Motivating Students

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Instructional Strategies
Motivating students to want to learn has been a concern for almost every teacher and parent. In order for students to continue succeeding in their education, they need to be motivated to learn. According to the United States Census (2011), “about ten percent of all high schools produce more than forty percent of the nation’s dropouts. Roughly 1.2 million students did not graduate from high school in 2011”. Therefore, motivating students to succeed in school should be a top priority for both teachers and parents.

For years, teachers have read professional books, attended seminars, and collaborated with colleagues and parents in motivating their students to learn in the classroom. The article Methods of Motivational Teaching discussed twelve methods for teachers to utilize before, during, and after lessons to motivate students to learn. The twelve methods are: • Making content relevant to student values and goals; (i.e. “Give students choices about what they want to learn”) • Help Students Achieve their goals through learning; (i.e. “Encourage students to set realistic yet challenging goals, long-term and short-term that relate to their learning • Provide potent models of learning; (i.e. “Speak in an enthusiastic tone of voice”; “Express personal interest in the topics you cover”) • Prompt and persuade students to learn (i.e. “Give the rational for unit requirements) In other words, state the purpose of the lesson prior to teaching. • Establish a positive relationship with students (i.e. “Listen reflectively to the students”; Show interest in students”) • Reward student achievement and learning efforts

• Avoid de-motivating treatment of students (i.e. “Avoid criticizing students in front of the class”) • Enhance student learning self-efficacy (i.e. Tell students that they can do well if they work hard”) Teachers need to clarify that students can do their personal best if they put forth effort. • Utilize engaging teaching methods, such as role playing, hands on activities, and educational games • Use an appealing teaching style. For example, if teachers were enthusiastic about what they are teaching, they would move about the room and keep an uplifting tone. • Give motivational feedback, such as personalized and constructive feedback (i.e. Billy, I really liked how you helped Sara tie her shoes.) • Monitor student motivation levels and adjust motivation methods as needed. (i.e. Through observations, teachers would be able to notice students’ nonverbal cues if they are interested in the lesson) (Malouff, Rooke, Schutte, Foster, & Bhullar, 2008)

In summary, there are many motivational teaching methods to enhance students desire to learn. The motivational methods ranged from student interest to teaching styles. Through utilizing the mentioned methods, teachers at any level should be able to engage their students in learning. The impact of using a variety of motivational strategies in the classroom demonstrates the ability to keep the students interest for a long period of time where they have the desire to continue learning the topic.

As a Kindergarten teacher I chose to read the article, Best Teaching Methods- Kindergarten by Patricia Bentham. The article focused on motivating young children to explore and learn. Some of the teaching methods discussed are: being understanding of children’s development, interests, and needs. “One of the best teaching methods is to motivate children by modeling enthusiasm and curiosity about the topics studied” (Bentham, 2011). There are two types of motivation: intrinsic (from within) and extrinsic (from outside self). Teachers need to keep the motivation within by demonstrating the love of learning. In the article, Developing the Motivation Within: Using Praise and Rewards Effectively (2011) states that “extrinsic...
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