One issue we all deal with as teachers is working with the unmotivated student. Not only is it frustrating for you as the teacher, it has to be miserable for the student as well. Jennifer Gonzalez wrote an excellent blog post about this topic and did research to try to find what the most current studies say about what motivates students. This is what she found:
- Students are more motivated academically when they have a positive relationship with their teacher.
- Choice is a powerful motivator in most educational contexts.
- For complex tasks that require creativity and persistence, extrinsic rewards and consequences actually hamper motivation.
- To stay motivated to persist at any task, students must believe they can improve in that task.
- Students are motivated to learn things that have relevance to their lives.
Please take a moment to read her honest personal reflections on each of these points along with several suggestions on how we can do better. Making a small adjustment can make all the difference for one of your scholars.