Why is motivating students to learn so important? Well, young children always seem to be very curious, always eager to learn and experience new things.
But as they grow older and start school, this passion dwindles and they become less and less interested in learning. Education for them becomes more like work. For teachers, this is where the challenge of motivating students to learn comes in.
This involves encouraging them to fully invest themselves in the learning process. This becomes tricky as they are motivated by different things.
A student can be intrinsically motivated, participating in an activity for its own sake and for the learning that it allows. A student can be extrinsically motivated, on the other hand, performing an activity for the reward that comes with it.
Ultimately, a teacher’s goal is to encourage and support students to be self-motivated and independent. Unfortunately, there isn’t any one formula to do this. Here are a few ideas that might help.
Tip # 1: Explain.
Students who don’t understand the lesson or the assignment are likely to do poorly on it. Teachers should spend time explaining the topic, using a creative and interesting approach to it.
Tip # 2: Reward.
Not all students can be intrinsically motivated right away. A teacher can help these learners not by reprimanding their unwanted behaviour, but by rewarding their correct actions (example: praising them publicly or giving them a prize when they get high grades).
Children and even adults continue or repeat a behaviour that is rewarded. Over time, such extrinsic motivators will produce intrinsic ones.
Tip # 3: Care.
Showing concern helps in motivating students to learn. It inspires them and lets them know that the teacher is approachable and relatable. Sharing little things about themselves to each will help a lot. Teaching the students how to speed read can also boost their learning potentials.
Tip # 4: Have Students Participate.
This is very important for a student’s active involvement in learning. Standing in front and lecturing won’t speak as effectively to them as involving them in the discussion, having them work together in groups, and letting them feel needed and necessary in the discussion by assigning them special tasks.
Tip # 5: Teach Inductively.
Citing examples first, and then letting them draw conclusions, helps in motivating students to learn. By giving them examples or evidence, a teacher can maintain the students’ interest, increase motivation, and at the same time, teach analysis and synthesis skills.
A teacher’s energy and enthusiasm are also factors that can affect in motivating students to learn. The key is to be sensitive to their needs and to address them with the students’ best interest in mind.
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