It shall first discuss the concepts of engagement and motivation and then go on to discuss the relationship between engagement and motivation as it relates to literacy during early childhood. It shall also discuss the policy implications based on what is established in the discussion on early childhood. Practice implications shall also be established based on what is established in the discussion on early childhood. This paper is being conducted in order to establish a clear understanding of engagement and motivation as it applies to literacy during specific stages of human development.
Engagement is about energy in action or the connection between person and activity (Russell, as cited by Ainley, 2004). It is about setting into motion activities which would help accomplish one’s goals. Cambourne (as cited by Kamil, Pearson, Barr, & Mosenthal, 2000, p. 403) discusses that engagement “entails holding a purpose, seeking to understand, believing in one’s own capability, and taking responsibility for learning”. There is an emotional and physical connection between the thought and the action in engagement and this engagement helps to ensure that a person has more self confidence in carrying out certain activities like reading and writing. Motivation is “about energy and direction, the reasons for behavior, why we do what we do” (Russell as cited by Ainley, 2004). It is the ultimate underlying reason for one’s activities and one’s engagement in a certain goal. Motivation may be intrinsic or extrinsic and as an intrinsic goal it may refer to a person’s reasons for doing an activity without any purpose other than the fact that one enjoys the activity. This may be related to the concept of reading for reading’s sake (Kamil, Pearson, Barr & Mosenthal, 2000). Motivation often inspires a deeper and a more profound engagement in an activity. It helps sustain