psychosocial_theories - THE CARNEGIE FOUNDATION FOR THE...

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THE CARNEGIE FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF TEACHING Problem Solution Exploration Papers 51 Vista Lane Stanford, CA 94305 • telephone: 650.566.5100 • fax: 650.326.0278 • www.carnegiefoundation.org PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORIES TO INFORM A NEW GENERATION OF STUDENT SUPPORT STRUCTURES FOR LEARNING MATHEMATICS Carlton J. Fong Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin Rose Asera Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
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Psychosocial Theories Psychosocial Theories to Inform a New Generation of Student Support Structures for Learning Mathematics Carlton J. Fong Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin Rose Asera Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Introduction The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework from social and educational psychology to enhance student support structures with research-based approaches. So, in turn, students can deepen their commitment to learning and increase productive persistence in the face of academic struggle through increased motivation and self-efficacy. The particular focus of this support is community college students in developmental mathematics classes, though the ideas may have broader application across the educational continuum. Many teachers rate working with unmotivated students as the single most challenging aspect of teaching (National Mathematics Advisory Panel, 2008). However, motivation is not a simple concept, nor a singular one. Viewing motivation as a characteristic that students either have or don’t have does not do justice to the complexity of motivation, nor does it help educators think about how they might increase student motivation. Our culture tends to view mathematical ability as a talent, a quality that is there or is not there. Students as well as teachers may think some students are good at math, while others are not. In contrast, other cultures view math as something everyone can do with effort, though it may require harder work on the part of some individuals. In fact, research has noted that many students have difficulty not because of their inability to do the academic work, but because they do not believe they are capable of performing successfully (Pajares & Schunk, 2002, p. 17).
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Psychosocial Theories The objective of this paper is to explore theories from psychology that could inform a new generation of student support structures committed to increasing student motivation and academic success. Figure 1. Four Sources of Self-Efficacy Mediated by Cognitive and Motivational Processes Figure 1 is a summary of the theoretical framework. Building on Bandura’s (1977) theories of self-efficacy, motivation is derived from four sources of information: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal (social) persuasion, and physiological and emotional states. These four modalities are then mediated by cognitive processes that appraise and attribute information
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 505 taught by Professor M during the Spring '11 term at S. Connecticut.

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psychosocial_theories - THE CARNEGIE FOUNDATION FOR THE...

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