The next series of posts to be featured on Tutor Wise will focus on student motivation. Since this term is vital in its importance and how it impacts the learner’s success, there will be various components examined throughout these posts. While classroom educators often seek to impact a student’s motivation through classroom incentive programs, research has shown that the increase of student motivation through these types of programs is limited. Why you might ask? Well, motivation is something that lies within each individual. Outside influencers including incentive programs are likely to increase short term motivation until students are no longer motivated by the incentive. Also, students begin to believe that motivation is something you exhibit to earn something outside of yourself rather than something that lies within. The view that motivation lies outside of yourself is actually contradictory to the purpose of offering an incentive, building motivation that lies within.
How can we as parents and educators influence the motivation of students? I believe the cornerstone lies in the relationship between the student and their teacher, whether it be a parent, classroom educator, tutor, etc. These questions come to mind as I think of a relationship likely to foster motivation within an individual. Does the child know that you fundamentally believe they are capable of performing the task? Do you exhibit this belief by offering flexibility in their completion of the task? Is choice woven into the framework?
During a recent session, a 5th grader shared he had received his report card. As he explained the contents of this report, it became clear he valued his Language Arts teacher’s comments far more than the grades or any other teacher’s comments. So, I decided to inquire about his response to her comments. He explained that he enjoyed her class the most because she allowed the students to select their own seats, ask questions as needed and select challenge work as time allowed. It became immediately evident that he enjoyed the freedom this teacher had woven into the school day. This example vividly illustrates the power of choice. In allowing students control over aspects of their learning, it allows them to take ownership over their work and empowers them.
Ms. Melissa believes education should be engaging and fun! Throughout her lessons, she offers structure and choice to guide children into becoming life-long learners. She provides this blog to all those interested in education and learning more about Tutor Wise LLC. services. Thanks for stopping by!