Motivational Techniques in Teaching

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Psychology is one of the crucial subjects designed by human intellect which resolves several problems for humans. One of the techniques used by psychologists is to motivate people for the achievement of specific tasks. They have also designed constructive motivational theories for educational purposes. Today teachers are more successful as compared to the past, as they can motivate their students effectively by using the motivational theories. The purpose of this research essay is to analyze how teachers can motivate their students. The first section is about the definitions of motivation which includes its literal and terminological meanings in psychology and learning contexts. The second section will answer the question that how students can be motivated through mentioning their needs such as competence, autonomy and relatedness. In the last section the essay will focus on two motivational constructs competence perception and goal which can motivate students effectively. For this research essay, it is would be helpful to commence with the definition of motivation. According to Macmillan dictionary motivation is literally defined as a feeling of desire to do something. Thus, when one motivates others one actually creates desire in them for performing a particular job. Furthermore, Bonnie and Cengage (2001) define it as a psychological term that is a force which generates “goal-directed behavior”. Nonetheless, Pintrich and Schunk (2002, pg. 5) believe that motivation is not a creation or production, but rather a process which not only produces but also sustains desire for activities. In the context of learning researchers have minor disputes in the terminological definition of motivation that whether motivation related to learning includes the motivation for performance (Pintrich and Schunk 2002, pg. 6). Brophy (2004, pg. 15) states that motivation in these two contexts are different from one another as learning is associated with the process of information, sense making, and proceeds in comprehension which happens when a learner gains knowledge or skill while performance is related to the revelation of that knowledge or skill after one has acquired it. Thus, the strategies will be also quite unlike for the motivation in these two different contexts. However, teachers should utilize both strategies to motivate their students because a successful student should be able to learn and demonstrate. In addition, there are two methods of motivation. The first one refers to a drive caused by an interest or enjoyment within an individual rather than any external force and that is called intrinsic motivation (Brophy 2004, pp. 4-9). The second one is called extrinsic motivation which relies on external entities, such as rewards and threat of punishment. Teachers can use both techniques to motivate their students effectively (Pintrich and Schunk 2002, pg. 245). These definitions are also associated with the needs of students so if the educator knows what learners and students need; he can easily motivate them to learn. Higgins and Kruglanski (2000, pg. 21) proposed that Motivation is associated with the main question of what the needs of people are. The word motivation points towards this idea as motivaion is derived from the Latin word ‘movere’ which means to move. The questions about what makes people move towards specific tasks are answered by motivational theories (Pintrich & Schunk 2002, pg. 5) and those tasks are the needs of people. Therefore, educators should find out the needs of students to motivate them successfully. Self-determination theory focuses on the basic needs of students for their motivation and according to this theory (Ryan and Decci 2000, cited in Pintrich 2003, pg. 670) students have three basic needs: “competence, autonomy and relatedness”. The first need ‘competence’ is defined as a desire to be capable and skillful in integration with people. The second need ‘autonomy’ means the desire of liberty or...
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