The Importance of Motivation in the Classroom

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The Importance of Motivation in The Classroom
This Proposal will describe the Importance of motivation in the Classroom. For our nation’s children to be successful in a changing society the actions and forms of motivation we take to educate our children will mold the new leaders. It outlines the Importance of Motivation, Technology standards in the classroom, Technology as a motivator, Changing role of the teacher, Technology standards and Teacher Qualifications. The first need of physiological sufficiency is very basic. This issue simply asks if the students are comfortable in their environment. That is, are they hungry, too cold, too hot? If a student’s physical environment does not match appropriately with the student’s need, he will not be motivated to learn or to achieve any higher need. Similarly, if the student does not feel safe (via the second need, security), they will not focus on working. If a student feels threatened by another student or by the teacher, he may not progress as well as hoped and in many cases, he reverts from the instruction rather than responding to it. In order to alleviate feelings of danger, a teacher can show protection and love, which is the third hierarchal need. A student must feel safe and invited in a classroom for him to achieve; making a classroom seem like a prison elicits the antithesis of motivation: lassitude. It is because of this complex psychological theory that teachers can stumble over different types of motivation. A teacher may have to adopt a different plan for each student because needs vary so greatly. However, there are general patterns a teacher can follow in order to find a common thread between certain students and their motivational applications. Students are either motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. Younger students tend to be motivated by the prospect of receiving a physical treat for their efforts, such as a pizza party or candy. More mature students who have outgrown this phrase adhere to intrinsic motivations of good grades and esteem from teachers and parents. Both types of motivation have their flaws: Alfie Kohn suggests that extrinsic motivators inspire students, but not in the way teachers intend. Rewards “motivate students to get rewards” (1994), but may not motivate them to achieve greatness in the classroom. Oppositely, intrinsic motivation is hard to achieve, but yields great results when properly utilized. Some students may not be inspired by the prospect of a decent grade, especially in the younger years. Youths focus primarily on social contexts and any motivators attempted outside this realm may be futile (Gawel 1997). Captured within extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are the ideas of positive and negative reinforcement. These motivators are commonly used in classrooms in order to elicit a desire to achieve in students. Positive reinforcement is a way of adding a pleasurable experience to a student’s mind in order to engage that student. Praise is a common form of this; a teacher who properly utilizes praise commends the student for his or her particular piece of work, not personal qualities that make the work special. However, a teacher must be equally sensitive to different cultures as to the majority culture. Hitz and Driscoll (1989) point out that “students from different socioeconomic classes, ability levels, and genders may not respond in the same way to praise” and may make students feel less worthy if they do not constantly receive praise. In some situations, however, praise is not appropriate to monitor and modify students’ behaviors. In general, behavior and attitude are extremely important facets in the realm of motivation, and teachers must be aware of means to stop conduct that is harmful to his, or other students’ learning. In some cases, the use of negative reinforcement is appropriate. The concept of negative reinforcement is difficult to teach and learn because the word negative confuses the meaning,...
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