First Things First: Theory, Research, and Practice
In “Theory, Research, and Practice” First Things First (FTF) is traced back to its roots in the rich tradition of research on human motivation. Three fundamental psychological needs – competence, autonomy and relatedness – are identified as the theoretical foundation for the early development of the FTF core strategies. After providing a review of the core strategies, the authors summarize the growing body of research on FTF – including two longitudinal, quasi‐experimental studies of FTF conducted by independent research organizations – that look at how implementation affects student motivation, engagement and learning. In closing, the authors briefly describe a groundbreaking research project now underway that will more rigorously test the impacts of FTF on an array of important outcomes and further illuminate the motivational processes underlying its effectiveness.