Article Critique 6-3

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Article Critique 6-3
HowCanCStu.dents BeMotivated: A Misplaced Question? RICHARD F. BOWMAN JR. : Abstract- Great teachers understand the fundamental dif- ference between motivation and inspiration: motivation is self-focused and inspiration is other focused. Exceptional teachers guide students to greatness by inspiring them to dis- cover where their talents and passions intersect. For today’s besieged classroom teacher, the desire to motivate students often springs from a place of self-concern: “I want to change your behavior with a reward or incentive so that, if you meet the targets or goals I set for you, this will help me meet my own needs and goals.” Students are highly motivated to perform when they first come to school. The question is not ‘how can students be motivated?” but rather, “how can educators be deterred from diminishing-even destroy- ing-student motivation and morale through their policies and practices?” Keywords: extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, motivation Sreat teachers understand the fundamental differ- ence between motivation and inspiration in the classroom: “Motivation is self-focused; inspiration is other focused” (Secretan 2005, 14). Characteristically, providing motivation is something that a teacher does to a student; inspiration is something that is a result of a trusting, caring, mentoring relationship with a student. Inspiration is something that an extraordinary individual lives, not something that he or she simply does. The image of Lance Armstrong streaking across the French countryside in search of his seventh straight Tour de France title inspired millions of cancer patients by giving new meaning and hope to their lives. In The 8th Habit, Covey (2004) argues that the crucial challenge for individuals and organizations in moving from effective- ness to greatness is to discover one’s own voice and to inspire others to find their’s. For the besieged classroom teacher, however, the desire to motivate students often springs from a place of self-concern: “I want to change your behavior with a reward or incentive, so that, if you meet the targets or goals’ I set for you, this will help me meet my own needs and goals” (Secretan, 14). In an era of accountability and high-stakes testing, teachers are becoming adept at manipulating students’ personalities through extrinsic rewards and incentives. When students are extrinsically motivated, external forces often determine their emotions and behaviors. When students are inspired, however, forces within determine their emotions and behaviors. Anyone who has worked with a trusted mentor, for example, senses deeply that the mentor is not seeking personal gain but is offering a heartfelt gift of caring and service (Secre- tan 2005). Relatedly, Schlechty (2002) argues that the primary function of a teacher as a leader is to “inspire others to do things that they might otherwise not do and encourage others to go in directions they might not otherwise pursue” (xviii). Exceptional teachers guide students and colleagues to greatness by inspiring them to discover -where one’s talents and passions intersect. Specifically, teachers inspire students by channeling students’ energy and passion toward their strengths. Although students need to be clear about their weaknesses and what makes them afraid, they need to be dearer about those per- sonal strengths that will result “in an increase in per- formance, service, and life-satisfaction” (Secretan 2005, 14). In a truly productive classroom, a generosity of spirit, a sense of perceived interdependence, and a shared reverence for the gift of learning also inspire- both teacher and student. Yet, there is a pervasive institutional belief that moti- vating one’s students and colleagues is an essential role Richard F Bowman Jr., PhD, is a professor emeritus in the College of Education at Winona State University, Minnesota. Copyright © 2007 Heldref Publications 81 November/December 2007 of teachers and administrators as leaders. Whether it is merit pay, stickers placed on students’ papers, bonus points, or formal recognition ceremonies, consider- able energy and organizational resources are expended to execute this perceived leadership task. The refrain, “how can our students and staff be motivated?” punc- tuates collegial conversations daily in diverse settings, including staff lounges, in-service programs, and parent- teacher conferences. Thirty years of research related to motivation and performance, however, suggests that there is only one problem with that question: “It is the wrong one” (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer 2005, 24). Although motivation and morale are important to performance in the classroom and the workplace, the query is mis- placed because students, faculty, and workers in diverse settings are already highly motivated to perform well when they first come to school or the workplace (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer). Kindergarten chil- dren, for example, are typically excited and enthusiastic about going to school each day. Not so, however, for many third and fourth