So, my topic area of motivation is a broad one. Even my working inquiry title - 'There's no such word as can't: student experiences of motivation in the dance class' - leaves itself wide open to a whole host of possible areas for analysis. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if I had all the time, and resources, in the world but, as all us Module 3'ers are aware, we only have a very, very limited time!
Today, I have been thinking hard about the next stage of my data collection - the interview. What's that got to do with the opening paragraph, I hear you cry! OK, let me explain...
1) In order to gather useful data I need to be specific in what questions I include in my interview. However, to be able to do this I need,
2) to understand the particular aspect(s) of my broad topic that I am hoping to understand better and develop a deeper knowledge of through analysis.
My reading so far has lead me to two particularly interesting areas of motivation theory:
1) The psychological needs of i) autonomy, ii) competence, and iii) relatedness, and
2) Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and the Self-Determination theory.
The psychological needs present a trio of basic human priorities, that of free-will or choice, the ability to achieve, and a feeling of belonging and value (Reeve, 2005, chapter 5). These three desires need to be satisfied in order for the individual to feel motivated to continue on with what she is doing - in my inquiry case: attending a dance lesson.
The type of motivation - amotive, intrinsic, extrinsic (Ryan & Deci, 2000) - that a person (in the case of my inquiry, the student) functions from is important as it will also affect how the external factors of the dance class are perceived and also what effect they will have on raising or lowering levels of motivation (Reeve, 2005, chapter 6).
If I take these into consideration as two areas of analysis then this gives me a framework for my interview sessions, and, of course, for the direction in which my diary analysis will go too. But back to the interview:
Start with a thank-you for helping with inquiry and check that participant is still happy to be interviewed. Clarify again that I would like to record the interview, would they be happy with this? Also that I will be possibly making a few notes as I listen to them, and explain why.
1) How long have you been dancing? (start with easy, closed question to get ball rolling)
2) How many lessons a week do you attend, or how many hours a week do you dance? (see above)
3) Why do you take dance lessons? (opens up the topic area - hopefully leading to a discovery of students motivations)
4) Do you think this has always been the reason for coming to class or has this changed or developed over the last x amount of years? (quite a sophisticated question but, with careful explanation, I hope to discover whether motivation changed from extrinsic - mum made me - to intrinsic - but now I really love it, and perhaps at what age (roughly)
5) What do you feel are the main causes of increased/ decreased motivation in your dance classes? (allow them to skim diaries if it helps to jog memory but hopefully the really important aspects will come straight to mind)
5a) Did you expect to be more, or less, motivated than you were? Why do you think this is?(only ask if participant is struggling to answer Q.5)
6) What did you find interesting, or hard, or funny,or x, about writing in your diary? (may gain insight into surprises or unexpected self-realisation by student - could lead to verbalising a really important aspect of their dance motivation experiences)
7) Then either ask fantasy question like "If I gave you a magic wand to create the most motivational dance lesson you could, what would you do?" (Robinson, 2013) or use a physical task such as scribbling on post-it notes the students answers to question 5 and then placing them in order of importance on a large piece of paper.
This is, of course, a work in progress but as, in the interest of keeping to schedule, I've already got most of my interviews timetabled in for before the half term I really need to perfect this list of questions by the middle of the week!
Any thoughts, comments, criticisms, etc, as always, would be gratefully received. I also hope to trial these questions out on one lucky victim...I mean volunteer, to get an idea of whether they might work or not. Would anyone be willing to help out?
Reeve, J. (2005). Understanding Motivation and Emotion. 4th Ed. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Robinson, S. 2013. It's all a question of questions! BAPP, [blog] 22nd April 2013, Available at: http://seraclops.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/its-all-question-of-questions.html [Accessed: 6 Oct 2013].
Ryan, R. & Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. American Psychological Association.