Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen: Understanding Learning and Motivation in Youth

Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen from Centre for Gender research is one of the interviewed researchers in this new publication, Understandig Learning and Motivation in Youth.

book cover


Through interviews with a selection of the most qualified and well-reputed Northern European researchers, Understanding Learning and Motivation in Youth explores, and offers a range of solutions to, one of the central problems in modern education: motivation for learning. Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen´s views on learning and motivation in youth are presented in Chapter 5 under the heading: "Focus on energy".

Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen draws on her experiences from a longtitudinal research project where she followed a Norwegian school class from 1st grade and through compulsary school and high school. A main point is that motivation for learning is dependent on the relations that are created in the class room, between students and between students and teachers, including what gender means in these relations.

Another is that rather trying to be cool, the teacher should take the postion of a caring and inspiring adult who has something to give to the students and who will answer for it. Harriet says it in this way:  You’re starting in the wrong place if you try to create motivation based on the question: ‘What interests young people today?’ and then try to give them what you imagine they want. I’m convinced that it is much more fruitful to start with these three factors: Students’ enthusiasm for mastering at each stage of development, the relationships between the students and a positive relationship with the teacher. If you take these three factors into account, you can create energy and the desire to learn about almost all content.‘

Published Dec. 8, 2017 3:16 PM - Last modified Dec. 8, 2017 3:32 PM