graders. In studies, research- ers suggest, “something or someone is decreasing the high levels of motivation” that students and employ- ees bring with them to the classroom and workplace (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer, 25). The pertinent question for educators and parents is not “how can students be motivated?” but rather, “how can educators be deterred from diminishing-even destroying-student motivation and morale through their policies and practices?” (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer). What can teachers and administrators do to sus- tain initially high levels of morale, motivation, and performance for students and colleagues alike? First, educators must understand what students and col- leagues want; then, they must give it to them (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer 2005). Researchers pinpoint three overarching factors that have the most dra- matic and positive impact on classroom and workplace morale: equity, achievement, and camaraderie (Sirota, Mischkind, and Meltzer). Students want to be treated justly and respectfully in their classroom setting. Many educators, for example, mistakenly apply restrictive policies-meant to rein in toxic behaviors of 5 percent of their students-to the 95 percent of students who are motivated to achieve. Not surprisingly, doing so has a negative impact on student morale and intrinsic motivation. Moreover, students want to take pride both in their individual accomplishments and in the achievements of their classmates by engaging collab- oratively in a constant reorganizing and reconstructing of meaningful experiences. Dewey (1916) framed the challenge compellingly: “The aim of education is to enable individuals to continue their education and that the object and reward of learning is the continued capacity for growth” (117). Additionally, students want to live out the belief that learning is a relational event by having genuine, interesting, and collaborative rela- tionships with their peers and teachers. Importantly, students sense that any process that enhances learning has two sides: psychological and sociological (Mason 1975). In Best Practice: -New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s Schools, Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde (1998) discovered an unrecognized consensus regarding learners’ needs for equity achievement, and camaraderie: “Virtually all the authoritative voices in each field are calling for schools that are student- centered, active, experiential, democratic, collabora- tive, and yet rigorous and challenging” (viii). Katzenbach (2006) argued that pride is what ulti- mately motivates individuals both in the classroom and the workplace to excel at what they do. Spe- cifically, he contends that more than half a century of clinical and academic research’by scholars such as Maslow, Herzberg, and Csikszentmihalyi points the motivational compass in one direction: pride in the work itself is the most powerful agent of change and performance. Moreover, pride is the most easily recog- nizable descriptor of what motivates artists, musicians, athletes, executives, and students to excel at what they do. Compellingly, Katzenbach asserts, “the peak per- formers in life are seldom in pursuit of money or for- mal advancement except as validation of the pride they feel in their workplace achievements” (59). From that perspective, the real work of teachers as leaders is that of functioning as pride builders in the classroom. Successful teachers, for instance, sponta- neously instill pride in students on a daily basis by honoring Csikszentmihalyi’s “discovery that people are most highly energized about their work when their mix of skills closely matches their individual and teamwork challenges” (ctd. in Katzenbach 2006, 62). Relatedly, productive teachers are adept at getting students to anticipate how proud they will be when their behavior or achievements ultimately mirror class and societal expectations. U.S. Marine Corps drill instructors, for example, are masters of instilling pride in recruits on a daily basis by making soldiers “anticipate how proud they will feel when their behavior and results conform to the implications of the USMC values” (Katzenbach, 60). The motivational power of anticipation in daily life is hard to overestimate. A-growing number of contemporary educators, none- theless, are committed to the use of tangible classroom rewards as a motivational strategy. Those rewards, how- ever, can ultimately limit students’ ability to unleash their aspirations and excel at what is meaningful to them individually and collectively. Specifically, when teachers and students perceive daily class work as a source of points, grades, and treats-as opposed to a source of learning and deep fulfillment-they are blind- ed to the other reasons students may want to excel, 82 The Clearing House How Can Students Be Motivated? including an internal desire to create meaning and significance. So, what happens when educators provide both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards in the classroom? Designing a stimulating and productive learning environment draws on one’s beliefs