How Can We Motivate Students?

How can we motivate students?

Once a student enters secondary school, motivation becomes one of the most important factors in the quality of their learning process. The indifference that often accompanies being unmotivated actually usually involves other behaviors that they find difficult to control on their own. That is why it is so important that we motivate students. That’s especially true once they’re teenagers.

As children develop socially, they adopt behaviors, values, and rules. That also means that they start to get their own way of thinking, feeling and acting. This is the stage where defiance, indifference, lack of perspective, isolation and avoidance are the main dangers we should be wary of. However, motivation can help.

How can you motivate students and what motivation should you encourage?

Motivation is the special ingredient in the achievement of goals. It is a necessary factor that prompts you to act. This is the traditional way experts have described two different types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic motivation is the form that makes you want to do things that you find interesting. Just doing these things gives you satisfaction.
  • Extrinsic motivation is the most useful form. It has to do with the things you do to achieve other goals or to avoid punishment. Extrinsic motivation is then, for example, when a child does his homework for the Dutch subject so that he can play football with his friends afterwards.
What motivation should you encourage

So if you succeed in teaching a student to read because he or she is interested in what he or she is learning and because it gives them satisfaction, then you have made them intrinsically motivated. The problem is that this kind of motivation doesn’t work in all areas.

That is why an important part of motivating students is that they make the motivation their own. It means taking behaviors, values ​​and rules that come from outside and then transforming them into an independent process. As you can see, intrinsic motivation is the objective of education. It is so fundamental that an entire course should be devoted to it!

Students’ academic achievement and motivation

According to Good and Brophy (1983), the concept of motivation in school involves two specific things:

  • The level at which a student participates in the lesson.
  • The effort they put into their homework regardless of the subject or activity.

They also stated that there is a moderate correlation (.34) between motivation and performance. Moreover, it is a mutual relationship because both factors build each other up. In fact, motivated students will achieve a high level of achievement. That high level will motivate the students to maintain that high performance.

It is worth noting that in families with multiple children, there are usually significant differences in the academic performance of each child. Some children may be much more motivated to do homework than others.

Students with additional difficulties such as language difficulties sometimes work much harder to achieve their goals. They motivate themselves out of a desire to do better. At the same time, there are also certain very intelligent students who end up being satisfied with lower scores.

So let’s take this into account and take a look at what happens to students with a high proficiency level who think their mediocre scores are okay. Chances are they will start to fail more when they go to high school and college. The problem is, they’ve never internalized it to value effort.

Academic achievement and student motivation

Encouraging students’ intrinsic motivation

The problem is even worse when a child’s family doesn’t care and doesn’t motivate the child. How can you get a teen to have intrinsic motivation if no one ever taught him how to do it?

If you want to motivate students, you must first make sure that they understand what this concept entails. Then they can start changing the way they think about things. You should also help them by teaching them to visualize their objectives. For example, if they have never thought about studying and it is not a habit for them, help them make it a habit.

Parents also need to learn other styles of parenting. These are some of the styles that are recommended: self-direction and holding them accountable for their decisions.

McClelland’s Theory of Motivation

American David McClelland proposed a motivation theory for use in the classroom. It includes the following things:

  • Stimulate the taste for new things.
  • Encouraging children to be curious.
  • Promote personal autonomy by using the results of their schoolwork.
  • Learn how to evaluate themselves.
  • Responsibility.
  • Parents should encourage their children to achieve high academic achievement and clear evaluations.
  • As they get older, they strive for more independence.

Other motivation theories also say that a student’s self-evaluation is influenced by several variables related to motivation. Examples include their academic achievement and the way they perceive their own efforts and abilities.

Encourage the student's intrinsic motivation

The theory says that students who are highly motivated to succeed (they strive to excel, fight for success, and achieve their goals) see their victories as a result of their skills and efforts. They usually also have greater self-confidence than unmotivated students. This is further proof of something we cannot emphasize enough. It is extremely important that we encourage, motivate and encourage students from an early age.

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