for, student learning. Yet, teachers resented all the extra tasks that teacher involvement and accountability required. The task list is long: submission of lesson plans, observations of classroom practices, extensive record keeping, time-consuming “team” meetings, and staff development “opportunities”—all part of school improvement. I participated in several team meetings and staff development sessions (e.g., mnemonics for classroom management); the teachers had a point on that score.

Teacher resentment about changing curricula and required professional trainings grew over the study year, especially if a new “improvement” in one year was replaced with something else the next fall. It was not unusual to hear comments along the lines of, “Why did [the principal] hire me if I was so unprepared?” The blatant expression of teacher anger directed toward the principal came after student test scores were known. Teachers let the principal know, “we saved your job,” reminding the principal that they had tenure, whereas the principal did not. The principal was well aware of this. Firing incompetent but tenured teachers is nearly impossible unless a school has been labeled “failing” for 3 years—at which point the fired principal is replaced with a new principal who can now fire teachers. Three years is a long time, a lot of students, three required annual letters to parents suggesting they take their children to a better school (threatening the relationship with parents that federal law demands be strengthened), and one damaged principal career later. The best a principal can hope for to avoid a “failing” label is to upgrade deficient teachers’ competencies, which requires their willing participation and readiness to learn. However, another unintended effect of NCLB is that competent and committed teachers may unite with their marginal peers against intrusions—from the outside and from their principal—into their teaching practices. Coalitions among teachers can threaten well-intentioned attempts to improve student opportunity to learn.

NCLB also threatened students. Spring semester was all about test preparation. In addition to learning standards-based content, students were exposed to test-taking strategy instruction that was odd to many. For example, students were incredulous that they shouldn’t show their work, that the test would try to trick them with wrong answers that looked right, and that the directions could change even on the same page. All tests were taken in English, although all students were aware of classmates who were only beginning to learn the language. These tests were not about fairness. Student frustration was summed up when, in the midst of a math review using their arms to indicate symbols, students were told that the review was to get ready for the tests. “Can’t we just do it because it’s fun?” they asked.  

Student anxiety on high-stakes testing days was a given. Admonishments about getting enough sleep and eating properly on the days before and the days of the tests were loud and clear. Posters encouraging student achievement in support of their school appeared in the hallways just as familiar classroom decorations were removed or covered in case something might “help” on the tests. Juice and snack carts were delivered to classrooms each test day. What was OK and not OK behavior was unclear. Students couldn’t ask their teacher if they didn’t understand the directions—but they should try to answer the items anyway. Third graders wondered if they could still count on their fingers. The tension was palpable; there was vomit in the hallway, someone not making it to the bathroom in time.  

And then it was over. The tests were over, the anxiety was over, and, for all practical purposes, school learning was over. Another unintended threat of high-stakes testing to student learning is that it shortens the school year, not only because it diverts time to test-taking strategy instruction and actual test taking, but also because tests mark “The End” several weeks shy of the last day of school.

The potential role of NCLB in student motivational dynamics was assessed by survey through items related to anxiety and learning in math and reading and through content analysis of student stories, particularly those that suggest difficult learning, testing, and accountability.


In sum, three types of opportunities emerged in the participant observation project that, taken together, can inform our central theme of learning motivation in similar contexts. First, ample interpersonal and policy supports were available to students and their families within the school, which had the potential to serve as an “arena of comfort” (Simmons & Blyth, 1987) for their learning and for each other. Second, ample supports were met by ample challenges in the everyday operations and special occasions of school. One potential benefit of these “opportunities” was the demonstration and practice of strategic adaptive learning (Rohrkemper & Corno, 1988), through which students might learn that they themselves and their situations are malleable, and to set and seek alternative goals and design new plans. Pool your points. Third, even if well-intended, NCLB mandates, as interpreted by the state, principal, teachers, and students, had the potential to undermine the good work of the school. NCLB had the potential to strain supports, magnify challenges, and realize threat.

Finally, in contrast to the larger observational study reported by Wiley, Good, and McCaslin (2008), this participant observation study did find some evidence of student choice and reinforcement opportunities, just not those that we were looking for (i.e., in the classroom) or that the school intended. The educational staff in this school sought to reinforce and recognize student achieving and achievement in ways both large (e.g., student award night) and small (i.e., library reading program). They just didn’t turn out as planned. Findings highlight the distinction between goal and strategy, intention and mediation.


