Melissa Witkow
Course taught by: Melissa Witkow

Why do some adolescents do better in school than others? Can we explain it just as a matter of intelligence? Or motivation? Better teachers or better schools? In this course we will explore how these different factors come together to either promote or hinder adolescents' academic success in middle school and high school.  Some of the topics we will cover include why some adolescents seem to try to do poorly, how and why characteristics of the self such as gender and ethnicity relate to academic success, how involvement in extracurricular activities can be associated with one’s identity as a student, and what can be done to counter the decline in interest in school that we tend to see across the school years.  We will also explore differences in educational experiences around the world to examine how differences in school structure and values can contribute to motivation and achievement.