Motivated Teaching: Harnessing the Science of Motivation to Boost Attention and Effort in the Classroom, by Peps Mccrea

Motivated Teaching: Harnessing the Science of Motivation to Boost Attention and Effort in the Classroom, by Peps Mccrea

What is this book about?

Peps Mccrea’s Motivated Teaching: harnessing the Science of Motivation to Boost Attention and Effort in the Classroom explores the science behind motivation, why it matters in the classroom, and how harnessing its power can help teachers improve their practices. Packed with useful tips and tricks, this book outlines how teachers can implement consistent strategies, routines and teaching approaches to cultivate student motivation, boosting students’ enthusiasm about learning.

Why use this book?

While defining motivation is straightforward, cultivating sustainable intrinsic motivation in students is much more challenging. McCrea delves into the deep subconscious mechanics of motivation, emphasising the need to address individual core drivers. The book prioritises long-term motivation for learning over quick fixes, offering valuable insights for educators who want to go beyond superficial incentives to engage their students.

Who is this book for?

This book is for any teacher interested in understanding motivation, how it works and how to foster it in their classroom.

Evidence base

The author combines thousands of pages of research from across many disciplines into a package that is not only easy to understand but fun to read.

This book combines evidence from fields such as economic psychology, behavioural psychology and motivation science to craft a framework designed to keep students interested and engaged in the classroom. Each chapter also ends with further recommended reading, allowing teachers to look up research in support of their new knowledge.


In just 125 pages, Motivated Teaching adeptly communicates key principles in a well-structured and easily navigable style. McCrea makes the key drivers of motivation easy to understand with just five overarching principles, each focusing on a specific teaching practice:

  1. Secure success: How can we help each pupil to experience success in the first few lessons?
  2. Run routines: Which habits, routines, behaviours will we need to establish and reinforce?
  3. Nudge norms: How do we communicate and highlight positive behaviours in the classroom?
  4. Build belonging: How will we help build a group/class identity?
  5. Boost buy-in: How can we frame certain tasks/activites to make the purpose and benefit clear to pupils?

Each chapter begins with a notable quote, setting the tone for the upcoming material, then unfolds with succinct “key ideas,” ensuring a clear and focused presentation of information. Although we recommend reading the whole book in order, most of the tips are standalone, so readers can dip in and out and focus on ones that interest them. Not only does this make is easier to read, but perfectly fits the busy schedules of teachers, allowing them to easily navigate and extract key messages to enhance student motivation.


Despite its densely packed content, Motivated Teaching never feels overwhelming. It covers nearly all aspects to consider when contemplating motivation, including the psychology behind it, the necessary environments for its achievement, and the approaches teachers can employ to maximise their students’ potential – and yet is a real page-turner.

The lessons gleaned from this book extend beyond the classroom, benefiting any educator but also anyone seeking to enhance others’ or their own motivation, with key strategies to act on.

Value for money

For just £15.64, this little book offers excellent value for money by providing educators with a comprehensive understanding of motivation and practical strategies to enhance student engagement

Why we love this book

Concise and packed with ideas we guarantee you’ll return to, this book is a valuable and a relevant resource for educators at all levels. We especially like the book’s:

  • Realistic, practical and highly effective tips
  • Amount of research and handy strategies
  • Memorable quotes
  • Points to further useful resources

Well organised structure, making it easy to read

Final thoughts

Regardless of your teaching experience, Motivated Teaching is a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their understanding and practice of motivation in the classroom. With this book by your side, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to inspire and motivate your students towards academic success.

We are sure this invaluable resource should be added to every educator’s library.

Our Review Summary

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Motivated Teaching: Harnessing the Science of Motivation to Boost Attention and Effort in the Classroom by Peps McCrea provides a concise and practical exploration of the science behind motivation in the classroom, with valuable insights and strategies to cultivate student motivation, focusing on long-term intrinsic motivation over superficial incentives.

Drawing from research across various disciplines, the book offers a well-structured framework for educators to engage students effectively. Each chapter presents key principles and actionable tips, making it easy to navigate and extract relevant information. Despite its comprehensive subject matter, it’s quite hard to put down.

With its exceptional value for money and wealth of resources, this book is an essential read for educators seeking to enhance student engagement and academic success.