Developing Student Interest: An Overview of the Research and Implications for Geoscience Education Research and Teaching Practice

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Articles and Special Issues
van der Hoeven Kraft, K. J. (2017). Developing Student Interest: An Overview of the Research and Implications for Geoscience Education Research and Teaching Practice. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65(4), 594-603. DOI: 10.5408/16-215.1
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Interest is a complex interplay between affective and cognitive components that drive motivation. Over decades of work in the educational psychology community, a theoretical framework has emerged that explains this complex interplay. Interest is initially externally triggered (triggered situational interest), which, through support, can become maintained situational interest, ultimately leading to individual interest progressing from emerging to well-developed. Student interest tends to be triggered from an external agent (e.g., an engaging instructor or experience), but will not develop into a more sustained, individual interest unless it is repeated, engaging, and intellectually stimulating. This literature review provides an overview into how interest has emerged as a motivational theory and provides examples as to how it has been applied (or misapplied) in the science education and geoscience education literature. The geoscience education research (GER) community has tended to couch interest as a global phenomenon rather than as a part of a progression; as such, there are not many examples of the appropriate application of interest in the GER literature. If we apply the framework presented in this literature review to the themes identified by the larger Discipline-Based Educational Research community for future research, including our ability to best determine student content comprehension and approaches to problem-solving, the most effective instructional strategies, along with emerging categories of research such as metacognition, self-regulation, and other affective components; interest may be an important lens for considering what and how we teach, as well as how we choose to measure student experiences in the geosciences.

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This page last updated 18 May 2019 - 11:32pm