about human nature, the nature of learning, and the passions, inter- ests, and needs of one’s students. Ironically, designing a successful video game system draws on the same con- siderations. Admittedly, analogies fall short because the resemblance between cases is not inexhaustible. Resemblance between the motivational supports in a productive learning environment and a video game system are dearly constrained by differences in mis- sion, resources, and legal statue. Yet, the similarities are striking. In truth, both academically engaging dass- rooms and video game systems exhibit a common, unmistakable ethos or ambiance: Each is steeped in (a) darity of task, (b) clear awareness of participant roles and responsibilities, (c) choice in the selection and execution of problem-solving strat- egies, (d) potentially-balanced systems of skills and challenges, and (e) a progressive hierarchy of challenges to sustain interest. Moreover, each reflects (a) unam- biguous feedback, (b) affirmation of the instructive- ness of error, (c) seemingly infinite opportunities for self-improvement, (d) provision for active involvement in tasks which are rooted in the high probability of suc- cess, (e) freedom from fear of reprisal, ridicule, or rejec- tion, and (f) an overarching recognition of the need for learners to enjoy what they experience in the classrooms of life. (Bowman 1982, 16) Characteristically, the motivational supports of elec- tronic amusement systems and academically engag- ing classrooms are both extrinsically and intrinsically rewarding. At the cosmetic level, video games assault the senses with an endless series of kaleidoscopic sights, sounds, and figures. Video games provide play- ers with an undeniable visual and aural sense of momentary triumph and accomplishment. Addition- ally, video games provide a socially uniting context for displaying one’s evolving electronic prowess for friends and family. Yet, these familiar extrinsic motivational supports “fail to account fully for either the intense concentration or the intoxicating sense of power that arcadians experience., A more plausible explanation appears grounded in the domain of intrinsic rewards” (Bowman 1982, 14). Probing the question of what makes a classroom or video activity so enjoyable that it is intrinsically rewarding, Csikzentmihalyi and Larson (1980) propose a balanced state of interaction-a flow state. In this state, students and players find themselves in a peculiar, dynamic experience: Flow is described as a condition in which one concen- trates on a task at hand to the exclusion 6f other inter- nal and external stimuli. Action and awareness merge, so that one simply does what is to be done without a critical, dualistic perspective on one’s actions. Goals tend to be dear, means are coordinated to the goals, and feedback to one’s performance is immediate and unam- biguous. In such a situation, a person has a strong feel- ing of control-or personal causation-yet, paradoxi- cally, ego involvement is low or nonexistent, so that one experiences a sense of transcendence of self, sometimes a feeling of union with the’environment. The passage of time appears to be distorted: Some events seem to take a disproportionately long time, but in general, hours seem to pass by in minutes. (64) Although some researchers argue that intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are negatively related and may impede one another (Deci and Flaste 1995; Deci, Koestner, and Ryan 1999; Kohn 1993), there is argu- ably room for both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in a caring, engaged classroom in which students respond productively to a variety of incentives. Admittedly, in many instances, rewards in the classroom have con- flicting effects and can be experienced as controlling (undercutting the learner’s need for autonomy) or as informational (satisfying the learner’s need for com- petence). In daily practice, however, effective teachers can learn to use both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards in personal, thoughtful, and complementary ways to heighten students’ academic engagement.’ Researchers in human motivation contrast two moti- vational states-extrinsic and intrinsic (Deci and Flaste 1995). Students often perform in school, for example, to receive rewards if they succeed or avoid punish- ment if they fail. Acting a certain way because one feels compelled to by social controls characterizes extrinsic motivation. In contrast, acting a certain way because of an internal desire, constitutes intrinsic motivation. Research suggests that “external motivation is more likely to create conditions of compliance or defiance” and that individuals who “are externally controlled are likely to stop trying once the rewards or punish- ments are removed” (Kouzes and Posner 2002, 112). Researchers also suggest that self-motivated individuals persist in working toward a meaningful goal in diverse activities involving play, exploration, and challenge seeking, even when little likelihood of an external reward exists. Video game players, for example, typically derive neither material gain nor profit from their activi.. ties. Intrinsically motivated