Learning requires motivation. Teachers know this and that is why they constantly face the challenge of stimulating their students’ desire to know new things.
What is the best way to motivate children? That is the big question. The desire to learn about the world around us begins in childhood. This desire can be encouraged or suppressed depending on how children are guided.
As we know, students who are motivated learn faster and more effectively than those who are not, it is important to work on reinforcing children’s curiosity instead of stopping it.
This can be a challenge, even if the teacher promotes an ideal classroom environment because many of the factors that influence motivation are affected by the attitude, tastes, feelings, personality and even health of each student. This is why working on self-motivation is also crucial for children to acquire a genuine taste for learning.
Incentives for motivation
School success has a great relationship with the motivation to learn. Motivated children usually show greater commitment, and are more persistent, and their learning is more meaningful than those who are not motivated.
Every child has the innate motivation to learn, but it can also be nurtured by different types of incentives:
They are those who rely on the very value of learning something new. Knowledge that is meaningful to students, that relates to other subjects, or that can be applied outside of school practically, can foster a desire to learn in students. And not only during their school years, but for the rest of their lives.
Intrinsic motivation can include:
Pride in doing things well: Children can find satisfaction in a task well done and feel pride in being competent, which in itself could motivate them to try harder in the future.
The desire for achievement: It manifests itself when children say phrases like “look what I did” or “I did it myself.”
Personal ambition: Some students have a clearer idea about what they want to achieve in life and see learning as a tool to build the future they have dreamed of.
Competition with oneself: Some individuals find motivation by setting their own goals. By doing so, they challenge themselves.
The feeling of being in control: As students acquire skills and knowledge, they learn that they can influence their environment and this gives them a feeling of control.
The desire to participate and belong: Working as part of a group can give certain students a sense of belonging and motivate them to work competently.
Ethics and values: One student may see education as a critical element for success in life and another may not see it as so important. The ethics and values of students will affect the motivation they feel to learn.
These incentives include prizes (such as the famous little stars), recognition (such as diplomas) and distinctions (such as being part of the school escort). Other external incentives may be prestige or social recognition, meeting family expectations or access to better schools and jobs in the future.
If a student is very clear about what reward she will receive for learning something (a stamp in the notebook or one more point), she will feel more motivated to learn than if she does not.
It is important to mention that if we rely too much on extrinsic incentives, we run the risk of motivation dropping or disappearing when there are no rewards. Some studies indicate that relying solely on extrinsic incentives can even permanently damage or destroy motivation to learn.
For this reason, strengthening children’s intrinsic motivations should be the objective of teachers and parents. When a student is motivated by intrinsic factors, the mere act of learning something new becomes the reward. Children enjoy learning and that enjoyment can last throughout their lives.
Strengthen the motivation of your students
Most students were not born learning experts. We know that each child’s personality is an important factor in their motivation at school; There will be some more willing than others.
But many children who find satisfaction in learning at some point become good students. Furthermore, any child who shows even a small interest in learning, with good motivation, could fully experience the joy of learning.
These are some tips given by Blue Bells Public School for students motivation:
1- Make learning fun
We know that not all lessons can be fun, but we can always find a way to give the syllabus a less solemn turn. For example, instead of solving a math problem on the board, do it using cubes or Lego pieces.
2- Create opportunities for success
When a student performs well on a task, he or she is more likely to feel motivated to stay on track. As a teacher, you can help your students achieve a goal by breaking down a large task into smaller, more manageable tasks.
3- Present role models
An efficient way to keep students motivated is to present success stories or role models that inspire them to work hard to achieve their goals. Let’s think of a dad or mom with an interesting profession who is going to talk to your students, an attractive documentary for a day of “cinema in the “classroom” or reaching out to a figure who can stop by and speak to them.
The point is for children to make the connection between the lessons they now learn in school and future success by putting that knowledge into real practice.