Motivation & Engagement

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Our research focuses on the socio-cultural and motivational factors in student engagement in learning. We use a range of methodological approaches to better understand the interplay of motivation and learning processes across academic and social domains, in both formal and informal contexts. We also study how the brain may be impacted by early life stress, and how it contributes to motivation and academic achievement.

We study how beliefs, goals, and values interact with the use of particular cognitive strategies for learning; how social relationships between learners, teachers, and robots influence knowledge acquisition and use; and how student motivations affect what is learned from different forms of instruction.

We study the impact of key contexts - classrooms, families, museums - that support learning and socio-emotional development and focus on how to rectify attainment gaps among ethnic, gender, and racial groups, and first-generation college students.

We study the impacts of socio-emotional interventions on student engagement and learning outcomes. Our work on mindfulness meditation and social belonging interventions addresses self-regulation and stereotype threat. We also study policing practices and school discipline on minoritized groups focusing on adolescents of color's academic and psychological adjustment.

Related Research Areas:
Developmental Processes & Outcomes Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Learning Technology
Related Research Interests:
Minoritized Groups Motivation Socio-cultural Factors

Researchers Associated with this Area