Doctor of Philosophy
Specht, Jacqueline A.
Intrinsic learning motivation can facilitate learners’ meaningful scholarship, creativity, and interest in life-long learning. Over time, however, elementary learners’ intrinsic motivation can decline. To meet this challenge, some inclusive educators have turned to arts-integrated instruction, which can facilitate positive outcomes for diverse learners in various subject areas. Our understanding, however, of learners’ quality of motivation when learning through the arts is limited. Accordingly, I explored four research puzzles through a narrative inquiry methodological framework, two of which included, (a) What stories do learners tell about their motivation when learning through the arts in their inclusive classrooms? and (b) What do learners’ stories reveal about their quality of motivation when learning through the arts in their inclusive classrooms? To explore my research puzzles, the experiences of ten Grade 6, 7, and 8 learners were garnered from two inclusive classrooms in Ontario, Canada. Informed by self-determination theory, several meanings were gleaned from participants’ accounts, including (a) arts integration facilitated learners’ expressions of their identity, flexible thinking, and positive classroom relationships and (b) learners’ quality of motivation when learning through the arts varied in response to changing personal and social factors. The former finding highlights the ways in which arts integration can foster diverse learners’ quality of motivation by supporting their feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness; the latter finding underscores the importance for educators to provide their learners with multiple entry points and ways over the course of a lesson or task through which they can engage meaningfully with their learning.
Melabiotis, Irene, "The Currents of Learning Motivation: Learners’ Stories From Arts-Integrated, Regular Classroom Landscapes" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5220.