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Stephen M. Tonks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology


Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)

Research Interests

My current research focuses on reading engagement, the interplay of culture and motivation, and ways to increase students’ motivation in the classroom. I also have specific interests in the effects of high-stakes testing on student motivation, and on Japanese culture and education.


Ph.D. University of Maryland, Human Development and Educational Psychology

B.A. University of Michigan, Psychology and German

Recent Publications

  • Shernoff, D. J., Kelly, S., Tonks, S. M., Anderson, B., Cavanagh, R. F., Sinha, S., & Abdi, B. (2016). Student engagement as a function of environmental complexity in high school classrooms. Learning and Instruction, 43, 52-60.
  • Wigfield, A., Tonks. S., & Klauda, S. L. (2016). Expectancy-value theory. In K. R. Wentzel & David B. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (2nd Edition), (pp. 55-74). New York: Routledge.
  • Durik, A. M., & Tonks, S. M. (2015). Beyond success: The potential of imbuing memories with task value. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 4, 381-382.
  • Shernoff, D. J., Tonks, S. M., & Anderson, B. (2014). The impact of the learning environment on student engagement in high school classrooms. In D. J. Shernoff & J. Bempechat (Eds.), Engaging youth in schools: Evidence-based models to guide future innovations. NSSE Yearbook. New York: Teachers College Record.
  • Taboada, A., Tonks, S. M., Wigfield, A. & Guthrie, J. (2013). Effects of motivational and cognitive variables on reading comprehension. In D. E. Alvermann, N. J. Unrau, & R. B. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th Edition), (pp. 589-610). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
  • Tonks, S. M., & Taboada, A. (2011). Developing self-regulated readers through instruction for reading engagement. In B. J. Zimmerman and D. H. Schunk (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (pp. 173-186). New York: Routledge.

Stephen Tonks


Graham 403

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Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

Graham Hall 223