Teachers' Beliefs about Student Learning and Motivation

  • Julianne C. Turner
  • Andrea Christensen
  • Debra K. Meyer
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 21)

In this chapter we focus on teachers' beliefs about student learning and motivation and their manifestation in classroom instruction. Teachers' beliefs appear to reflect longstanding attitudes, “common sense,” and their experiences in education rather than research-based knowledge about learning and motivation. Because teachers' beliefs play a significant role in shaping their instructional behaviors, and thus what students learn, it is important to examine their characteristics, their content, and their expression. Specifically, we address three questions about teachers' beliefs and student learning and motivation: (a) What are beliefs and how do they develop? (b) What beliefs do teachers appear to hold about student learning and motivation? and (c) How do teachers' beliefs and instruction change? We illustrate some of these relationships with examples from our research on motivation and learning in mathematics classrooms. Therefore, we have chosen to focus mostly on practicing, as opposed to preservice, teachers. We conclude the chapter by emphasizing the importance of investigating the contexts of teacher beliefs, which are essential for understanding how beliefs develop, the congruencies between beliefs and practice, and the arduous process of belief change.


Student Learning Conceptual Change Instructional Practice Stated Belief Stereotype Threat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julianne C. Turner
    • 1
  • Andrea Christensen
    • 1
  • Debra K. Meyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre Dame
  2. 2.Department of EducationElmhurst CollegeElmhurst

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