Motivation Studies

Leading team

Prof. David Fortus

Postdocs and students

Limor Daphna, PhD

Bat-Shahar Dorfman

Israel Touitou

Summary

Adolescents’ declining motivation to engage with science in and out of school – developing a relational model that characterizes the various environmental factors (school culture, teachers, parents, peers) that influence adolescents’ (grades 3-9) motivation to engage with science. Past studies have looked at traditional and democratic schools, high and low mastery-emphasizing teachers, and various teaching practices. Present studies are looking at schools that serve low SES communities, Waldorf schools, the relation between self-efficacy and motivation, how some students are able to “withstand” negative environmental influences, and the development of a mathematical model that will enable the prediction of how students’ motivation for science learning will develop over time. Future studies will involve whole-school and class-based interventions to try and reverse the decline in most students’ motivation to engage with science.

Related articles

  • Vedder-Weiss, D. and D. Fortus (2011). Adolescents’ declining motivation to learn science: Inevitable or not? Journal of Research in Science Teaching 48(2): 199-216.
  • Vedder-Weiss, D. and D. Fortus (2012). Students’ declining motivation to learn science: A follow up study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 49(9): 1057-1095.
  • Vedder-Weiss, D. (2012). Characterizing environmental factors that are associated with adolescents’ motivation to learn science in and out of school. Science and Mathematics Teaching. Rehovot, Israel, Weizmann Institute of Science. PhD.
  • Vedder-Weiss, D. and D. Fortus (2013). School, teacher, peers and parents’ goals emphases and adolescents’ motivation to learn science in and out of school. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 50(8), pp. 952-988.