1. Rubicon model
The Rudicon model (Gollwitzer, 1990) describes this path (goal pursuit) as two sides of a river representing commitment. Goal-setting processes precede commitment, referring to when individuals consider “what and why”; that is, they make decisions about objectives, hopes, and where to put their efforts. Students begin to “cross the Rubicon” when they transform their motivation into a firm intention to act. On the other side of the river, goal striving begins. Focus is then on the best way to implement goals; the intention to act is in place, and necessary action plans and scripts are set in motion.
If students want to achieve their goals, there are two steps which ensure their goal pursuit. The first step is that they should set a goal, which means the students need to think about what goal I want to come true, why is that goal; then they need to take into account their duty, expectation, and how to make effort. At that time, students are ready to put their motivation onto the behavior. The second step is that they begin to take action for their goal. They make plan for the goal, monitor their time, control their behavior, and seek helping and strategies, all the action they do to bring about their goal. It is also a top-down self-regulation.
2. Volitional strategies
Volitional strategies such as time and resource management, goals and marking completed tasks are important in school as well as in life beyond. Conditions of difficulty that trigger the need for volitional control may include felt friction due to unrealistic assessments of task conditions, task overload, and inability to mesh academic and non-academic goals.
The importance of volitional strategies: (1) The volitional strategies influence students to manage their work and help them come back to their mastery goals when they concern about well-being. (2) When students ask for volitional strategies, they will overcome obstacles and strive for their task. (3) When students have awareness of get volitional strategies, they will insist on their learning intention even if they meet difficulties. (4) Teachers should give students some instructions about volitional strategies, which is useful for students to deal with some stressors.
3. Reciprocal teaching
Palincsar and Brown (1984) developed a cognitive apprenticeship procedure called “reciprocal teaching” to improve the reading comprehension of regular classroom students. In reciprocal teaching, students observe their teacher who thinks out loud while reading text, and then asks students to do the same. As she reads, the teacher models comprehension monitoring and memory support strategies such as summarizing, rereading, marking important points, and asking “Wh” questions (as a teacher would). Students take over the process in the same way and also critique one another’s question.
Most of time, the students cannot learn well or get good results is not because they do not like to study or they do not like to do better, just because they do not know how to think and how to study. There is not instruction during their learning process. Nobody leads them onto the “learning road”. So the reciprocal teaching method helps students to know how their teacher think and do when she learns the new knowledge. It provides students some strategies about learning. When they study, they will use those strategies just as what their teacher does. The reciprocal teaching not only shows positive effects on strategy acquisition, but also leads to improve achievement outcomes.
1. Self-determination theory
Self-determination theory is one model that has integrated both needs and social-cognitive constructs. In this model, there are three basic needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. The need for competence refers to the desire to master and be competent in interactions with the environment. The need for autonomy reflects a desire to be in control or to feel autonomous or self-determining in terms of one’s own behavior. The need for relatedness reflects a wanting to belong or be attached to a group. These needs are assumed to be innate for all humans in all cultures and apply across all situations, and if individuals can’t satisfy these needs, then their motivation as well as a host of other cognitive, affective, and behavioral indicators of adaptive functioning will affective, and behavioral indicators of adaptive functioning will suffer. Self-determination theory proposes that the effects of these needs on behavior or other outcomes are mediated by social-cognitive constructs such as perceived competence, control beliefs, and regulatory styles.
In my opinion, self-determination explains how students get their motivations. Firstly, they want to master the knowledge and display their abilities during communication with their peers, they hope to get achievement. Secondly, they want to control and monitor their cognition and behaviors by themselves. Thirdly, they want to belong to a group or attach to others, but not alone. These three motivations can influence the students’ goal, strategies, behaviors, interest, and efficacy.
2. Intrinsic motivation VS extrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation reflects behavior that is undertaken for its own sake, enjoyment, and interest with a high degree of perceived internal control. In contrast, extrinsic motivation reflects an activity or behavior undertaken for some instrumental value or external reason. There are four types of extrinsic motivational styles that reflect a continuum from most externally controlled to internally controlled or self-determined. They are (a) external, which is the most externally regulated or controlled by others or by external constraints such as rewards; (b) introjection, which reflects the start of an internalization of values, but control is still perceived as being external to the person as he or she seeks approval from others; (c) identification, where there is more internal control and self-endorsement of values and goals; and (d) integration, which reflects high internal control and congruence between the self and values and goals.
