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With development, most people move beyond the assumption that behavior is exclusively a personal matter and realize that institutional practices also play a role in human functioning. I have been studying how children and adolescents make this discovery and become more active in society by forming, maintaining, and evaluating groups. My work demonstrates that children and adolescents may join civil discourse if they learn about the communicative and regulative functions of schools and other societal institutions. Involvement in school teaches youth how schools interact with other societal institutions as well as how to detect their own and others' personal motives. The civil engagement that emerges when individuals align local and global concerns with universal moral principles requires sustained involvement in society. Such civil engagement as well as personal and civic engagement serve as forms of moral motivation that sustain learning across the lifespan. With this in mind, I continue to design projects to improve our ability to form morally-grounded solidarities and high levels of performance as we endeavor to respect and communicate with one another.
Editorial Board Memberships: Journal of Educational Psychology (1996-present), PsycCRITIQUES—APA Review of Books (2004-present)
Professional Organizations: American Educational Research Association (Divisions E and C, Moral Development and Education-SIG, Motivation in Education-SIG) American Psychological Association (Divisions 7, 9 and 15), Association for Psychological Science, John G. Nicholls Trust, Social Psychology Network, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, Society for the Study of Motivation, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
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