AERA 2017 Symposium on Motivation Theory

Allan Wigfield
University of Maryland-College Park

Alison C. Koenka
Ohio State University

Researchers have learned much about motivation and its relations to important achievement and broader life outcomes. Over the last 50 years there have been several major theoretical models of motivation guiding much of this research; these models continue to be the dominant ones in the field.

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together researchers who either developed these models or contributed much to them to:
1) Present their views of the current status of the model and its future directions
2) Interact among themselves and with the audience about major issues future research on motivation and the theoretical models guiding that research both need to resolve.


Bernard Weiner
Attribution Theory
Presenting Author

Jacquelynne Eccles
Expectancy Value Theory
Presenting Author

Dale H. Schunk
Motivation and Social Cognitive Theory
Presenting Author

Edward Deci (right)
Self-Determination Theory
Presenting Author

Richard M. Ryan (left)
Non-Presenting Author

Tim Urdan
Achievement Goal Theory:
Where it Came From and Where it is Going

Presenting Author

AERA Division C Invited Senior Panel

University of California - Los Angeles
Sandra Graham

Avi Kaplan

Tara Yosso
University of Michigan

Dennis McInerney
University of Hong Kong

Just announced: The AERA Division C - Invited Senior Panel for the San Antonio meeting in 2017. The session is entitled: “Tensions in Division C: Shifting between building individual agency and promoting systemic change.

As learning and instruction researchers we esteem the study of individual attributes that promote academic and social health for children and adolescents. However, does this ‘prize’ inherently inoculate us from perceiving the influence of systems and structures that perpetuate inequity? Do researchers and practitioners fall into the trap of blaming students who do not measure well on our esteemed internal attributes (e.g., self-regulation, grit, growth mindsets, etc.)? Where should we localize our intervention efforts: teacher conceptual change, individual child resilience, education policy, systemic racism? A focus on any of these singularly, leaves us vulnerable to a disregard of another. All of these tensions and others are addressed by a panel of senior researchers who have struggled with these questions over the course of their careers. This session is for anyone who is looking to adopt more of a structural perspective in psychological research or grapple with the complexities of balancing agentic versus systems perspectives on teaching, learning, and social change in education. Implications for methodological approaches in psychology and education will also be discussed.

The structure of the session will be to have each panelist speak for 10 mins about their experiences with this tension and how they have managed to work through it, remaining true to a psychological perspective while also honoring a deep consideration of social systems and structures. Next, a list of prepared questions solicited from Division C members as well as the planning committee will be posed to the panelists, and they will address these freely for the next 30 mins, followed by an open Q & A with the audience.

Input Requested
Please send Jamaal Matthews ( burning questions that you would like to see addressed. They cannot ensure that all submitted questions will be posed during the session; however, they will make an effort to select thoughtful questions that directly address the topic at hand and stimulate the ongoing conversation.


Submit nominations for 2017 AERA awards

From AERA President, Vivian Gasden: I am writing to ask your help in urging members of your SIG to submit nominations for the 2017 AERA awards. As you know, the annual AERA awards are our public acknowledgement and honoring of the many contributions that our members make to research, scholarship, and practice; to the association; and to building our field. They are also an opportunity for our members to contribute to the awards process and decision making. Please note that all AERA-wide award nominations are currently due by January 12, 2017. In the interest of providing additional time for nominations, we are extending the deadline to January 20, 2017. Please note the descriptions below for the awards.

  • Early Career Award – Established to honor an individual in the early stages of his or her career no later than 10 years after receipt of the doctoral degree, this award can be granted for study in any field of educational inquiry.
  • Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award – This award is presented to an education research scholar or scholars in recognition of collaborative project(s) between researchers and practitioners that have had sustained and observable effects on contexts of practice.
  • E.F. Lindquist Award – In recognition of outstanding applied or theoretical research in the field of testing and measurement, the award acknowledges a body of research of an empirical, theoretical, or integrative nature rather than a single study. Particular emphasis will be given to research that has advanced the companion goals of greater understanding and improved use of testing and measurement techniques. This award is co-sponsored by The American College Testing Program (ACT). The winner of this award is invited to give the E.F. Lindquist Award Lecture at the 2018 Annual Meeting in New York, NY. An article emanating from the lecture will be considered for publication in the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics.
  • Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award – This is the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research. The purpose of the award is to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models for education research at its best. Each year, nominations are invited from AERA members who wish to honor a meritorious colleague, one who is considered by other education researchers to stand out in the profession by meeting the very highest of professional standards of achievement.
  • Distinguished Contribution to Gender Equity in Education Research Award – Established in 2006, the Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award recognizes individuals within AERA for distinguished research, professional practice, and activities that advance public understanding of gender and/ or sexuality at any level in the education community. This award will be presented to an individual whose professional career has been devoted in substantial part to the study of gender and/or sexuality in education, and who has significantly advanced the field through extraordinary leadership, scholarship, or professional practice.
  • Social Justice in Education AwardEstablished in 2004, the AERA Social Justice in Education Award honors an individual who has advanced social justice through education research and exemplified the goal of linking education research to social justice.
  • Distinguished Public Service AwardThis award is granted annually in recognition of an individual who has worked to enact or implement policies that are well grounded in education research, or who has been at the forefront of efforts to increase recognition and support for education research.
  • Scholars of Color in Education Award: These awards are intended to recognize (a) scholars at different stages in their careers who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minor­ity populations, and (b) minority scholars who have made a sig­nificant contribution to education research and development.
    • Distinguished Career Contribution– Presented to a senior-level scholar, usually 20 years or more after his or her receipt of the doctoral degree.
    • Mid-Career Contribution – Presented to a scholar who is beyond the first level of professional appointment and for whom at least 10 years have passed since receipt of the doctoral degree.
    • Early Career Contribution– Presented to a scholar who is within the first ten (10) years of his or her career after receipt of the doctoral degree.
  • Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research AwardThis award is presented to an individual in the media who has demonstrated excellence in raising awareness, knowledge, and understanding of education research.
  • Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award – This award is presented to honor scholars who are exemplary in their capacity to communicate the importance of education research to the broad public, including education communities.