So students’ motivation could be divided into two aspects. One is from their selves. They will value the importance of the task, show their interest and enjoyment, have their own way to think about the reason and process, and value the goal. The other is from the external conditions, such as teachers’ instructions, the environment of the classroom, the rewards about the task, the pressure and constraints from teachers and parents, and the approval from others. Both two aspects work together to affect students have motivations to pursuit their goals.
3. Personal interest VS situational interest
Personal interest is a more stable individual difference variable that represents an individual’s relatively enduring disposition to be attracted to, to enjoy, or to like to be engaged in a particular activity or topic. It is differentiated from curiosity, which is assumed to be a personal characteristic of the person, but is more diffusely directed toward many different activities. In contrast, situational interest is assumed to be a psychological state of being interested in a task or activity that is generated by the interestingness of the task or context.
On the one hand, teachers and parents should help students broaden their horizon, foster their interests and hobbies in many fields, which make students are easy to attracted and interested in different tasks, so they like to participate the activities and tasks, meanwhile, they have the positive attitudes for them. On the other hand, the designs of the lectures, classroom environment and tasks should stimulate and catch students’ attention and taste which could promote their motivation and beliefs.
1. Aspects related to students’ self-efficacy
Social cognitive theorists assume that self-efficacy is a key variable affecting self-regulated learning. Students’ self-efficacy perceptions relates to two aspects: students’ use of learning strategies and self-monitoring. Meanwhile, students’ perceptions of self-efficacy are positively related to learning outcomes such as task persistence, task choice, effective study activities, skill acquisition, and academic achievement. In addition, social influences such as an adult model’s performance and verbal persuasion can also change an individual’s self-efficacy estimates.
As a teacher, we need to teach students some learning and problem-solving strategies during daily life, sometimes, we can demonstrate or model the performances and methods in the classroom which inspire students to remember and use them in their practical learning process. Then, we need to help students to have habits to plan, monitor, evaluate, and reflect their tasks and behaviors, which make them to have positive attitude to treat their task, acquire skills and get academic achievement. No matter teachers or parents, we should give students encouragement and some rewards which contribute to their perceptions of efficacy.
2. Planning and behavior control ( metacognitive decision)
Planning is assumed to occur on the basis of task and environment features, one’s declarative and self-regulatory knowledge (about strategies), goals, perceptions of efficacy, affective states, and outcomes of behavior control. Behavior control processes guide attentiveness, execution, persistence, and monitoring of strategies and nonstrategic responses in specific contexts. With self-regulated learners, strategic planning guides efforts to control learning and is affected reciprocally by enactive feedback from these efforts.
For example, a student named Eric will have a mathematic exam a month later. Want to have high scores about this important exam, he plan to review related knowledge and do exercise as much as possible. He goes to library to study every day, do many exercise pages, seek help from peers and teachers when meeting some difficulties, use brainstorming and mindmap to integrate and rehearse relevant knowledge. In the end, he gets high score in this mathematic exam. The example indicates that the effective planning and behavior control help students have better self-regulation
Metacognitive decision making also depends on learners’ goal-setting. A particularly effective strategy for reaching long-term goals involves setting intermediate goals that are based on their specificity, difficulty level, and proximity in time. With regard to specificity, the general goal such as “do your best” do not improve in motivation or learning. Self-regulated learners can strategically set goals at a plausible difficulty level. Goals can be set on the basis of their proximity in time.
So when students get a task, they can set intermediate goal and long-term goal. For the intermediate goal, they could have a specific target, such as what level of task we need to finish; they could magnify the difficulty of the task which facilitate their behaviors’ persistence; and they need to have a limited time, for instance, which day we should achieve our goal, and the deadline should be short and not very far. For the long-term goal, that means what kind of goal they want to pursuit in the end, it will be changed according to students’ use of knowledge and strategies, their behaviors, motivation, evaluation, and reflection during the process.
Ⅰ. Monique Boekaerts & Lyn Corno. Self-regulation in the Classroom: A Perspective on Assessment and Intervention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 2005, 54(2), pp199-231
Ⅱ. Paul R. Pintrich. A Motivational Science Perspective on the Role of Student Motivation in Learning and Teaching Contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 2003, Vol.95, No.4, pp667-686
Ⅲ. Barry J. Zimmerman. A social Cognitive View of Self-Regulated Academic Learning. Journal of Education Psychology, 1989, Vol. 81, No.3, pp329-339