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Blog #6: Ambiguity and Constructivism, EDCI 500

Posted by on November 14, 2013

Learning has always been something I have perused and enjoyed. I believe that my motivation to learn and do well in school comes from within as well as from the outside. An individuals locus of causality refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them (Woolfolk,  2013, p.431). After learning about external and internal locus of control, I believe that I’m motivated intrinsically and extrinsically.

As I progressed through college, I really began to notice my motivation to learn and succeed in school. I took multiple classes each semester to fill my schedule, including fulltime summer classes. This was a motivation that I connected to previous semesters and relating it to the success I achieved while staying busy. As I started to dissect this process, I started to understand that my motivation comes extrinsically due to the good grades and positive feedback I received while in college. This motivation was due to the factors outside of myself that I cannot change unless it is something that we can personally gain (Woolfolk, 2013, p.431).

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I believe that I have surpassed the lower level of needs such as survival and safely. As a child, I believe that these needs were my most important and in order to move up a step I must feel content in those areas. Once in college, I believe that my motivation stemmed from Maslow’s three higher-level of needs; intellectual achievement, aesthetic appreciation, and self-actualization (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 434).  I believe that my motivation intrinsically and extrinsically came from these levels because of the constant searching for knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration and need for relationship meaning. Once I achieved these intellectual achievements, I wanted more which bumped me up to Maslow’s next level of aesthetic appreciation through the feeling of accomplishment and meeting psychological needs . Following aesthetic appreciation, I entered into self-actualization by receiving my diploma and pursuing a higher education. This motivation was derived from my need to fulfill personal creativity and to pursue my inner talent. Just because I have had bits of these levels, I have not completely fulfilled each level. With each taste from each level, it pushes me to want more and strive for an even higher accomplishment (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 435).



Source: the New Existentialist

For a classroom that is organized and conducted from a constructivist perspective and includes ambiguous tasks, an educator must be sensitive to the students and their emotions towards these tasks. Students with anxiety issues have a general uneasiness, a feeling of doubt, and a sense of tension (Woolfolk, 2013, p.453). Educators must focus their attention on differentiated instruction and bringing activities to students that can uplift and motivate them to learn through positive experiences. According to Woolfolk’s podcast, students deserve a fair chance at learning. Educators can do this by different activities for different students based on their abilities (Woolfolk, 2013). Self-efficacy is more than building self-esteem, but it molds actions and outcomes of students, which ultimately builds self-esteem through accomplishment. If educators did not set reachable goals for students, they would have higher anxiety and hear in the classroom. Classroom management is the first step to create a positive work environment and one that shows students encouragement and a positive environment to work and study in.


New Existentialist. Maslow’s Pyramid. Retrieved from

Woolfolk, A.E. (2013). Educational psychology (12th Ed). Pearson Education



One Response to Blog #6: Ambiguity and Constructivism, EDCI 500

  1. msmetts

    I too noticed my motivation to learn grown in college. However, it was really hard in some classes. I believe we as teachers need to find our students motivation and push them. I love your idea of bring up student with positive experiences with different task. I believe if we start those tasks in the classroom then as the school year progresses we should then be able to let the student take those ambiguous task home for homework.

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