Enhancing Motivation in Education:

Creating an Environment Whereby Learners Can Motivate Themselves

Date: 31 January 2015
Time: 2.00pm to 4.30pm
Venue: Training Hub, Social Service Institute, TripleOne Somerset

Conducted by:
Professor John Wang
National Institute of Education

Dr Betsy Ng
National Institute of Education


Jointly organized by:
Yayasan MENDAKI (Council for the Development of Singapore Malay/Muslim Community),
Motivation in Educational Research Laboratory

Course Introduction:

In this joint research seminar between MERL and MENDAKI, motivation in students is explained with the Self-Determination Theory as a basis. How can our knowledge of the theory be applied to help students be self-driven in their classrooms? What can teachers do in class to create a learning environment that encourages student motivation?

Course Content:

The seminar begins with a welcome address by Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, the Guest-of-Honour, Minister of Communications and Information, and Chairman of Yayasan MENDAKI.

Professor John Wang then explains the different aspects of motivation in students and elucidates the different forms of motivation along a continuum of self-determination. Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness are the three basic psychological needs that, when fulfilled, will enhance intrinsic motivation in a student. Professor Wang discusses how teachers may fulfil these needs in students during class instruction.

Dr Betsy Ng defines autonomy-support and elaborates on the behaviours teachers may engage in to be autonomy-supportive. Students with autonomy-supportive teachers show the most beneficial motivaional outcomes, as evident from Dr Ng's research findings.

About the Trainers

Professor John Wang is a BPS Chartered Psychologist and registered with the Health Professions Council of UK as a Sports and Exercise Psychologist. He obtained his PhD from Loughborough University in the UK in Sport and Exercise Psychology. He is the founder of the Motivation in Educational Research Laboratory (MERL), with the research focus on motivational issues related to education. Professor Wang's areas of research include motivational and emotional aspects of physical activity and exercise. His recent publications have been on sport ability beliefs, achievement goals, intrinsic motivation, emotion, and self-esteem. In addition, he also wrote papers on outdoor education, project work, internet gaming, and problem-based learning.

Dr Betsy Ng is an Education Specialist at the National University of Singapore. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science. She obtained her Master of Education from the University of Sheffield, her Master of Science and PhD from Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests include motivation and learning in education, experiential learning, student-teacher relationship, science education, and health psychology. She has conducted research and published papers in the areas of service learning, problem-based learning, and food science.



Presentation Slides

Understanding Students' Motivation in the Classroom - Translating Theory into Practice
Professor John Wang

Autonomy Support in Education: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation
Dr. Betsy Ng