The latest from the Motivate Lab
On a whim, I took a Computer Science (CS) course during my first year at UVA and quickly found out that taking a CS class means having to learn an entirely new, and sometimes difficult, skill: coding. So, when I found out that one of my main responsibilities as a research assistant at the Motivate Lab would be coding, I thought it would be a cool opportunity to transfer my CS skills to the social sciences. It was tough for me to imagine though—why would you need to write software to study educational psychology? Turns out it wasn’t exactly the coding I was used to.
Last month, I finally gave up on a much loved, but completely worn-out pair of sneakers and started shopping online for a replacement. A week later, despite reading reviews for at least 15 different shoes and carefully studying a number of sizing charts, I was the proud owner of two poorly-fitting and incredibly uncomfortable pairs of shoes. I had done my research but, in the end, there simply wasn’t a substitute for getting to actually try on the shoes before buying them. But this is not a post about sneakers (obviously). This is a blog about social-psychological interventions.
When former campers look back on their camp experiences, they often reflect on a nostalgic feeling of youthful freedom and exploration. Camp is where many people learned to paddle a canoe, cook over a fire, or conquer their fear of heights. It’s where they got to explore the woods, learn about nature, and how awe inspiring it can be to camp out underneath the stars. But for children, camp has the potential to help children learn to view setbacks as opportunities for growth, and challenges as short-term issues that can be overcome with a little hard work and some ingenuity.
Jaime attended the same undergraduate institution as both of the authors. When Larry Happel wrote about Jaime's story for Central College, Chris Hulleman immediately recognized the psychological factors at play in Jaime's journey. In this article, Hulleman and Happel come together to share Jaime's story and explain what it can teach us about the psychology of navigating life's transitions and challenges.
As a doctoral student teaching statistics to undergraduates, Dr. Chris Hulleman ran into a challenge that all teachers encounter at some point: his students just didn’t seem interested in the topics of the class. Over fifteen years later, Chris and his wife, Teresa, in collaboration with Character Lab, launched a tool designed to help teachers and students overcome barriers to motivation that can be present in the classroom.
Last month, three of Motivate Lab’s research assistants were invited to New York City to present at the January session of the Advanced Academic and Personal Behaviors Institute (AAPBI). This monthly conference is sponsored by the New York City Department of Education and Eskolta, a nonprofit organization that focuses on school-improvement initiatives for urban public schools in the NYC area. Read on to learn about the Motivate Lab students leading the charge on social belonging interventions.
Mary Rose Phillipoom is a second-year University of Virginia student who has been working in the Motivate Lab since the beginning of her first-year. Through Motivate Lab, and her courses at UVA, she’s able to explore her interests in issues of ability, race, and social class in higher education. The Curry School of Education at UVA caught up with Mary Rose to learn a little more about her academic and volunteer interests.