Educational psychology has identified two basic classifications of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation arises from a desire to learn a topic due to its inherent interests, for self-fulfillment, enjoyment and to achieve a mastery of the subject. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is motivation to perform and succeed for the sake of accomplishing a specific result or outcome. Students who are very grade-oriented are extrinsically motivated, whereas students who seem to truly embrace their work and take a genuine interest in it are intrinsically motivated. (NAGT, https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/motivation.html)
- One of the key components of engagement is students’ excitement about what they learn.
- Give frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students’ beliefs that they can do well.
- Help students find personal meaning and value in the material.
- Motivating Students – Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching
- Tools for Teaching by Barbara Gross Davis (Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco, 1993) – Sample chapter
- Helping Teenagers Feel Connected to School
- How Can Teachers Develop Students’ Motivation — and Success?
- Q: My Assistant Principal asked me to reach out to see if anyone has any creative suggestions for how to deal with students who are virtual learners who are doing no school work, but are sending messages to students via SnapChat, creating TikToks, etc. that are creating trouble with students who are in school. Do you have any creative solutions to hold these kids accountable for their work and their behavior?
- A: Call parents. If it’s a behavior issue it would seem that a discipline measure can be taken. I realize that parents are often at work and can’t do anything to stop it, and perhaps the students don’t care if they get “in trouble” but I am not sure what else there is to do.
- A: We have instituted a new policy for work completion this semester.
- A: All students will have a bi-weekly completion date and percentage that must be completed. (I believe it’s bi-weekly…I’m not at school today and don’t have my calendar.) Any student not reaching the percentage required by the completion date gets a letter reminding them of the policy. After the first letter, if they fail to reach the second completion date with required percentage, they will receive a home visit from SRO and Admin. If they fail to reach the percentage again by the next required date, they are referred to the prosecutors office to be put on probation through our county. This is new this semester, but I’m am already seeing a higher rate of completion with my students.
- A: Our students who are not doing anything are considered truant and are reported to probation.
- From Counselor Talk, September 2018:
- For working with unmotivated students…
1) Reward: help the student identify things (usually small things) that might motivate them.2) Consequences: work with teachers/parents to put in place small consequences that the student can work to have removed with positive steps forward.3) Solution-focused counseling: set very small goals and small action steps to help the student see small progress at regular intervals.4) Motivational interviewing: one of my favorite counseling approaches, it focuses on a few techniques to cultivate “change talk” and use a student’s own words to motivate them. Google it or get the book “Motivational Interiewing for School Counselors.”
- For working with unmotivated students…
- Q: We are hoping to combat the ever increasing apathy our students have about doing well in school, making good grades, and completing homework. Please send me any school wide initiatives or programs that you have used (both successful and unsuccessful ones). We are considering targeting our freshmen and using the freshmen focus curriculum.
- A: I have found a few programs on my own that I have just started to research. Zero Zone, Zero Cafe, Why Try, and Freshmen Focus
- A: We have received grant money for an incentive and are doing it school wide. We will be taking our students tubing in two weeks. Our requirements: 1. Attendance–could not have more than 6 unexcused absences. 2. Grading–No F’s at the semester. 3. Discipline-no more than 2 issues. We are expecting approximately 45% of our school going. Students are required to attend school and we will be doing digital assignments as every student has a chromebook.
- A: It would be a HUGE shift in scheduling/planning for you guys but we had a “Freshman Academy” at my old school. We had “core teachers” teachers that only taught freshmen in one hallway in the building. These teachers did special units with the freshmen about note taking, study skills/habits, peer relations/pressure, good choices, etc. They would target specific behaviors/concerns to motivate students. After 3 years, all 4 grade levels will have been through the program and you may see some improvements. Of course like any other program there are pro’s and con’s but it was successful.
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