Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Frederick S. Ellett, Jr.

Second Advisor

Dr. Goli Rezai-Rashti


Jere Brophy’s motivation to learn theory, as supported by his theory of learning communities strongly implies that the average K-12 student can be motivated by a teacher to strive to learn academic material, is the focus of this study’s investigation.

Through the process of philosophical inquiry, this study offers a constructive critique of Brophy’s public school motivation to learn theory and his ideal learning communities as it applies to the pedagogy of teachers. The study will show that while Brophy claims that his learning community supported by an “authoritative” teacher is a necessary condition for successfully socializing motivation to learn as a disposition, his motivational theory does not require this community. Dewey’s conception of “freedom” is used to explore how students might adopt motivation to learn as a disposition. The study concludes that Brophy’s theory is only partially useful to typical classroom teachers attempting to foster students’ motivation to learn.



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