A basic goal of our project was to inform working theories of learning, motivation, and social/emotional development of students in Grades 3–5 who live in poverty and who attend schools engaged in school reform. We believe that understanding these dynamics is essential to improving student achievement and to the realization of school reform. Survey measures were developed in the hopes that they might serve as a relatively efficient (compared with interview) vehicle for understanding student dispositions and motivational dynamics.


Results of participant observations just described were used to inform the construction of three survey instruments designed to capture students’ disposition toward school, approach to learning, and sense of self (McCaslin, 2004). These instruments were shared with principals of two remotely located CSR case study schools that served students whose ethnicities differed from the target school, and their feedback was incorporated. The principals felt that the instruments fairly represented how students in their schools talked and what they talked about. In this article, the focus is findings associated with the first instrument, “The thing about my school is. . . ,” which captures student understanding of and disposition toward school. We believe that student understandings of and dispositions toward school are core to successful school reform.

The measure assessed five domains related to student experiences in school within two areas, social context and curriculum. For the purposes of this study, social context domains were school, classroom teacher, and classmates, and curriculum domains were the two NCLB achievement targets, reading and math. Within each domain, six-item scales were constructed to represent expectancy (e.g., Bandura, 1997), value (e.g., Eccles, 2005), emotional contingencies (positive, negative), and beliefs (positive, negative) from the student point of view. Emotional contingency items attempted to tap student commitment in addition to expressed value. Belief items attempted to tap how student understandings might relate to reported expectancy and support, or impede their values and commitments. Together, the six items for each scale were expected to capture systems of understanding that can support or undermine student disposition toward school. There were five response options for each item: two levels of agreement and two levels of disagreement, centered by a question mark that students were to circle if they were unsure or had no opinion about the item. All items were read aloud to support student reading skills and standardize inflection.

To illustrate, Table 1 presents the six items that address student understanding of their teacher; Table 2 presents student understanding of reading (full instrumentation available upon request).

Table 1. Student understanding of their teacher







I learn even better when my teacher helps me.




I like my teacher.


+ Emotional contingency


When my teacher is proud of me, I feel even better about me.


- Emotional contingency


If my teacher is in a bad mood, I get in a bad mood.


+ Belief


Teachers want students to do their best.


- Belief


Teachers like smart students the best.


Table 2. Student understanding of reading








I am a good reader.*




I like reading and talking about books.*


+ Emotional contingency


When it is my turn to read out loud and I make no mistakes, I like reading even better.


- Emotional contingency


I don't like to read if I don't know all the words.


+ Belief


Understanding the story helps you read the words right.


- Belief


There is only one right way to read a book.


* Item adapted from Self Description Questionnaire I – Standard (SDQI), by H. W. Marsh, 1999,  Sydney, Australia: Self-Concept Enhancement and Learning Facilitation (SELF) Research Centre, University of Western Sydney.


The thing about my school is. . .

Surveys were administered to students in Grades 3–5 with parental consent in six CSR schools (N = 464). Student responses were subjected to two confirmatory factor analyses, first by domain (school, teacher, classmates, math, reading) and second by theoretical construct (expectancy, value, emotional contingencies [positive, negative], and beliefs [positive, negative]). Domain results are presented in this article; construct analyses are available elsewhere (McCaslin, 2007).

The confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using the EQS structural equation
modeling software. The factors were established using the theoretical design described previously. The data were entered as covariance matrices created from the students' responses to the survey for each of the domains: school, teacher, classmates, math, and reading. The EQS output gives information about how well the items fit the factor and yields a correlation matrix for the relationships among the resulting factors.

Results of the domain analyses are displayed in Table 3. All domains are significantly interrelated; however, the magnitude of the relationships suggests that students’ understanding of reading was strongly correlated with their understanding of school. Student understanding of

the social contexts of school suggested that their perceptions of their teacher and classmates informed their dispositions toward school. Student understanding of their teacher, however, was minimally related to their understanding of classmates. Finally, student perceptions of their teacher were only modestly related to their understandings of math and reading; student perceptions of their classmates were even less so.

Table 3. Confirmatory analyses of school domains






























df = 438

**Correlation is significant at the p < .001 level.


These patterns suggested the utility of further analysis of domain contribution to students’ understanding of school. Individual factor loadings from the confirmatory factor analysis were created for each of the five factors. The teacher, classmates, math, and reading factors were then regressed on the school factor. All variables were forced into the model and had significance values less than .001. As expected from the correlations (Table 3), the math factor predicted the school factor loadings the least; the other three factors yielded similar b-weights in the regression model, School = 4.26 + 0.22 (Teacher) + 0.20 (Classmates) + 0.14 (Math) + 0.23 (Reading). Results suggest the importance of social contexts in student understanding of school in addition to the curriculum areas of math and especially reading.

