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Akane Zusho, Ph.D., Shares Research on Understanding the Science of Motivation to Ensure Student Success


During a recent Continuing Education (CE) Workshop hosted by The Hagin School Consultation Center, Fordham Graduate School of Education professor of educational psychology, Akane Zusho, Ph.D., presented on “Understanding the Science of Motivation to Ensure Student Success.”  

Zusho presented the ABC+M model of motivation from research she co-authored with Rhonda Bondie, a Harvard Graduate School of Education lecturer and Hunter College faculty member, in 2018.

ABC+M is an acronym for factors that help inspire student motivation.

The “A” in the model represents students’ autonomy. To empower students, Zusho recommends that educators shift from a “school bus” mentality to a “student driver car” mentality. Student drivers practice skills, experiment, self-regulate, and learn from their mistakes. Adult driving instructors are observing, listening, and responding. Similar roles can be mirrored in the classroom.

The “B” in the model represents the students’ sense of belonging. Ensuring that students feel like they belong reflects a core tenet of a Jesuit education, cura personalis, or “care of the whole person.” It requires engagement of students’ cognitive, social, and emotional processes.

The “C” in the model represents the students’ sense of competence. To foster critical feelings of competence, Zusho recommends that educators ensure students experience success, promote opportunities to see hard-working peers succeed, and find ways to reduce anxiety and stress in the classroom.

Lastly, the “M” in the model represents meaningfulness. To promote meaning, Zusho recommends making learning “personal” by pushing students to set goals and make reflections about the importance or usefulness of a topic. Zusho also recommends finding ways to “connect the learning to students’ cultural funds of knowledge, interests, or future goals.”

The Hagin School Consultation Center is associated with the Division of Psychological and Educational Services of Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. The \center serves as a training facility for students in the school psychology and counseling psychology programs. Please find additional details about the center here.

To learn more about Akane Zusho, Ph.D.,’s research interests and publications, please visit her faculty profile page.


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