is a critical component of learning.
Motivation is important in getting students to engage in academic
activities. It is also important in determining how much students
will learn from the activities they perform or the information
to which they will be exposed to. Students who are motivated to
learn something use higher cognitive processes in learning about
it. Motivation to do something can come about in many ways. It
can be a personality characteristic or a stable long-lasting interest
in something. There are several theories of motivation that exist.
Some state that motivation is tied to the idea that behaviours
that have been rewarded in the past will be more likely to be
repeated in the future. Therefore past experiences will motivate
a student to perform in future ones.
Other theories prefer to think
of motivation as a way to satisfy certain needs. Some basic needs
people must satisfy are food, shelter, love and positive self-esteem.
Therefore, motivation to do something may be based on the achievement
of these needs.
Yet another theory (the attribution
theory) seeks to understand peoples explanations and excuses when
it comes to their successes and failures. When people feel that
they have control over their success in something, then they are
more motivated to achieve in it. If they feel that they will not
have any control in their success they might not be as motivated
The expectancy theory of motivation
is based on the belief that peoples efforts to achieve depends
on their expectations of rewards. People will be motivated to
do something based on whether they think that they will be successful
and be rewarded.
How to Enhance motivation:
The most important types of motivation
for educational psychology is achievement
motivation, peoples tendencies to strive for success and choose
activities that are goal oriented. They main difference in achievement
is the difference in how someone is motivated. Some people are
motivated to learn, while others are motivated to perform well
and get a good grade. It is important that teachers should try
to convince there students that learning rather than grades are
the purpose of academic work. This can be done by emphasizing
the interest value and practical importance of the material that
the students are studying and by de-emphasizing grades and other
It has also been seen that
teachers' expectations of their students have an effect on
student motivation. Research has generally found that students
will live up or down to their teachers' expectations for them,
particularly in younger grades when teachers know relatively little
about their students' levels of achievement. In order to make
sure that students will achieve communicates positive expectations
to them. The teacher must communicate the expectation to their
students that they feel that their students can learn the material.
There are also ways that a teacher can imply that they have positive
expectations for their students. These include:
* Waiting for the student to respond to a question.
* Avoid making distinctions of achievement among students. Assessment
and results should be a private matter.
* Treat all students equally. Call on all students regardless
of achievement levels, and spend equal amounts of time with them.
Guard against biases.
Sometimes the course itself is
interesting enough and useful enough for a student to be motivated
to do well in it. However, much of what is learned in school is
not inherently interesting to most students. For this reason a
variety of incentives and rewards for learning are introduced.
These might be praise, grades, recognition or prizes. However,
it has been researched whether or not extrinsic rewards end up
decreasing intrinsic motivation. There are ways to enhance
intrinsic motivation in the classroom:
1) Arouse interest: It is important to convince
students of the importance and interest level of the material
that is about to be presented, to show that the knowledge to be
gained will be useful.
2) Maintaining curiosity: A skilful teacher
will use a variety of means to further arouse or maintain curiosity
in the course of the lesson. The use of demonstrations helps to
make students want to understand.
3) Use a variety of interesting presentation modes:
The motivation to learn is enhanced by the use of interesting
materials, as well as by a variety in the way that material is
presented. For example a teacher can use films, guest speakers,
demonstrations and so on, in order to maintain interest in a subject.
However, all of these different materials need to be carefully
planned and should all focus on the course objectives and complement
4) Help students set their own goals: People
will work harder for goals that they have set for themselves,
than if they were set by others.
5) Express clear expectations: Students need
to know exactly what they are supposed to do, how they will be
evaluated, and what the consequences of success will be. Failure
often stems from confusion about what was asked of them.
6) Provide clear feedback: Feedback can serve
as an incentive. It can be an adequate reward in some cases. Feedback
must be clear and specific and given close in time to the performance.
It should be informative and motivational and help by giving them
suggestions for future success.
7) Increase the value and availability of extrinsic
motivators: Students must value incentives that are used
to motivate them. For example, some students may not be all that
interested in receiving teacher praise and grades, but might value
notes sent home to parents, more recess time or special privileges.
Development & Education