ERRR #009. Andrew Martin, Load Reduction Instruction, Motivation and Engagement

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Our guest this month is Professor Andrew Martin. Andrew, is Scientia Professor, Professor of Educational Psychology, and Co-Chair of the Educational Psychology Research Group in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. Andrew specialises in motivation, engagement, achievement, and quantitative research methods. He is also Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, Honorary Professor in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and the list goes on.

Although the bulk of his research focuses on motivation, engagement, and achievement, Andrew is also published in important cognate areas such as Aboriginal/Indigenous education, gifted and talented, academic resilience and academic buoyancy, adaptability, personal bests, pedagogy, parenting, and teacher-student relationships.

Andrew’s research also bridges other disciplines through assessing motivation and engagement in sport, music, and work. Based on sole and first authorships, Andrew placed 1st in the most recent International Rankings of the Most Published Educational Psychologists. He has written over 250 peer reviewed journal articles, chapters, and papers in published conference proceedings, 3 books for parents and teachers (published in 5 languages), and more!

Andrew has been listed in The Bulletin magazine’s ‘SMART 100 Australians’ and was one of only three academics judged to be in the Top 10 in the field of Education in Australia. His PhD was judged the Most Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Educational Psychology by Division 15 of the APA and also judged the Most Outstanding PhD in Education in Australia by the Australian Association for Research in Education.

Andrew really knows how to make an impact and it’s an inspiring story that we hear, in this episode, about how he went from a less-than academically focussed teenage boy, to the current heights of his academic career.

The paper that Andrew nominated for this episode of the ERRR was entitled ‘Using Load Reduction Instruction (LRI) to boost motivation and engagement’. The central concept of this paper, Load Reduction Instruction, based upon Cognitive Load Theory, offers a basis for critiquing different instructional approaches and helps us to move beyond simplistic comparisons of ‘traditional’ vs. ‘progressive’, or ’didactic’ vs. ‘diologic’ teaching techniques. The LRI approach enables both direct and guided discovery approaches to be considered effective, and provides a structured framework for determining ‘under what conditions each approach is most suitable. It’s a cracker of an episode and covers some of the topics that have most powerfully shaped my own teaching journey to date.

Links mentioned during the interview

  • Exciting as yet unpublished report linking LRI with Motivation and Engagement. It’s… as yet unpublished! But I believe the title (once out) will be: The Load Reduction Instruction Scale (LRIS): Examining Psychometric Properties among High School Students
  • Robert Slavin and the What Works Clearing House (See also ‘Evidence for ESSA‘)