students, moreover, tend to have an overarching sense of purpose that is larger than they and goes beyond their classroom teacher. Tellingly, intrinsically motivated students confront the uncertain- ties of life from the inside out, as they search for what is rewarding rather than what is rewarded. To be successful in school, students need to feel that they belong there, are accepted and valued, and have the skills and inner resources needed to be pro- ductive (Kouzes and Posner 2002). Intrinsic rewards are personal gestures that deepen students’ sense of belonging, accomplishment, and efficacy. Intrinsic rewards invite students to develop a deeper aware- 83 Vol. 81I, No. 2 November/December 2007 ness of their work and how that work contributes to a larger outcome. More important, intrinsic rewards in the classroom speak to the human thirst for a coherent purpose in daily classroom activities and school events. When students sense that their work is not trivial, they become reenergized in discovering what is worthy of their shared attention (Wheatley 1999). The art of good teaching, therefore, lies in designing systems and incentives in such a way that students will naturally do the right thing for themselves and for the common good. Admittedly, motivating one’s students is as simple as the components of the human body and as complex as the spirit. At issue, then, is how educators can design schools and classrooms so that students are intrinsically motivated to be their best. The classroom-tested approaches that follow represent neither a theoretical framework nor an emergent moti- vational paradigm. Rather, they represent an exposition of the insights and practices of classroom practitioners in response to the question, “is it possible for effective teachers to use both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in personal, thoughtful, and complementary ways?” Say thank you. Emotion deepens learning. Saying thank you reveals a teacher’s genuine care and respect for stu- dents and their work. Simple, sincere gratitude makes students feel noticed, recognized, and appreciated. For students, a thank you not only serves as a form of encouragement to sustain performance but also deep- ens trust by shortening the symbolic distance between teacher and student. Research suggests that conveying appreciation for a task well done with an occasional unexpected thank you enhances students’ intrinsic motivation and keeps them alert and interested in what the teacher and their peers have to say (Deci, Koestner, and Ryan 1999). Recognize students’ actions. Noticing students’ actions that make a difference in attaining class or individual goals helps learners understand how to achieve a high standard. Moreover, providing specific examples helps students build a cognitive map that they can draw on when facing similar challenges or situations in the future. Public recognition or praise signals to other students that their contributions also will be noticed and appreciated. Research suggests that recognition given informa- tionally has a more positive effect on intrinsic motiva- tion than recognition given in a controlling manner (Deci, Koestner, and Ryan 1999). Students can inter- pret classroom rewards as controllers of their behavior or as indicators of their competence. When rewards are given in a controlling manner, those rewards thwart students’ needs for autonomy and undermine intrinsic motivation. As much as students value the intrinsic sat- isfaction of genuine accomplishment, they also value noncontrolling extrinsic symbols of success, such as a choice in how to approach tasks and projects ()eci, Koestner, and Ryan). Choice deepens students’ per- ceived self-determination and competence. The best kind of recognition publicly and informationally cel- ebrates the effort and determination it took for a stu- dent to excel in a project or activity and sustains intrin- sic motivation. Specifically, informational recognition satisfies the student’s need for competence. In short, if educators use tangible rewards in the classroom, they incur a professional obligation to be mindful about the intrinsic motivation and task persistence of the students they reward. Foster positive expectations. Inviting students to take the lead in setting their own goals develops positive stu- dent expectations. It instills a belief in students that they can go beyond what they once thought possible. Efforts to foster that belief show students that their teacher has confidence in their ability to shape their own destiny. For example, teachers who use a Socratic method of leading students through a series of ques- tions allow students “to find their own way to the answers and bolsters their confidence in decision mak- ing” (Kouzes and Posner 2002, 343). Research suggests that students act in ways that are consistent with teach- ers’ expectations of them. Adept teachers are aware that reinforcing processes, such as the Pygmalion effect (self-fulfilling prophecy), can amplify small actions into larger consequences for students (Merton 1968). Effective teachers, therefore, purposefully help students shatter belief barriers and self-doubts. In a moment of disarming