2017 Graduate Student Travel Award and the Paul R. Pintrich Memorial Award

Participation and support for graduate students has been a strong tradition of the Motivation in Education SIG. As such, the SIG sponsors two awards specifically for graduate student members of the SIG.

You qualify for a student travel award if you: (1) are a current graduate student, (2) are a member of the Motivation in Education SIG, (3) have an accepted presentation (of any kind—paper, poster, roundtable) as part of the Motivation in Education SIG program, and (4) are the first-author on that presentation. The amount of the student travel awards for this year has not been determined yet, but recent awards were around $100.  We hope to match that amount this year.

To apply for the student travel award, simply send an email to Dr. Ellen Usher ( with your name, mailing address, an attached copy of your AERA proposal, and an attached copy of all the reviews you received for your proposal. Award application due date: Friday, February 3, 2017.

The proposals and proposal reviews of Student Travel Award applicants will be reviewed to determine a group of finalists who will be considered for the Paul R. Pintrich Memorial Award. Those finalists will then have their proposals and reviews read by an ad hoc committee of senior SIG members. This committee will select the winner of the 2017 Pintrich Award.  All awards will be disbursed during the SIG business meeting, which all are encouraged to attend.  Please forward this message to students who may be eligible.

Ph.D. Specialization in Educational Psychology, University of South Florida

Accepting Applications Now!
Application Deadline: February 1, 2017

The Ph.D. Specialization in Educational Psychology is a mentorship model that prepares graduates to be researchers who apply the scientific method to real-world educational problems.

Primary goals are to:

  • Engage students in cutting-edge collaborative research
  • Provide a solid foundation that enables students to integrate theory, research, and practice and fosters a commitment to excellence in research and scholarship
  • Help students acquire a deep understanding of human development and learning for the preparation of future educational professionals in all contexts

Faculty Research Interests

  • Dr. Darlene DeMarie, Associate Professor: Memory development; children’s photography as a way to represent experiences; schools’ missions and achievement reflected in children’s photographs; early childhood curriculum, the impact of a preschool music program on children’s cognitive development, child care.
  • Dr. Sarah Kiefer, Associate Professor: Academic and social motivation, how it develops over time, and how it impacts early adolescents’ adjustment in elementary and middle school; the role of peers and contextual influences on adolescent motivation; help-seeking beliefs and behaviors in the classroom.
  • Dr. Lisa López, Associate Professor: Bilingual language and literacy development in young children; phonological awareness and cross-language transfer; school readiness development in young Latino children; parent involvement in young children’s education; cultural factors in the attitudes and expectations of immigrant parents towards education; home and classroom experiences on academic achievement in Head Start.
  • Dr. Tony Tan, Associate Professor: The post-adoption social and emotional adjustment of children adopted from China; the development of ethnic identity of Chinese adoptees.

Program website:
Online application:
Contact: Dr. Sarah Kiefer,, (813) 974-0155

AERA 2017-Graduate Student Lunch with a Motivation Researcher Program

SIG Graduate Students- Is there a motivation researcher you have always wanted to meet, or a topic you want to know more about from the experts? We are soliciting nominations for the annual Lunch with a Motivation Researcher Program to be held at AERA. Each year, the SIG Graduate Student Committee coordinates lunches between faculty members and graduate students so that they can meet and discuss mutual research interests. We choose faculty based on student votes, so please let us know whom you’d like us to invite! To submit a nomination, please take one minute to complete this very short nomination form.

If you don’t have a specific professor in mind, you can also submit ideas of topics you’d like to discuss at a lunch.

Please complete the survey by January 31. If you have any questions you can e-mail Emily Rosenzweig at

AERA 2017 MotSIG Program Draft

We are excited to share with you a draft version of our 2017 AERA MotSIG program. Among the exciting presentations will be an invited talk by Dr. Judy Harackiewicz and a theory-specific symposium entitled, “Motivation Theory Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Reflections of Founders and Descendants.” Please peruse all topics and presenters on the program. Presentation time slots and locations will be released by AERA in February.

AERA Education Research Conferences Program – March 7, 2017 Deadline

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) invites proposals for conferences in education research. AERA supports research conferences intended to break new ground in substantive areas of inquiry, stimulate new lines of study on issues that have been largely unexplored, or develop innovative research methods or techniques that can contribute more generally to education research. Conferences may focus on conceptual, empirical, or methodological issues important to understanding the state of the knowledge and charting directions for future research. It is anticipated that research conferences will draw upon diverse disciplines and fields of inquiry where there is relevant scientific and scholarly expertise. The purpose of this program is to foster the accumulation of knowledge, to enhance dissemination, to encourage innovation, and to advance studies of the highest quality in education research. AERA’s Research Conferences Program awards grants of up to $35,000.

The deadline for submissions for Spring 2017 is March 7, 2017. For more information or to submit a proposal, please see the Call and Guidelines for Proposals or email Please visit the AERA website for information about previous awards.