TOPIC 2: Motivation & Persistence

Thursday, July 14th: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Moderator: Kelly Rodgers


  • Diley Hernandez, Associate Vice President, Institute for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Marcus Johnson, Associate Professor, Associate Director, Office of Educational Research & Outreach, School of Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


9:009:15Greetings and check-in with Faculty Fellows 
9:3010:15Presentation by Marcus Johnson
10:3011:15Presentation by Diley Hernandez
11:3012:15Round table discussion with all participants
12:1512:30Wrap up


Dr. Diley Hernandez and Dr. Marcus Johnson will introduce prominent motivational constructs utilized and defined in educational literature, and facilitate discussion around their promising applications, as well as their drawbacks and limitations. Attendees will be asked to reflect and participate in a conversation about the benefits and pitfalls of applying motivational principles and practices in diverse and dynamic classrooms.


  • Motivational factors that play a role in ethnic minority students’ learning.
  • Role of social identity threat on students’ motivation. 
  • Institutional practices that foster students’ interest in STEM-oriented education and careers. 
  • Motivational strategies to improve students’ academic engagement and persistence. 

Key questions:

  • What are some of the key motivational constructs in education literature?
  • What is the relationship between motivation and persistence?
  • What motivates students to pursue careers in STEM?
  • What motivates students to persist in their STEM programs?
  • How do classroom practices affect students’ motivation and persistence?

Readings for Topic 2

Yeager, D.S., & Walton, G.M. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in Education: They are not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81 (2), 267-301.

Friday, July 15th: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Moderators:  Kelly Rodgers and Janice Walters

Pedagogy Workshop:

On Friday, the Fellows and Team will continue to reflect on Topic 2 and will participate in a pedagogy workshop facilitated by Institute co-directors Rodgers and Komolova. Small groups will consider resources and imagine how they might incorporate them into their teaching.

Key Questions:

  1. What are the key motivational constructs that are applicable to your classroom?
  2. What are some important motivators for you? Your students?
  3. What are some things you’ve done in the classroom specifically geared towards motivating students?
  4. What helps or hinders student motivation and persistence?
  5. How can we make students more aware of the things that help or hinder their motivation? 
  6. How can we help students to reflect on their persistence?
  7. What are some ways you can bolster students’ motivation and persistence?


9:009:15Greetings and check-in with Faculty Fellows 
9:1510:15Discussing key questions
10:3010:45In small groups, make changes in their syllabi (each person should make at least one change in their syllabus)
10:4511:15Discussing syllabi in the large group
11:3012:00In small groups, design assignments geared to improve motivation and persistence, and incorporate feedback from the larger group into the revised syllabus
12:0012:30General discussion/wrapping up

Bring your syllabus. Think about how your course policies contribute to students’ motivation. How can you build in practices into your course that increase students’ motivation?

Readings for Topic 2:

Matthews, J.S., & Lopez, F. (2019).  Speaking their language: The role of cultural content integration and heritage language for academic achievement among Latino children. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 57, 72-86.

Ladson-Billings. G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: a.k.a. the Remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84 (1), 74-84.

Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2010). We be burnin’! Agency, identity, and science learning. The Journal of the Learning Sciences19(2), 187-229.