David Bergin

  • Emeritus

David A. Bergin is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Missouri. He has studied academic and informal learning for over 30 years. His research focus is on motivation for learning in school and outside of school, including for students from underrepresented groups. One focus area is interest.  Interest is important because students’ interest in a topic enhances achievement and learning in that topic. Interest is also important because it enhances aesthetic enjoyment – people who are interested in biology, astronomy, or physics, for example, experience greater enjoyment and understanding as they experience life. Finally, interest affects the careers that people pursue. Bergin’s co-authored textbook Child and adolescent development in your classroom is in a third edition and is targeted for teachers-in-training. He is a past president of Division 15 Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association and has been on the editorial boards of Journal of Educational Psychology, Educational Psychology Review, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Journal of Counseling Psychology. He won the Outstanding College Teaching Award from the University of Missouri College of Education in 2018. As a 2013 Fulbright Scholar to Temuco, Chile, he taught a master’s course on motivation in Spanish. In addition to the PhD, Dr. Bergin holds an Educational Specialist degree in evaluation from Stanford University. Bergin has studied topics such as motivation for low-stakes tests, classroom engagement, motivational aspects of teacher-student relationships, a college access program for students of color, middle-school students learning about engineering design, and a summer research experience for teachers in neural engineering.

Inspiring Motivation in Children and Youth, David Bergin

Child & Adolescent Development in Your Classroom by Christi Crosby Bergin and David Allen Bergin

Areas of Expertise

  • Student motivation
  • Motivation for STEM learning
  • Development of interest
  • Influence of competition