The Power of Interest for Motivation and Engagement  book cover
1st Edition

The Power of Interest for Motivation and Engagement

ISBN 9781138779792
Published December 2, 2015 by Routledge
188 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

The Power of Interest for Motivation and Engagement describes the benefits of interest for people of all ages. Using case material as illustrations, the volume explains that interest can be supported to develop, and that the development of a person's interest is always motivating and results in meaningful engagement. This volume is written for people who would like to know more about the power of their interests and how they could develop them: students who want to be engaged, educators and parents wondering about how to facilitate motivation, business people focusing on ways in which they could engage their employees and associates, policy-makers whose recognition of the power of interest may lead to changes resulting in a new focus supporting interest development for schools, out of school activity, industry, and business, and researchers studying learning and motivation. It draws on research in cognitive, developmental, educational, and social psychology, as well as in the learning sciences, and neuroscience to demonstrate that there is power for everyone in leveraging interest for motivation and engagement.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




Chapter 1: Defining Interest

Chapter 2: Interest, Attention, and Curiosity

Chapter 3: Measuring Interest

Chapter 4: Interest, Motivation, Engagement, and Other Motivational Variables

Chapter 5: Interest and Content

Chapter 6: Developing Interest


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K.Ann Renninger is the Eugene M. Lang Research Professor at Swarthmore College. She is the Chair of the Department of Educational Studies.

Suzanne E. Hidi is a Founding Fellow of the Senior College of the University of Toronto, and an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology.


Renninger and Hidi have given us a great resource. This collection brings together the very best and most current work on Interest. I am creating a graduate course around this book because it is so comprehensive. I can not imagine a better way to introduce the graduate students at University of California, Irvine to the motivational role of interest.

--Jacquelynne S. Eccles is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of California, Irvine

"The Power of Interest is an instructive and useful book for anyone interested in the science behind maximizing a student’s motivation student to learn. Renninger and Hidi draw on the latest developments in neuroscience, psychology and education to provide an easy to grasp portrait of what determines student motivation and interest."

--Kent C. Berridge, James Olds Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Michigan

This book is a deep and scholarly dive into a topic that should be top of mind for educators, psychologists, and all those who study the science of how people learn. What is interest?  How do we understand motivation and the desire to learn and engage with the world? Within the pages of this book lie answers to how we more effectively engage young people in the enterprise of learning in ways that nurture enjoyment and passion. 

--Margaret Honey is the President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science

Although consistently acknowledged as central to learning and behavior, interest has long been misunderstood and inexactly measured. Ann Renninger and Suzanne Hidi’s new book is a comprehensive and compelling primer on the nature of interest; providing rich examples from across the lifespan and placing this historically illusive topic on solid theoretical and empirical foundations.

--John Falk is the Executive Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University

In this volume, two outstanding and well-known researchers portray a comprehensive view of interest as a powerful resource for learning, motivation and development. Their work, based on a thorough analysis of psychological and neuroscience literature, represents a turning point in the conceptualization of interest and an invaluable tool for researchers, teachers, and practitioners.

--Pietro Boscolo is Emeritus Professor at the University of Padova (Italy)