honesty, if a teacher can genuinely support a student in making a “true commitment not to lead a little life, then most other things will fall into place” (Redmond, Tribbett, and Kasanoff 2004, 13). Provide precisefeedback incrementally. This helps students sense their progress in reaching their goals and lessens stress and anxiety. Purposeful feedback functions as recognition, allowing students to sense that “I can do it” and that “the teacher knew I could do it.” Such feedback also shows students that, much like learning to ride a bicycle, trial and error are, an inevitable part of a steep learning curve. More important, research shows that teachers’ “best opportunity to reinforce or change behavior is very close to the time that the behaidor occurs” (Allen and Allen 2004, 32). Timely feedback, therefore, is a natural and necessary part of learning. Goals without feedback and feedback without goals, however, have only a negligible effect on student moti- vation (Bandura and Cervone 1983). Oral and written feedback helps students become self-corrective as they pursue goals. It also helps them’feel interconnected as they reach out for encouragement and assistance in building their capabilities. In short, “the art of bal- 84 The Clearing House 85 How Can Students Be Motivated? ance is essential to effective feedback” (Allen and Allen 2004, 24). That is, suggestions for improvement must be balanced with compliments. Allen and Allen’s 2 + 2 feedback system, for example, has two equally resonant objectives: “First, recognize successes so that they can be reinforced and repeated, and second, encourage improvement in areas that are most in need of change” (26). The intent in the classroom is to make compli- menting and encouraging one another informationally the norm. In contrast, teaching by primarily correcting problems without informationally complimenting suc- cesses is not balanced feedback. Moreover, to enhance credibility and trust, teachers’ “compliments should not be used simply as a prelude to suggestions for improvement” (Allen and Allen, 26). Aid students in finding meaning. Getting students to work productively is a key responsibility in a teacher’s professional life. Rather than focus on what it is the student is to do or how the student is to do it, the exemplary teacher focuses on why the meaningful work is to be done (Collins 2001). Adept classroom teachers recognize that a student’s commitment to learning is a product of confidence, autonomy, and motivation. Self-assured students sense that they have the ability to complete a project without significant supervision. In addition, autonomously motivated students feel driven to do their best in completing a particular task or proj- ect. A student could, however, exude confidence in his or her abilities but still lack enthusiasm for tackling an assigned task. Without teacher support, the subsequent disillusionment could undercut a student’s committed performance (Zigarmi et al. 2005). Put a human face on opportunities. Classroom stories cre- ate a readiness for responsibility. They put challenges in a real-life context. Stories make achievements visible to others and enable students to share in the lessons learned. When teachers share stories with a class, the stories provide inspiration and direction to students facing complex, challenging situations. A story is “not only easier to remember and recall than a set of facts, it translates more quickly into action” (Kouzes and Pos- ner 2002, 363.) In his research about how individuals make decisions in emergency conditions, Klein (1998) discovered that the rational model of decision making gives way to intuition, metaphors, analogies, and sto- ries. For students, well-told stories reach inside them and pull them along. Show values as a source of self-motivation. Values are “deep-seated beliefs about the world and how it oper- ates” (Freiberg and Freiberg 1997, 146). Values are the emotional rules that govern students’ attitudes, choices, and behavior in the classroom. Contextually, values are the foundation of rules that make a class- room work. Intrinsically motivated behavior is a pur- poseful action that is intimately connected to one’s core beliefs. Encouraging students to rediscover and honor the beliefs that form the basis of their relationships, such as a genuine care and concern for others and for the common good, helps them to focus behavior and energy toward a desired instructional end. Classroom norms are a living expression of individual and collec- tive values. Without clear end values, however, “pur- poseful action is limited to transitory adaptation to the environment” (Zigarmi et al. 2005, 125). Provide new perspectives. Diversity produces the healthi- est classroom environment. For students in an inter- connected world, a diversity of thought, belief, opin- ion, and cultural perspective is essential to civic success and long-term survival. In a classroom that embraces and cultivates alternative perspectives, students are intrinsically motivated to open up to various points of view in preparation for a world that is endlessly mul- tifaceted. Students who live out the desire and willing- ness to open themselves to