Τετάρτη, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2017

  General Principles of Motivation

It is teacher’s task to enhance students’ motivation

It has been acknowledged that the learning process is a complicated area that demands sophisticated approach and focus. However, it is in the teacher’s hand to eliminate students’ apathy by promoting  a well-organised course that will enhance student’s motivation. Thus, even if the student does not have any initiative to learn, a good teacher can increase the probabilities for learning to occur.

            ➢Making learning enjoyable
In order to ‘create or facilitate’ desired motivational patterns some general strategies have been developed, which become very effective in particular circumstances. First of all, it is  a gift for a teacher to make learning enjoyable. By creating a warm atmosphere, a teacher will promote continuous effort and approving attitude towards learning.

Ensure students’ active involvement
A very crucial factor for teacher to consider is to make use of students’ creativity and to ensure their active involvement in the class. Generally, teachers should excite students’ curiosity about the tasks that runs throughout the sessions. Interesting visual aids, posters, games, role-plays, board drawing, all are variables that can actually be rich sources of discussion and humor in the classroom.

Praise and feedback
Beyond any doubt, praise and, in general, prompt and positive feedback, are factors of particular importance in the process of motivating students. Students can often become ‘dismotivated’ when they have put a great deal of effort but finally do not receive any corresponding reward. Teachers should always give some indication to the students how well they have done and what they should do in order to improve themselves.
In addition, praise is usually a signal that students have succeeded and therefore increases their motivation and competence. This is the most powerful motivator that advances self-esteem. As Geoffrey Petty argues, ‘making a success  is the engine that drives the learning process.’ Once students feel that they have succeeded, they become further motivated and enthusiastic about learning.
It can be argued that in various cases praise and grades can also lead to negative results, such as conformity, competition and other undesirable outcomes. However, the teacher should avoid competition becoming severe, since this could also be an obstacle within the classroom.

The organization of the instructional material
Furthermore, ‘motivation is enhanced by the way in which the instructional material is organized. Useful material can be a driving force to learning. This is the reason why making the information meaningful to individual is an effective strategy for sustaining students’ motivation. A teacher should ensure that there are certain connections between students’ interests and taught material.
Moreover, teachers should ‘underline throughout the sessions the purpose of learning the taught material. Besides this, the relevance of the material, its appropriate level within the capacities of learners, as well as the variety of given information, enriched with appropriate and understandable examples, are additional variables, which contribute to the successful organization of the class.

 Setting Realistic goals
A basic principle which should direct teachers planning is setting general objectives that are realistic and correspond to the level of the class. This can be only achieved, if the teacher has the capacity to assess students’ readiness and progress. Moreover, the level of difficulty should be ordinary so that it can increase the probability of students’ success. Undoubtedly, all these are significant aspects of effective planning that induce high levels of motivation.

However, above all the previous strategies, the overwhelming factor within a learning environment, which inevitably affects motivation, is the rapport; thus the relationship between teachers and students. Having in mind the variability of individual students as well as their needs, the teacher should focus on the rapport. As Scrivener emphasizes, ’rapport is not a skill or a technique that you can mimic. It is not something you do to other people. It is you and your moment-by-moment relationship with other human beings. A great majority of teachers believes that the most important condition for increasing students’ interest in the classroom is the effective relations with their students. Let us consider Marslow’s hierarchy in which the need for friendship and affiliation are of great importance. This is exactly the relationship that will encourage  or discourage students’ cooperation within the class.

Teacher’s personality:

Teacher’s enthusiasm about his subject
It is worth mentioning that teacher’s enthusiasm about his subject acquires significant role in motivating students within the classroom. On the one hand, if a teacher is bored or apathetic, students will imitate his/her behavior. On the other hand, a motivated and enthusiastic teacher, who works with his/her students and is aware of individual feelings and thoughts within the class, will apparently guarantee students motivation and success.

Teacher’s authenticity
A necessary presupposition to teacher’s effectiveness is his authenticity, hence being himself with honesty and respect. Gaie Houston (1990) has written that ‘the foundation of rapport is to learn yourself [as a teacher] that you know what style you have and [if] you are truthful to yourself. Beyond any doubt, the nature of teacher’s behavior seems to be closely connected with students’ motivation patterns. Consequently, motivation and rapport are two variables strongly connected under the umbrella of effective teaching.

Clarification between intrinsic and extrinsic motivated learners
A clarification should be made between intrinsic and extrinsic motivated students. Allowing for internal motivation, therefore self directed, it can be argued that ‘it lasts longer than external motivation.’ Moreover, the former has to be ‘facilitated’; however, the later must be repeatedly reinforced by the teacher, with praise or concrete rewards. Consequently, ‘learning is more effective when an individual is ready to learn, that is, when one wants to know something’. However, even if a teacher is among highly motivated students, he should not rely on their good will, yet he/she should continue to encourage their motivation.

It can be argued that teacher has a significant role in advancing students’ motivation. This should be classified among the basic priorities of classroom management since motivation is the driving force that promotes learning process. This is the reason why before entering the class, the teacher ought to have in mind, how to create a learning environment in which motivation will be the dominant issue.

In our attempt to explore motivational patterns in an educational organization, we have basically concentrated our focus on teachers and students, the core of school environment. Bearing in mind the previous analysis, it is essential to mention that motivation is a crucial concern for school managers and teachers towards their ‘subordinates’. Forced by individual needs, people are motivated and this is reflected through their behavior. More specifically, in a school, teaching staff can be activated by the motivational environment that managers have set. In the same way, teachers can create the appropriate conditions, in which students’ motivation will be increased. In concluding, an effective school, which will promote individual progress, can be created only when people ‘do their best’, as a consequence of their motivation.

Despina Grivaki
Director of Studies & School Owner

BA in English Culture and Language Studies
MA in Organisation Planning and Management In Education

Petty,G., 1998,Teaching Today, 2nd edition, Cheltenham, Stanley Thornes Ltd.
Scrivener,J.,1994, Learning Teaching, Oxford, Macmillan Heinemann Ltd.
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