CAD.20.002 – Motivation2Learn: Designing inherently motivating schools based on learning sciences, game design and cognitive neuroscience

Route: Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education

Cluster question: 065 What should education be like in the future?

The secondary school years offer great possibilities for students to develop oneself in many possible ways, given sufficient motivation for learning. However, motivation among Dutch students is low and already decreasing for years. We set out to study and design an inherently motivational educational setting, fostering student well-being, bolstering learning performance, and supporting teachers. We integrate, extent and implement of interdisciplinary knowledge about motivation for learning across the learning sciences, game design and cognitive neurosciences. The learning sciences offer insights into motivation constructs, classroom interactions and learning design; game design into effectively designing for motivation; and cognitive neuroscience into the neural underpinnings of motivated learning for a deeper understanding. We test, validate, and apply this integrated knowledge in the complete educational setting, consisting of the curriculum, learning context, assessment, and the role of the teacher. Through design research, quasi-experimental and experimental setups, including two longitudinal studies across the secondary school lifespan (one observational, one brain development), we will understand, create and design an inherently motivating Dutch secondary educational setting. Our approach explicitly takes into account both cognitive and emotional aspects of student learning and both physical and digital design considerations, making school into an engaging learning experience. To realize this, our consortium includes schools (100+) and their teachers, the secondary school board, student board, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education, 35 scientists from all disciplines involvedat different stages of their careers, school designers, game designers, educational software companies and many other important societal partners. Together, we tackle the current lack of motivation for learning in secondary education, all to support students, teachers, and for society as a whole to prosper.


Cognitive Neuroscience, Education, Game Design, Learning sciences, Motivation

Other organisations

Agora 10-15 - Groesbeek, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Bonaventuracollege - Leiden, Bureau ICE, Calandlyceum - Amsterdam, Christelijk College Nassau-Veluwe (CCNV), Cognition and Behaviour (RU-DCC), De Nieuwste School - Tilburg, Dutch Game Association (DGA), Dutch Inspectorate of Education, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Enliven, Erasmus Universiteit (EUR), Erfgooiers College - Huizen, EromesMarko - De onderwijsinrichter, GEU - samen werken voor onderwijs, Haags Montessori Lyceum (HML), HAN University of Applied Sciences - Centre of Expertise Teaching and Learning with ICT, Het Johannes Fontanus College (JFC), HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Hulan Game Studio, HZ University of Applied Sciences, IJsfontein, Koningin Wilhelmina College - Culemborg, Kunskapsskolan Nederland, Landelijke Actie Komitee Scholieren (LAKS), Lapp, Leiden University (LEI), LIAG - Architects of Happiness, Lumion, Magister, MC Agora Nijmegen, Mission Start. Platform voor leren & gamification, Mondia Scholengroep, Montessori College Arnhem, Montessori College Nijmegen-Groesbeek, Montessori Scholengemeenschap Amsterdam, Nederlandse Agora Vereniging, Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging, Niek-e - Roermond, Nieuwe Opleidings-school Amsterdam, Open University (OU), Platform Eigentijds Onderwijs (Pleion), Radboud University - Donders Institute for Brain, Radboud University - Radboud Teachers Academy (RU-RDA), Scholengroep Rijk van Nijmegen, school van je leven - Amsterdam, Schoolinfo, Shapers & Learning Experience Design (LXD), SLO - Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development, SMM, Stichting Carmelcollege, Technasium, University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vereniging Ons Middelbaar Onderwijs (OMO), VO-Raad, WRTS


Organisation Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen; Donders Institute Centre for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (RU)
Name Prof.dr. H. (Harold) Bekkering