Designing Lessons and Programs that Motivate Students


  • Sherry R. Crow
  • Judy A. Henning


While the importance of encouraging students to read and seek information is undisputed, it is an area of frustration for most school librarians. There are specific, practical principles that can help school librarians design activities that will motivate students to read and seek information on their own. This paper presents a theoretical framework for fostering intrinsic motivation, reports on current research on fostering motivation in students of individualistic (Colorado Springs, U.S.), collectivist (Kampala, Uganda), and individualistic/collectivist cultures (Mysore, India), and presents recommendations for designing instruction and programs using these best practices. The theoretical framework consists of the principles of self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2017), building a growth mindset (Dweck, 1999, 2006), and using extrinsic motivators effectively (Deci & Ryan, 2002; Crow & Small, 2011; Small, 2009). Areas for further study are included.




How to Cite

Crow, S. R. ., & Henning, J. A. (2021). Designing Lessons and Programs that Motivate Students. School Libraries Worldwide, 26(2), 1–13. Retrieved from