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.

chapter |7 pages


chapter 1|24 pages

Defining Interest

What is interest and how has it been conceptualized and studied?

chapter 2|20 pages

Interest, Attention, and Curiosity

What explains the power of interest? Why are students who have an interest for the disciplinary content that they are to learn more likely to continue to reengage and develop more conceptual sophistication?

chapter 3|19 pages

Measuring Interest

What is known about assessing existing interest? How do new interests develop? How can the phase of a person's interest be identified and measured?

chapter 4|25 pages

Interest, Motivation, Engagement, and Other Motivational Variables

What is the relation between the development of interest and other motivational variables?

chapter 5|28 pages

Interest and Content

Is it a paradox that interest declines as subject matter gets more developed? What is “interest-driven learning”? Does it matter if interests are taken up in rather than out of school? How different is an interest in one versus another subject matter or domain?

chapter 6|14 pages

Developing Interest

What can we now say about interest, its generation, and development? What are the implications of knowing that interest can be developed? What could further research help us to understand?