As a longtime middle school teacher, I am interested in the link between student motivation and achievement, specifically in the area of writing. Though writing well is challenging, I believe that all students can achieve success in writing by breaking the writing process into manageable steps. Current research in this area indicates that students who write well are better poised to succeed in high school and college content area courses, making it a critical skill to obtain in middle school. The Margaret McBride Lehrman Fellowship has provided generous funding for me to pursue my dissertation research, an eight-week study in a local middle school in which students receive an intervention that increases their motivation through setting mini-goals on writing projects and receiving frequent teacher feedback.
Marisa Silver is a doctoral student in Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education and a recipient of the 2012-13 Margaret McBride Lehrman Fellowship.