Are you determined to ace your problem subject, transform your career potential, or master a new skill?
Become a student at Eurekly today!
Student motivation and student engagement are the secrets to successful learning. Students who are motivated by and engaged in their own learning adapt better to a classroom environment and perform considerably higher academically than their unmotivated peers.
Student motivation is the learner’s desire to actively participate in the learning process in order to realize their academic potential. Students can be either internally motivated (performing school tasks because of the enjoyment they derive from them) or externally motivated (performing tasks to obtain a reward, such as approval or good grades).
Student motivation can be affected by several factors. Some of these include:
Students are more motivated when parents show interest in their learning material and actively listen and inquire about their day.
‘Active listening’ implies being interested in what a child has to say and is a fantastic way to improve communication between parents and their children. Parents, as active listeners, need to focus on their child’s feelings and experiences. They must try to help children to identify their feelings and make them feel understood.
To practice active listening: give your full attention to a child, make eye contact, and reflect on what they are saying. For example, over dinner, ask what their favorite part of their day was or what they found interesting. Don’t just hear that their day was ‘ok’. Prompt them to speak up. Then, really listen to their answer and follow up with more questions to fully understand how they are feeling and show them you care.
Three great approaches to actually make your kids open up to you without forcing them to do so are:
To get some practical tips from other parents, watch this helpful video:
A teacher’s enthusiasm in the classroom leads students to experience greater interest in and enjoyment of the material, enhancing their motivation.
Three fantastic ways to show enthusiasm as a teacher are:
But remember to keep your enthusiasm genuine! You need to find the right balance between being a teacher and a ‘friend’ to your students. Keep your lessons upbeat but control your physical mannerisms and always be professional.
Students are more likely to feel motivated when educators use a variety of creative teaching methods. For some inspiration, check out our posts containing different creative tasks for teachers that you can apply to any topic or subject:
Motivation is particularly important for students because:
If you teach in a classroom, a great idea is to hang posters with motivational quotes on the walls and to discuss their meaning with your students. 5 good famous examples of motivational quotes about education are the following:
Student laziness can often be a manifestation of boredom or hide other reasons behind it. Research has found that the laziest students are often some of the most cognitively gifted. It is a teacher’s role to try and find the reason behind a student’s laziness and to encourage motivated and active learning.
While a “lazy student” could vaguely be defined as one who refuses to do the work to fulfill their potential and maximize their capability, it is important for teachers to evaluate kids thoroughly before labeling them as such.
It is widely argued that what is actually behind laziness is anxiety, boredom, or distraction. When teachers are confronted with what may look like laziness, like a late assignment or avoidance, a simple motivational speech for students will not do. They should examine the situational factors holding students back rather than labeling them as “lazy”.
Students who are bored at school and appear to be lazy often use a variety of techniques to help them study, such as:
There are many reasons for the so-called students’ laziness. Some of these include:
While a teacher’s job is to transmit academic knowledge to their students, their personality can make or break how effective they are. The emotional involvement, enthusiasm, openness, and creativity of the teacher are just as important as their in-depth knowledge of the curriculum.
Enthusiasm is one of the most essential characteristics of effective teachers. Teachers who have a positive attitude and show passion and excitement in their teaching tend to be very successful in engaging students and stimulating responses from them. Research shows that high levels of teacher enthusiasm have a positive impact on learning, making students more willing to contribute in class and even remain disciplined.
Sharing common interests with the students helps to create a bond with them. Studies show that when people share commonalities, their relationships improve. It is, therefore, wise for teachers to reveal some details about themselves to students, in order to relate to them and find out what they may have in common. Common interests could include sports, the outdoors, a love for animals, or pop culture.
A teacher can help students stop feeling lazy while studying using a variety of different methods. First of all, teachers should try to discover the reason why students are procrastinating and feeling lazy. They should then focus on finding the best learning method for the students and encourage different styles of learning.
Breaking down the material into reasonable chunks and helping students to understand the topic vs. just memorizing it will also help students to study, as will linking the material to real-world connections and encouraging short-term milestones.
Setting goals is fundamental to the academic success of students and can help them develop critical thinking skills, which will serve them all throughout life.
‘Smart goal setting’ implies creating realistic and specific goals and achieving them. SMART is actually a mnemonic acronym for a goal-setting method used in project management and personal development that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. It has been proved that goals that are SMART have a greater chance of being accomplished.
Each adjective basically implies the following:
Example: If you want to improve your French language skills, be precise and say “I want to improve my French grammar and pronunciation this year”.
Example: If you are working to improve your foreign language skills, decide to take a test to assess if you have made progress.
Example: While learning Arabic is difficult to master, it is not impossible to learn. Don’t say you will be fluent in a year, but rather say you aim to have mastered the basics of it.
