Motivation for Students in the Classroom

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As educators we need to constantly strive to maximize the potential of our students. In my opinion one of the most effective ways to maximize learning is to motivate in the classroom. Even though most educators would agree that motivation in the classroom is an effective strategy to maximize learning as a whole we do not emphasize and use this strategy enough. There are several reasons why educators do not take advantage of this good teaching strategy; some of these reasons are that it takes more thought and time, we are to focused on curriculum, and we have not been educated on how to motivate and why it is important. It is my hope that this paper will improve how we motivate in the classroom and to learn how we can use this great strategy in the most effective manner possible to help aid in maximizing the potential of our students. Body

There are two kinds of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Students are extrinsically motivated when they accomplish a task in order to receive a reward outside of the task. For example, students who do an assignment because they want to complete a requirement or get a passing grade are extrinsically motivated. Students are intrinsically motivated when they do an assignment because it is personally interesting, fulfilling, or enjoyable (McGlinn, 2003). Obviously then the goal of educators should be to find ways to intrinsically motivate students however in my opinion it would be naïve for educators to believe that every student is going to be intrinsically motivated in every subject area. Therefore I believe that educators should always strive to intrinsically motivate but also use extrinsic motivation as a tool for a last resort. Since we have stated that the best type of motivation is intrinsic I think that it would be important then to study intrinsic motivation so that we can hopefully incorporate intrinsic motivation techniques into our classrooms to accomplish our goal of maximizing learning. According to McGlinn, " teachers encourage intrinsic motivation in the classroom if they enable students to attain a sense of achievement and personal control in their work. Students need to perceive themselves as being both competent and self-determining for them to feel personally fulfilled in the classroom. Both of these student perceptions are important, but a student must have a degree of competence before they benefit from an opportunity to control their learning. Because student competence is basic to intrinsic motivation, it is important for teachers to challenge students and to provide them with the academic support needed for them to be successful. If this can be done in a way that gives students choice and personal control of their learning, the teachers will encourage the growth of intrinsic motivation in their students" ( McGlinn, 2003).

I agree with McGlinn's thoughts on intrinsic motivation but as I stated earlier it would be naïve for us as educators to believe that we are going to be able to intrinsically motivate every student in every subject area so there is a purpose for intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Now that we understand the importance of these types of motivations what actions can we take to increase these types of motivations. In an internet article on Impacting Motivation in the Classroom Leon Bantjes suggest the following actions to increase motivation on classroom tasks:

1.Explain or show why learning a particular content is important. 2.Create and/or maintain curiosity.
3.Provide a variety of activities and sensory stimulations. 4.Provide games and simulations.
5.Set goals for learning.
6.Relate learning to student needs.
7.Help student develop plan of action.


1.Provide clear expectations.
2.Give corrective feedback.
3.Provide valuable rewards.
4.Make rewards available.

Bantjes also supports my opinion that intrinsic motivation is the best motivation but that there is...
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