Equipping Science Teachers to Support Student Motivation in NGSS Classrooms: Insights From the Development of the M-PLANS Program
While the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) ask science educators to develop real-world instructional experiences, teachers have few resources to help them support and sustain the high student engagement and motivation needed for NGSS instruction.
This report describes key insights from a collaboration among motivation experts, science education researchers, and middle school science teachers who used a research-based approach to develop a professional learning program with classroom-based resources to promote and sustain students’ motivation and engagement for science learning.
The Motivation-Planning Lessons to Activate eNgagement in Science (M-PLANS) program aims to offer a set of strategies teachers can readily learn and implement. The program includes a suite of professional learning tools and resources to facilitate middle school science teachers’ design, modification, and implementation of instruction that fosters robust and meaningful science learning.
This report provides an overview of the motivation design principles that form the foundation of M-PLANS, a description of the resources and tools that were developed for the program, and an illustration of the development and research cycle that guided the effort.
- M-PLANS program teams collaborated with science teachers from middle schools across several districts to jointly develop widely adoptable resources and classroom strategies.
- Participating teachers reported high levels of knowledge about and use of instructional practices for supporting student motivation.
- Students’ perception of their teachers’ use of the M-PLANS instructional practices was associated with students’ higher levels of positive motivational beliefs.
- As students develop positive motivational beliefs about science, they may be more likely to develop a sense of identity and belonging with science, an interest and empowerment in science learning and careers, and a better overall proficiency with science.
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