Why What Works Works: Motivation From Theory to Practice

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(11), 1200–1201. Reviews the book, Motivation in the Classroom by Cheryl L. Spaulding (1992). Spaulding organizes her book around the twin concepts of personal competence and personal control as they relate to intrinsic motivation. After ably reviewing the relevant research that has grown from several theoretical perspectives, she presents specific strategies that enhance intrinsic motivation and then gives a theory-based interpretation of why they work. Because the theoretical orientation is parsimonious (enhanced perceived competence plus enhanced perceived control equals increased intrinsic motivation), and because this pairing of method and theory is repeated throughout the book, readers are left with not only a number of useful, usable teaching techniques, but also with the confidence that they will be able to evaluate other possible techniques according to a larger schema. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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