UNC Study Supports Link Between Motivation, Literacy Development

Assistant Professor John Mark Froiland and doctoral graduate assistant Emily Oros.

Self-motivation, perceived competence and classroom engagement in fifth grade significantly predict reading achievement in eighth grade, according to UNC researchers.

The study by University of Northern Colorado Assistant Professor John Mark Froiland and doctoral graduate assistant Emily Oros was recently published in Educational Psychology.

Leveraging a nationally representative sample of U.S. students, Froiland and Oros examined the effects of motivation to learn and teacher rated classroom engagement on the development of reading achievement from 5th to 8th grade.

They found that reading development over the course of middle school/junior high was predicted by intrinsic motivation, perceived competence and classroom engagement, as well as the value that students placed on getting good grades.

"It is hoped that these results, combined with a plethora of previous studies on the value of intrinsic motivation in the academic realm, help educators, policy-makers and psychologists to realize that promoting reading motivation and classroom engagement can contribute to literacy development," the authors write in the study.

"These findings provide additional corroboration for self-determination theory applied to academics, because intrinsic motivation and related positive engagement in the classroom predict the development of reading achievement across a nation."

For more information, visit http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01443410.2013.822964

In a previous study, Froiland offers advice to parents to support their children's academic success, http://www.unco.edu/news/releases.aspx?id=4165