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Professional development requires us to reflect on our successes and failures and the ways in which we can learn from them. Nothing stays still. One certainty is that the hazards we face next year will be different ones. It is important to take time occasionally to reflect on what you stand for, where your leadership agenda is taking you, what you need to know in order to realize that agenda, what the results of previous attempts to intervene in change were, and how you would proceed differently next time. These activities help keep us energetic and motivated, and rightly focus attention on the future as well as the present (Taleff, 2006, p. 44).
One of the difficulties in all academic staff development program is making the leap from a focus on skills and techniques to a consideration of the underlying 'working theory' which informs those techniques. It is important to understand how working theories and practice form part of a unified system. We now know that, in the area of improving teaching skills, certain theories, or conceptions of teaching and learning limit the capacity of lecturers to deploy techniques effectively; or more precisely, prevent them from seeing the possibilities inherent in those teaching techniques. For example, a science lecturer who sees first year student learning as involving chiefly the acquisition of information, and her own role as transmitting that information, has a limiting conception of student learning. As a result, she will not 'see' the possibility of helping the students to learn through asking them questions, and there is no point in training her to use this technique unless she is also encouraged to change her conception (Hovland, Kirkwood, Ward, Osterweis & Silver, 2009).
Why should cognitive psychologists be concerned with motivation? In the typical cognitive psychology formulation, motivation is not a theoretically interesting or important variable. The assumption typically made is that motivation simply involves caring about a task or wanting a successful task outcome -- and that once individuals care about the task they will display the cognitive processes (and hence the intellectual performance) of which they are capable. In this view, motivation is a quantity that people have in varying degrees and, if they have enough of it, their intellectual performance will fully reflect their cognitive abilities (Matthews, Schenkel, Ford & Human, 2009).
Knowledge Gathered as a Consequence of Used Strategy
Our perspective challenges this assumption and in doing so casts motivation in a much more interesting light. In place of the view of motivation as a simple amount of caring, it proposes that there are qualitatively different motivational frameworks, driven by people's beliefs and goals, that affect basic attention and cognitive processes. By doing so, these motivational frameworks can substantially change intellectual performance even among individuals who care very much about succeeding.
We review research showing how the motivational beliefs and goals people hold affect their attention processes, cognitive strategies, and intellectual performance, particularly in the face of challenge and setbacks. We present evidence from laboratory studies (including electrophysiological studies), field studies, and educational interventions. We hope to demonstrate the powerful effects of these motivational variables, their dynamic and malleable nature, and the striking changes in performance that can result from brief, but targeted interventions (Shaughnessy & Moore, 2008, p. 239).
Role Of Believe and Goals in Developing Expertise
A performance goal is the goal of validating one's ability through one's performance, that is, the goal of looking smart and not dumb. In contrast a learning goal is the goal of increasing one's ability, that is, the goal of getting smarter. These goals create very different mindsets, which we will see, have many ramifications (Hauser, 2010).
Although both goals can be important in achievement settings, some students are overly concerned with performance goals, while others focus predominantly on learning goals. Why might this be? We have found that students' theories about their intelligence orient them toward one class of goals or the other. When students believe that their intelligence is a fixed trait (an entity theory of intelligence), it becomes critical to for them to validate their fixed ability through their performance. In contrast, when students believe that their intellectual skills are something that they can increase through their efforts (an incremental theory of intelligence), they become less concerned with how their abilities might be evaluated now, and more concerned with cultivating their abilities in the longer term.
In some of the studies described below, we used measures of students' goals or theories of intelligence to predict their cognitive strategies and intellectual performance. In other studies, we manipulated students' goals or theories of intelligence to produce different patterns of cognitive strategies and intellectual performance (Gutierrez, 2008).
A core problem of self- and emotion-regulation is how to strike a proper balance between two sometimes competing goals and strategies. On one hand, good self-regulation requires that individuals optimize affect. To do so ensures a sufficiently positive balance of affect and the ability to resiliently recover from negative effect. On the other hand, good self-regulation often requires that individuals forgo the personal need for affect optimization as they accept tension and delay of positive affect and endure prolonged negative effect in the interest of adapting to the external demands of reality.
The tension between these two goals is reflected in the fact that theories of affect and self-regulation often emphasize either one or the other of those strategies. Some researchers point out those regulating emotions through the maintenance of relatively high levels of positive and low levels of negative affect has been consistently related to better psychological outcomes and adjustment. Nevertheless, a growing body of research suggests that the processing of negative affect also is an important aspect of psychological health, and that exclusive focus on positive aspects of experience can be related to undesirable outcomes ("In Brief," 2010, p. NA.)
Development of Expertise
Since maintaining positive affective balance, though one important adaptive outcome, is not the only criterion of well-being, there has been a growing emphasis on how individuals organize positive and negative effect in terms of differentiated cognitive-affective structures. Work on ego development, this orientation recently has led to several proposals that focus on individuals' understanding and organization of affect terms across time, context, and emotion category or valence. Variously referred to by such terms as cognitive-affective complexity or, emotional awareness, or emotional intelligence, some authors have suggested that these terms refer to a second criterion of adaptive emotion regulation that is somewhat independent of valence-based ones, per se (Grammig, 2001, p. 52).
Development of Capacities
We suggest that ideally in development, individuals coordinate these modes into integrated cognitive-affective structures. Each of those modes implies a different criterion of what constitutes optimal functioning, however. The first mode, affect optimization, emphasizes hedonic quality through an emphasis on maximizing positive and minimizing negative effect. In contrast, the second mode, affect differentiation, emphasizes conceptual and emotional complexity, individuation and personal growth, and the ability to maintain open, elaborated, and objective representations of reality even in the face of negative though vital information. We further suggest that these apparently different patterns of self and emotion development in adulthood can be reconciled by the assumption that ideally, the two modes of affect regulation cooperate in an integrated fashion, assuring well being through an emphasis on both hedonic tone and open, complex representations. In many cases, however, individuals may come to favor one mode over the other, creating less balanced and well-integrated regulation as they sacrifice a complex, objective representation of reality for positive effect, or else sacrifice positive affect for complexity. Such a lack of integration has important implications for describing individual differences in patterns of successful aging, and those individual differences, in turn, may have profound implications for physical and psychological health. Below, we summarize the general theoretical model of integration and its implications for examining adult age differences and age changes (Appiah-Opoku, 2007).
Objective and veridical function of the Ego's reality principle, many theoreticians have stressed that affective adaptation implies that we are constituted as dual human beings. On one hand, our inborn reflexes, affects, and proclivities appear to make us into machine-like automatons that react to the environment and in so doing maximize personal pleasure and minimize personal pain. On the other hand, we are able to endure and even embrace negative effect in the pursuit of growth and the creation of meaning. Thus, we are not merely reactive creatures but also able to proactively and consciously direct our growth, to act with self-determination and to strive for self-realization (Lavergne, 2004).
A unique aspect of Piaget's view of affect is that it rejects any dualism between affect and cognition but claims that the two are like different sides of the same coin -- that is, Piaget (1980) viewed affect as the dynamic aspect of cognition, or conversely, cognition as the structural aspect of emotions. That is, cognition structures the dynamics of emotional experience. As a consequence, as the cognitive system develops, so…[continue]
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