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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Suzanne Hidi

email: suzanne.hidi@utoronto.ca  

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

My early work on academic writing had a cognitive focus. I taught courses, conducted research (supported by Provincial as well as SSHRC funding) and published papers on the topic. (e.g., work that dealt with summarization and note-taking). My research on motivation in general and interest in specific followed. This research includes 25 years (and counting) of collaboration with Ann Renninger of Swathmore College that resulted in numerous articles, chapters, invited presentations, edited volumes. Currently we published a book on the Power of Interest (Renninger & Hidi, 2016) and just finished co-editing a Handbook on Motivation and Learning for Cambridge University Press. This Handbook includes Educational, Psychological and Neuroscientific research.

The paper that Ann and I wrote in 2006, The Four Phase Model of Interest Development is the most significant. Cited over 2000 times (according to Google Academic Citations), it is considered to be a seminal article in the field and has been widely used as a conceptual framework for on-going research on interest development and engagement, both in and out of school settings (see O’Keefe & Harackiewicz, 2017). The Model describes how interest develops from the triggering of situational interest to well-developed individual interest through four distinct and sequential phases and explains the various characteristics of each phase in terms of affect, value and knowledge. Most importantly, the model suggests ways in which interest development is universal and can be supported for all individuals, regardless of age, gender or race. Recognizing the important role interest can also play motivating individuals to write, P. Boscolo and I edited a book on the topic (Writing and motivation: Vol, 19, Studies in writing, 2006).

Interest involves not only psychological but also physiological processes and therefore my work and publications have integrated neuroscientific research findings and those of educational research (e.g., Hidi 2016).

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

PhD - Educational Psychology, University of Toronto, 1976 Thesis: Conditional Reasoning in Children

MA - Educational Psychology, University of Toronto, 1971 Thesis: Ego Development and Motivation BA (Hons.) - Psychology, University of Toronto, 1970

Certification: 1990 to present - Member, Graduate Department of Education, School of Graduate Studies

Teaching Overview

1. Academic Writing: Theoretical and Practical Issues 2. Motivating the Academically Unmotivated

Representative Publications


Renninger, K.A. & Hidi, S.E. (2016) The Power of Interest for Motivation and Engagement. Routledge, New York and London.

Renninger, K.A., & Hidi, S.E.,(Eds.) (in press).The Cambridge Handbook of Motivation and Learning (Eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

Edited Books

Renninger, K. A., Nieswandt, M., & Hidi, S. E.,(Eds). (2015) Interest in K-16 mathematics and science – related learning and activity, Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Hidi, S. & Boscolo, P (Eds) (2006). Writing and motivation: Vol. 19. Studies in writing. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Renninger, K. A., Hidi, S., & Krapp, A. (Eds.). (1992-2014). The role of interest in learning and development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Edited Journal

Iran-Nejad, A., Wittrock, M. C., & Hidi, S. (Eds.). (1992). Brain and education [Special issue]. Educational Psychologist, 27.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Abbott, R., Mickail, T., Richards, T., Renninger, K. A., Hidi, S. E., Beers, S., & Berninger, V. (2017). Understanding interest and self-efficacy in the reading and writing of students with persisting specific learning disabilities during middle childhood and early adolescence. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 3(1), 41-64. doi: 10.12973/ijem.3.1.41.

Hidi S. (2016). Revisiting the role of rewards in motivation and learning: Implications of neuroscientific findings. Educational Psychology Review 28(1), 61-93.

Renninger, A., & Hidi, S. (2011). Revisiting the conceptualization, measurement, and generation of interest. Educational Psychologist, 46(3), 168-184.

Hidi, S. (2006). Interest: A unique motivational variable. Educational Research Review, 1, 69‑82.

Hidi, S., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development. Educational Psychologist, 41, 111-127

Hidi, S., Berndorff, D., & Ainley, M. (2002). Children's argument writing, interest and self-efficacy: An intervention study. Learning and Instruction, 12, 429-446.

Ainley, M. D., Hidi, S., & Berndorff, D. (2002). Interest, learning, and the psychological processes that mediate their relationship. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 545-561.

Ainley, M. D., Hillman, K., & Hidi, S. (2002). Gender and interest processes in response to literary texts: Situational and individual interest. Learning and Instruction, 12, 411-428.

Hidi, S. (2001). Interest, reading and learning: Theoretical and practical considerations. Educational Psychology Review, 13, 191-209.