In sum, “The thing about my school is. . . ” was based on emerging understandings gleaned in the participant observation study in conjunction with prior experiences looking in classrooms and listening to students (McCaslin & Good, 1996). One goal of this instrumentation was to explore what might be important understandings in the motivational dynamics of students who attend schools that serve students living in poverty and whose schools are under federal and state pressure to improve student achievement.

Findings suggest that students differentiate the social from the academic domains in school and that when adults attempt to fuse them, as in small-group learning formats, students may not respond motivationally as expected. Subsequently in this issue, McCaslin and Burross (2008) examine individual differences that emerged in these students’ understanding of and disposition toward school.


One goal of the participant observation study was to better understand the motivational dynamics of students who attend schools in the Southwest that are remotely located, that serve the poor, and that are under pressure to improve student achievement. The participant observation study explored and organized the “everyday-ness” of school life in terms of supports, challenges, and threats to students as learners and as social beings. A second goal was to determine if apparent dynamics could be assessed through survey and analysis of story narratives (described subsequently by Dolan and McCaslin, 2008). A third goal was to determine if apparent student motivational dynamics generalized beyond the target school to other remotely located schools engaged in school reform. The third goal is assessed in the next three articles in this issue (Dolan & McCaslin; Florez & McCaslin, 2008; McCaslin & Burross, 2008).


This work was supported by a grant from the U.S. Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Grant No. R306S000033. The author takes full responsibility for the work, and no endorsement from OERI should be assumed.


Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

Dolan, A. L., & McCaslin, M. (2008). Student perceptions of teacher support. Teachers College Record, 110(11).

Ebmeier, H., & Good, T. L. (1979). The effects of instructing teachers about good teaching on the mathematics achievement of fourth-grade students. American Educational Research Journal, 16, 1–16.

Eccles, J. S. (2005). Subjective task value and the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 105–121). New York: Guilford Press.

Florez, I. R., & McCaslin, M. (2008). Student perceptions of small group learning. Teachers College Record, 110(11).

Good, T. L. (1970). Which pupils do teachers call on? Elementary School Journal, 70, 190–198.

McCaslin, M. (2004). The thing about . . . student motivation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Arizona, Tucson.

McCaslin, M. (2007). Construct analyses of student disposition toward school: Technical report. University of Arizona, Tucson.

McCaslin, M., & Burross, H. L. (2008). Student motivational dynamics. Teachers College Record, 110(11).

McCaslin, M., & Good, T. L. (1996).Listening in classrooms. New York: HarperCollins.

Rohrkemper, M. (1984). The influence of teacher socialization style on students' social cognition and reported interpersonal classroom behavior. Elementary School Journal, 85, 245–275.

Rohrkemper, M., & Bershon, B. (1984). Elementary school students' reports of the causes and effects of problem difficulty in mathematics. Elementary School Journal, 85, 127–147.

Rohrkemper, M., & Corno, L. (1988). Success and failure on classroom tasks: Adaptive learning and classroom teaching. Elementary School Journal, 88, 299–312.

Simmons, R., & Blyth, D. (1987). Moving into adolescence: The impact of pubertal change and school context. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.

Wiley, C. R. H., Good, T. L., & McCaslin, M. (2008). Comprehensive school reform instructional practices throughout a school year: The role of subject matter, grade level, and time of year. Teachers College Record, 110(11).

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 110 Number 11, 2008, p. 2408-2422
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15281, Date Accessed: 12/6/2021 6:41:39 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools

Related Media

Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Mary McCaslin
    University of Arizona
    E-mail Author
    MARY MCCASLIN is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Arizona. Her scholarship focuses on the relationships among cultural, social, and personal sources of influence that coregulate student adaptive learning, motivational dynamics, and emergent identity. Her recent publications are “Co-Regulation of Student Motivation and Emergent Identity” in Educational Psychologist (in press), and “Co-Regulation of Opportunity, Activity, and Identity in Student Motivation: Elaborations on Vygotskian Themes” in S. M. McInerney and S. Van Etten (Eds.), Big Theories Revisited: Research on Sociocultural Influences on Motivation and Learning(Information Age, 2004).
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue