Sunday, October 11, 2020

What part does motivation play in teaching students?

 As teachers we are typically motivated people. We prepare classes, mark work, consider what comes next.  Generally we are moving from one thing to the next without a lot of thought about "why am I here".

Students on the other hand are on a 12 year journey where the press constantly questions the direction of education as a system.  Anecdotally, the general trend of apathy towards education is growing, or many teachers would have you believe.  Students are unmotivated, apathetic and of decreasing standard is a fairly common comment.

This raises the question of what role do teachers play in motivating students? Where are engagement strategies in the list of hierarchy of skills to develop.

I have asked teachers whether they consider motivating students a part of teaching.  Thankfully, the view that students are self motivating is less common and teachers accept that motivating students is a key component of teaching. The "hook" is nothing more than a motivational strategy to link students with a teaching context.

So, what happens if a student is unmotivated.  


Teacher centric                                              

Student needs to motivate themselves            

Isolate the student to prevent negative influence          

Inform parents that a problem exists               

Inform student they have a problem                

Expect someone else to solve issue               


Student centric

Need to identify a method or context to motivate the student

Place student among good role models

Work with parents to identify possible solutions

Work with student to identify why unmotivated

Opportunity to develop skills to motivate students



It's a interesting problem to consider.

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