The topic of motivation is both relatively new and incredibly broad so my first steps were to identify that which was most relevant to my inquiry.
Literature on dance motivation is growing in number but there is still a lot more research available that is non-dance related - sports, education, child-development, etc. This is both interesting to me, as it allows me to see if motivation theory can be applied to multiple settings, and gives my inquiry a sense of place and potential interest to others.
Two authors that have had a major influence are Susan Stinson and Julia Buckroyd; their research, on aspects of dance and dance motivation, have been vital to nearly every aspect of my inquiry - design, methodology, approach to analysis, and presentation.
Julia Buckroyd's findings in the Student Dancer (2000), although about students in full-time vocational training, identified both ideas and issues of relevance to my inquiry, thus directing my search for further literature, and allowed me to understand how difficult a phenomena motivation is to understand and how much interpretation there is on the part of the researcher,
'I have found while I have been writing that many of the issues I discuss overlap and are interrelated. I have referred the reader to other parts of the book throughout the text, but, in the interests of dealing with each issue in a fairly complete way, I have also included some repetition of key ideas and issues.' (p.x)Susan Stinson's approach is very 'voice-centric' and her research devotes space and attributes great importance to the voices of the students she collaborates with. Her chapter on Postpositivist Research in Dance (Green and Stinson, 1999) gave me insight into multiple-perspectives, interpretation, and that research on experience, although partial by nature, has value too.
From these beginnings I have gathered more specific literature that focuses on the notion of control (Dawson et al, 2001; Reeve, 2005), vital to my students development from child to adolescent, and how this over-arcing concept is found in many of the motivation theories.
Self-determination theory, which focuses on the psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Reeve, 2005; Quested & Duda, 2011), research on motivational climates (Miullia & Nordin-Bates, 2011; Nordin-Bates et al, 2012) and a broader understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and how they can be developed or diminished (Reeve, 2005; Mainwaring & Kresnow, 2010; Buckroyd, 2000; Stinson,1997; Bond & Stinson, 2007) have encouraged me further in the importance of recognising the need for educating holistically and with regard to the student-self.
All the literature clearly shows how important it is for teachers to understand that all three aspects of student motivation - development of self, perception of external events, and effect on motivation - are inherently linked; a guiding factor in my approach to this inquiry.
(N.B. this is mainly a review of topic literature, there will also need to be a section added about approaching research with children but I've run out of time!)
Mainwaring, L. and Krasnow, D. 2010. Teaching the dance class: Strategies to enhance skill acquisition, mastery and positive self-image. Journal of Dance Education, 10 (1), pp. 14--21.