Essay on Motivation Ideas

Harris (1991) offers some strategies for motivating even the most

unmotivated student. These strategies have been around for some time,

but they are still worth a try. Perhaps these suggestion can help your

students too. Here are some highlights from Harris:

1. Explain. Some recent research shows that many students do poorly on

assignments or in participation because they do not understand what to

do or why they should do it.

2. Reward. Students who do not yet have powerful intrinsic motivation

to learn can be helped by extrinsic motivators in the form of rewards.

3. Care. Students respond with interest and motivation to teachers who

appear to be human and caring.

4. Have students participate. One of the major keys to motivation is

the active involvement of students in their own learning. Standing in

front of them and lecturing to them (at them?) is thus a relatively

poor method of teaching. It is better to get students involved in

activities, group problem solving exercises, helping to decide what to

do and the best way to do it, helping the teacher, working with each

other, or in some other way getting physically involved in the lesson.

A lesson about nature, for example, would be more effective walking

outdoors than looking at pictures.

5. Teach Inductively. It has been said that presenting conclusions

first and then providing examples robs students of the joy of


6. Satisfy students’ needs. Attending to need satisfaction is a

primary method of keeping students interested and happy.

7. Make learning visual. Even before young people were reared in a

video environment, it was recognized that memory is often connected to

visual images.

8. Use positive emotions to enhance learning and motivation. Strong

and lasting memory is connected with the emotional state and

experience of the learner.

9. Remember that energy sells.

My teenage daughter was telling me that her English teacher has

students bring in a song on Fridays along with a writing prompt for

the class and the students play and song and explain how the writing

prompt relates to the song. I thought that was a good idea!

Having students summarize the events of a story through drawing is an

excellent idea. This method is also excellent for second language

learners who may be more comfortable listening or with receptive

language, in comparison to speaking themselves. For many students

learning a second language who are quiet at the beginning of the

acquisition, many of them opt to express themselves through gestures.

By using pictures, it is an excellent way to assess the student’s

understanding of the material, and also providing them with an

opportunity to express themselves artisticly as well.

I also like to use portfolios. I have the students put work that they

feel are a good representation of good work in their portfolio. We

then have conferences to discuss why they put these works in their

folder. I later use these portfolios during conferences with parents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s