Increasing Motivation and Engagement in Literacy Practices
This capstone essay focuses on the role of motivation in the middle grades Language Arts classroom. I frame the essay through an investigation balanced on the importance of intrinsic motivation and its relationship with engagement. With attention given to reading and writing practices, I investigate the facets of middle school adolescent development, the role of self-efficacy as it pertains to motivation, the importance of social interactions, and the exploration of a supportive environment. I offer insights into what the current literature states about reading motivation, including the importance of choice and the teacher’s role in facilitation in the classroom. I review the available research about writing motivation, consider suggestions for the teaching practice, and raise unresolved questions relating to reading and writing motivation. After finishing this essay, middle grades Language Arts teachers should feel comfortable in increasing motivation of their students for both reading and writing.