diverse points of view are understandably better prepared to work through the challenges of a multicultural environment. Thus, the student “who embraces diversity is embracing oppor- tunity” (Redmond, Tribbett, and Kasanoff 2004, 179). In conclusion, parents, teachers, and students sense that the need for autonomy, encouragement, and rec- ognition is a fundamental human drive. Moreover, each senses that success both in the classroom and life is kindled and sustained through intrinsic motivation. To stimulate and motivate students’ internal drive, exemplary teachers focus on clear standards, high expectations, acknowledgment of feelings, the provi- sion of choice, and spontaneously instilling pride in their students. Successful teachers recognize that stu- dents’ values are a source of self-motivation, classroom stories put a human face on opportunities and propel students, balanced feedback, including complimenting and encouraging, is central to self-corrective learning, a diverse perspective is intrinsically motivating in an interconnected world, and developing students’ capac- ity for meaning making and discernment is the moti- vating force in learning. In his stunning presentation of logotherapy, Frankl (1959) underscored the core challenge confronting teachers and students: “Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life” (105). Finally, for caring, competent, contemporary educa- tors who are committed to the use of tangible class- room rewards as a motivational strategy, the issue is how to teach and reward in ways that do not discour- age capable students. Research has shown that there are conditions in which extrinsic rewards do not necessar- ily undercut intrinsic motivation: provision of choice, Vol. 81, No. 2 November/December 2007 unexpected and task-noncontingent rewards (unrelated to the target activity), rewards given informationally rather than in a controlling manner, and emphasizing the interesting or challenging aspects of a task (Deci, Koestner, and Ryan 1999). Ultimately, great teaching is something that one lives; it is not something that one does through rewards and incentives. By focus- ing on the talents, passions, and natural curiosities of one’s students, teachers inspire students to share with the world the “music that lies inside them” (Secretan 2005, 14). REFERENCES Allen, D. B., and D. W. Allen. 2004. Formula 2 + 2: The simple solution for successful coaching. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Bandura, A., and D. Cervone. 1983. Self-evaluation and self-efficacy mechanisms governing the motivational effects of goal systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45 (5): 1017-28. Bowman, R. 1982. A “Pac-Man” theory of motivation: Tactical implica- tions for classroom instruction. Educational Technology 22 (9): 14-16. Collins, J. 2001. Good to great. New York: Harper Business. Covey, S. 2004. The 8th habit. New York: Free. Csikzentmihalyi, M., and R. Larson. 1980. Intrinsic rewards in school crime. In Dealing in discipline, ed. M. Verble, 31. Omaha, NE: University of Mid-America. Deci, E., and R. Flaste. 1995. Why we do what we do: Understanding self-motivation. New York: Putnam. Deci, E., R. Koestner, and R. Ryan. 1999. A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin 125 (6): 627-68. Dewey, J. 1916. Democracy and education: An introduction to the philoso- phy of education. New York: Macmillan. Frankl, V. 1959. Man’s search for meaning., Boston: Beacon. Freiberg, K., and J. Freiberg. 1997. Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ crazy recipe for business and personal success. New York: Broadway. Katzenbach, J. 2006. Motivation beyond money: Learning from peak performers. Leader to Leader 41:59-62. Klein, G. 1998. The sources of power: How people make decisions. Cam- bridge, MA: MIT Press. Kohn, A. 1993. Punished by rewards. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Kouzes, J., and B. Posner. 2002. The leadership challenge. San Fran- cisco: Jossey-Bass. Mason, R. 1975. Dewey’s culture, theory, and pedagogy. In John Dewey: Master educator, ed. W. W. Brickman and S. Lehrer, 115-25. Westport, Cr: Greenwood. Merton, R. 1968. The self-fulfilling prophesy. In Social theory and social structure, ed. R. K. Merton, 475-92. New York: Free. Redmond, A., C. Tribbett, and B. Kasanoff. 2004. Business evolves, leadership endures. Westport, CT: Easton Studio. Schlechty, P. 2002. Working on the work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Secretan, L. 2005. Inspiring people to their greatness. Leader to Leader (36):11-14.Sirota, D., L. Mischkind, and M. Meltzer. 2005. Assumptions that kill morale. Leader to Leader 38:24-27. Wheatley, M. 1999. Leadership and the new science. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Zemelman, S., H. Daniels, and A. Hyde, 1998. Best practice: New standards for teaching and learning in America’s schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Zigarmi, D*, M. O’Connor, K. Blanchard, and C. Edebum. 2005. The leader within. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 86 The Clearing House COPYRIGHT INFORMATIONTITLE: How Can Students Be Motivated: A Misplaced Question? SOURCE: Clearing House 81 no2 N/D 2007 The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: http://www.heldref.org/