Hidi, S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Motivating the academically unmotivated: A critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research, 70, 151-179.

Hidi, S. (1995). A re-examination of the role of attention in learning from text. Educational Psychology Review, 7, 323-350.

Iran-Nejad, A., Hidi, S., & Wittrock, M. C. (1992). Reconceptualizing relevance in education from a biological perspective. Educational Psychologist, 27, 407-414.

Hidi, S., & McLaren, J. (1991). Motivational factors and writing: The role of topic interestingness. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 6, 187-197.

Hidi, S. (1990). Interest and its contribution as a mental resource for learning. Review of Educational Research, 60, 549-571.

Hidi, S., & Baird, W. (1988). Strategies for increasing text-based interest and students' recall of expository texts. Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 465-483.

Anderson, V., & Hidi, S. (1988). Written summarization: Moving research into practice. Education Leadership, 46(4), 26-28.

Hidi, S., & Anderson, V. (1986). Producing written summaries: Task demands, cognitive operations and implications for instruction. Review of Educational Research, 56, 473-493.

Hidi, S., & Baird, W. (1986). Interestingness—A neglected variable in discourse processing. Cognitive Science, 10, 179-194.

Hidi, S., & Hildyard, A. (1983). The comparison of oral and written production of two discourse types. Discourse Processes, 6, 91-105.

Hidi, S., & Klaiman, R. (1983). Notetaking by experts and novices: An attempt to identify teachable strategies. Curriculum Inquiry, 13, 377-395.

Hidi, S., & Hildyard, A. (1979). Four-year-olds' understanding of pretend and forget: No evidence for propositional reasoning. Child Language, 6, 493-510.

Bereiter, C., Hidi, S., & Dimitroff, G. (1979). Qualitative changes in verbal reasoning during middle and late childhood. Child Development, 50, 142-151.

Bracewell, R. J., & Hidi, S. (1974). The solution of an inferential problem as a function of stimulus materials. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 26, 480-488.

Research Grants and Contracts

Suzanne E. Hidi, Principal Investigator (grants provided by Provincial funding and SSHRC)

2001 - 2004 $82,184
1989 - 1990 $55,000
1997 - 2000 $72,000
1988 - 1989 $50,000
1998 - 1999 $45,000
1987 - 1988 $45,420
1997 - 1998 $45,000

2000 - 2003 Humboldt Foundation, Grant in support of The Development of Interest: Developing a Cross - Cultural Research Program, A. Renninger (Swathmore College), S. Hidi (University of Toronto, Canada) and A. Krapp (University of the Buneswehr, Munich, Germany).

Honours and Awards

see below

Professional Activities

Hidi, S. (2016, Feb) The Essential Difference between “Being Curious and Taking Interest”, Big thing.com, New York, N.Y.

Hidi, S (2015 Nov.) The role of rewards in motivation and learning: Multiple perspectives. Keynote Speaker at The 6th Biennial Conference of the Southwest Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education. Albuquerque, NM.

Hidi, S. & Renninger K.A. (2015 Aug.). Psychological and Neuroscientific Support for the Four Phase Model of Interest Development. Invited Distinguished Address for Division 7 at the American Psychological Association's Annual Meeting. Toronto, Canada.

Hidi, S. (2014, April) Invited Participant, Research Conference on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), On Programs Sponsored by the NOYCE Foundation, Paulo Alto, CA.

Hidi, S. (2014, January) Invited Participant, Interest and Enjoyment and Rewards, University of the Artic, Tromsø, Norway.

Hidi, S. (2013 February) Un modèle pour développer et soutenir l’intérêt des élèves pour les sciences et la technologie, Conférence dans le cadre des séminaires de la Chaire de recherche sur l'intérêt des jeunes à L'égard des sciences et de la technologie (CRIJEST), Montréal

Hidi, S. (2011) Interest development: Psychological and neuroscientific considerations. Keynote address at the bMRI Symposium on Motivation, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.

Hidi, S. (2007 September) Invited Speakers at A Round Table on Education, organized by the Government of Hungary, Budapest, Hungary.

Hidi, S. (2003) Interest as a unique motivational variable. Keynote address at the Bi-Annual Meetings of the European Association of Learning and Instruction, Padova, Italy.

Hidi, S. (2002 April) Reach for the stars. Invited session for Distinguished Scholars at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Hidi, S., (1987 September) The affective components of discourse processing. Invited scholar at the Department of Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.