Example: If you are working full-time and are a busy parent, you might find that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to learning a new language or skill. Make sure your goals are worth it: If you’re not going to use Japanese in your life, are you likely to commit to learning it?
Example: Tell yourself you will improve your Spanish in two, three or six months from now. If the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency.
Settings goals and targets is key for improving academic performance. Teachers can be very valuable in helping students set goals to achieve their full potential, as they know what each student’s strengths and weaknesses are and will be there to track their performance.
A comprehensive discussion between teachers and students about their learning objectives and the steps necessary to achieve them will help students take ownership of their learning and foster positive growth.
Here are some examples of personal learning goals:
When a goal is too large, we can end up feeling discouraged, dejected, or overwhelmed. Focusing on short-term educational achievements is a solution to this problem. Proper goal setting breaks intimidating aspirations into achievable milestones and leads to better results and greater levels of contentment and learning motivation.
Vision boards are collages of inspirational images, quotes, and visuals that serve to motivate people to pursue their goals. They can be very effective when applied to education as they can be revisited daily by students and help them to visualize their academic goals, making them seem measurable and attainable while providing clarity and focus.
Using a vision board in the classroom can be very motivating for students. You can either use a physical board or a digital one.
Some advantages of physical vision boards are the following:
On the other hand, some advantages of digital vision boards are:
Aesthetically, you have many options when it comes to creating vision boards. Browsing for ideas online, you will find that some people prefer to create chaotic vision boards while others create well-structured ones.
The truth is that there is no “correct way” to represent one’s goals and dreams visually. Different people have different tastes, and you should create something that is beautiful to you and that inspires you.
Three good tips to create a vision board are:
Educators are cluing onto the fact that student engagement plays an important role in learning and are investing more and more thought and time into their student engagement strategies that will encourage them to participate in class and boost progress and achievement.
Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, participation, and interest shown by students during a lesson in the classroom. Engaged students will normally listen, take notes, and ask questions, demonstrating that they are invested in learning. More specifically, there are three different types of student engagement:
Student engagement results in higher educational achievement and can help students learn better by remembering more about lessons. Furthermore, a study in the British Educational Research Journal suggests that there is a connection between engagement in school and overall achievement several years later.
An interesting class encourages student engagement, which is why educators are always looking for fun, new ways to deliver their lessons. Some suggestions for making a boring class fun include the following:
When prompted appropriately, competition in the classroom can be a very effective tool for discouraging complacency and maximizing student engagement, pushing them to excel.
There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of whether prompting student competition is good for them. While it can be argued that competition at school builds character, develops drive, and will help prepare kids for future life as adults in a competitive world, it can also lead to feelings of envy among students and diminished self-esteem.
Educators should try to create a co-operative rather than a competitive environment, aiming for “healthy competition”. The healthy competition requires teamwork and positive participation, building classroom community skills in the process, and does not focus on winning.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to students competing with their peers in the classroom:
Disadvantages of competition:
Advantages of competition:
Some students can take the competition a step further and start to compete with themselves, always trying to improve their previous achievements. This type of ‘perfectionism’ can have both advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed below:
Advantages of self-competition:
Disadvantages of self-competition:
Motivating students can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching, which is why a lot of teachers turn to rewards in order to stimulate learning and motivate good behavior. While rewarding systems are generally considered acceptable in education, there is some debate as to whether they should be used or not.
The benefits of rewards, according to proponents of using them in the classroom, include increased motivation, boosted self-esteem, and a feeling of pride and achievement which often brings improved results.
On the other hand, it is argued that rewarding leads to entitled attitudes and decreased effort for tasks not involving rewards. Effective educators should use rewards cautiously and steer clear of material motivators.
Some great non-material and creative ways to reward students include:
Self-rewarding is vital for boosting one’s mood. When a behavior is followed by a pleasant outcome, we are more likely to repeat it, which is called positive reinforcement. Therefore, it is important that after a long study session or achieving desired results, students take some time to appreciate their efforts and reward themselves.
Some common ways of self-rewarding are:
Many parents pay their children for good grades as a way to increase students’ drive and motivation. However, there are many reasons why experts advise strongly against doing so.
Paying for good student performance at school teaches kids that learning is not valuable in and of itself since the ultimate goal is money. Working hard in school should be the norm and not an exception, so paying for grades is highly likely to create entitled attitudes that will follow them onto their adult lives.
Student motivation is the key to realizing one’s full academic potential. Teachers must concentrate their efforts on creating engaging learning environments for their students and work alongside them to encourage them to reach their goals. While classroom competition and reward systems are popular ways to motivate students, teachers should think outside the box when it comes to choosing their motivating strategies.
As Eurekly is a large community of learners passionate about improving their academic skills, you should have no trouble finding a truly motivated student on our website!