Article Critique 6-3
Article Critique Guidelines and Rubric Overview Articles are written to inform, misinform, influence, or misdirect, among other reasons. Sometimes they serve as nothing more than a vehicle for an author to achieve fame, notoriety, and wealth. You should never take at face value the elements of any article you read, but you should be able to: Differentiate between fact and opinion Recognize and evaluate author bias and rhetoric Determine cause-and-effect relationships Determine accuracy and completeness of information presented Recognize logical fallacies and faulty reasoning Compare and contrast information and points of view Develop inferential skills Make judgments and draw logical conclusions When writing an article critique, you will need to summarize, evaluate, and offer critical comment on the ideas and information that the author(s) presents in the article. Starting in Module Two, you are assigned two articles to read, which are located in Module Resources for that specific module. You have to select one of the two articles and write a critique of it. In your paper, cite any and all information taken from the article or any other references used. Your goal should be to read and understand the article, analyze the findings or arguments, and evaluate and comment on the article. Reading the Article Allow enough time to understand it. Read the article without taking notes to gain an overall picture of its main idea. Read the article again analytically highlighting important ideas and making brief notes of the main ideas and main topic. Main Elements Be sure to address the following within your article critique: What is the issue that the article is specifically addressing? Is this a significant problem or issue related to the concepts and theory in this course? Why or why not? What references did the author use in this article? Did the article contain research? What data was used? What instruments, if any, were used to collect data? What were some of the conclusions, if any, to the research in this article? Was the article reliable and valid? Explain. Was this article well written? Thoughtful and reflective? What were the limitations in this article? Any variables? Any other thoughts, comments? Rubric Requirements of submission: Written components of projects must follow these formatting guidelines when applicable: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and discipline-appropriate citations. Page length should be 2-3 pages, not including cover page and resources. Instructor Feedback: Students can find their feedback in the grade book as an attachment. Critical Elements Exemplary Proficient Needs Improvement Not Evident Value Main Elements Includes almost all of the main elements and requirements and cites multiple examples to illustrate each element (23-25) Includes most of the main elements and requirements and cites many examples to illustrate each element (20-22) Includes some of the main elements and requirements (18-19) Does not include any of the main elements and requirements (0-17) 25 Quality of Article Critique Provides an in-depth critique of the main elements; lists and explains examples of bias or faulty reasoning found in the article (23-25) Critiques the main elements; lists and explains any examples of bias or faulty reasoning found in the article (20-22) Attempts to critique the main elements and list examples of bias or faulty reasoning found in the article (18-19) Fails to critique the main elements, does not include any examples of bias or faulty reasoning found in the article (0-17) 25 Inquiry and Analysis Explores multiple issues through extensive collection and in-depth analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions (14-15) Explores some issues through collection and in-depth analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions (12-13) Explores minimal issues through collection and analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions (11) Does not explore issues through collection and analysis of evidence and does not make informed conclusions (0-10) 15 Integration and Application All of the course concepts are correctly applied (9-10) Most of the course concepts are correctly applied (8) Some of the course concepts are correctly applied (7) Does not correctly apply any of the course concepts (0-6) 10 Research Incorporates many scholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research (14-15) Incorporates some scholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research (12-13) Incorporates very few scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research (11) Does not incorporate scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research (0-10) 15 Writing (Mechanics/Citations) No errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (9-10) Minor errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (8) Some errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (7) Major errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (0-6) 10 Earned Total: Comments: 100%

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