Julianne C. Turner



Julianne C. Turner is an associate professor in the Psychology Department, a Fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, and co-founder of the Minor in Education, Schooling and Society.  Her research investigates academic motivation—what accounts for students’ motivation to learn.  Most of her research has been conducted in K-12 classrooms where she studies how teacher-student interaction affects students’ motivation.  She recently conducted a three year study at a local middle school designed to help teachers understand student motivation and to design instruction that would support student engagement.  Her research has been published in leading journals in psychology and education, such as Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, the Educational Psychologist, and the American Educational Research Journal.  She serves on the editorial boards of five journals.  Her research has been supported by the Spencer Foundation.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the Psychology Department related to psychology and education.  She also teaches undergraduate courses in the Minor in Education, Schooling and Society, including a senior seminar in which students conduct original research.  She has mentored over 50 undergraduates who have participated in her research program.

Dr. Turner began her teaching career with middle school students.  Her interest in student learning and motivation led to her Ph.D. in Psychology and Education from the University of Michigan in 1992. Her specialization in motivation and her research have provided her with the principles that inform her undergraduate and graduate teaching—challenge students’ thinking, honor their ideas, encourage risk-taking, and establish a learning community. 

She is the recipient of the Kaneb Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Letters in 2004 and the Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2012.