Motivation as defined in the Collins Dictionary is a psychological

Adriana Di Nobile Carlucci
8th May 2013
Motivation as defined in the Collins Dictionary is a psychological feature that
arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and
sustains certain goal directed behaviours. It can be considered a driving force; a
psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal..
Self-motivation doesn't come naturally to everyone. And even those who are highly
self-motivated need some extra help every now and then.
Intrinsic Motivation vs Extrinsic Motivation.
Intrinsic motivation.
Definition: Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an
individual rather than from any external or outside rewards.
The motivation comes from the pleasure one gets from the task itself or from the
sense of satisfaction in completing or even working on a task.
Intrinsic motivation does not mean, however, that a person will not seek rewards.
It just means that such external rewards are not enough to keep a person
motivated. An intrinsically motivated student, for example, may want to get a good
grade on an assignment, but if the assignment does not interest that student, the
possibility of a good grade is not enough to maintain that student's motivation to
put sufficient effort into the project.
Extrinsic Motivation.
Definition: Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside an
individual. The motivating factors are external, or outside, rewards such as money
or grades. These rewards provide satisfaction and pleasure that the task itself may
not provide.
Extrinsic motivation does not mean, however, that a person will not get any
pleasure from working on or completing a task. It just means that the pleasure
they anticipate from some external reward will continue to be a motivator even
when the task to be done holds little or no interest. An extrinsically motivated
student, for example, may dislike an assignment, may find it boring, or may have
no interest in the subject, but the possibility of a good grade will be enough to keep
the student motivated in order for him or her to put forth the effort to do well on a
Motivation in the classroom
The teacher is in great part the responsible for motivating the students. He´s
responsible for making the class interesting enough, not to loose the attention of
the student.
The tasks presented to the students must be challenging to raise and keep their
enthusiasm to carry out and such task as a way to achieve a final result of success.
Previous Success
The taste of a previous success will motivate the student to a new success and so
Then is when the teacher will have achieved his/hers own success.
Which are the most powerful techniques that the teacher can use in the classroom
to keep a student motivated and interested in the subject?
The following techniques have been successfully used in the classroom I attended
this last four weeks.
Exposure to the topics with an extensive variety of techniques :
Visuals - drawing or showing pictures
Gestures - body language and mimics
Focusing in words which will need from the student - repeating, reading,
pronouncing and writing
Acting to explain the topic
Completing sentences by writing or verbally
Responsibility for managing our task
Discovery- founding out what the concepts are
Visual and Sound encouraging motivation - clapping the hands, using words of
encouragement, Fantastic ! Excellent !
Guidance to achieve the success the student is looking for
Practice activities instead of boring lectures
Group tasks to help each others efforts and motivation
Achievement of our clearly marked goals
Reward and Recognition as acknowledgment of a task well done
Challenging practices
Personalisation of the tasks to assist our personal growth
Whilst observing recently a lesson I noticed that when the task presented to the
student was easy for him, his attention span decreased in an alarming way, whilst
when the teacher started writing on the board, his attitude changed altogether,
suddenly he was more attentive, optimistic and interested. Could that mean that as
David Ausubel mentions in his theories, “ Learners need to integrate new
knowledge with that which they have already learned? The student doesn not need
to be motivated, for this process to work.
David MacClelland suggests other techniques of achieve motivating people:
Feedback enables measurement of success
Reward which is also regarded as a mesurement of success
Abraham Maslow identifies 8 levels of human needs but only two would reflect
motivation towards studies
Esteem needs - self- esteem, achievement, managerial responsibility
Cognitive needs - Knowledge and meaning - rarely found
Frederick Herzberg 1923 - 2000) identifies as true motivators:
Personal growth, advancement. responsibility, the work itself, recognition,
With this 6 factors satisfied, the person would be truly motivated.
Albert Bandura, recognises that our motivation is increased through the
experience of observing others been succesfull and willing to achieve the same
result (group)
Jerome Bruner too believes that the discovery learning, allowing the student to
have a say on how and what they study.
Make the Class Interesting
It's important that the students themselves participate in the process of the lesson,
thus making the period an interactive session instead of a dull lecture. Your
classroom management strategies should also include effective teaching strategies,
which would keep the students glued to the topic. As a teacher you can plan a few
activities in the classroom, which will make children get up from their seat and
interact with teachers as well as fellow students.
The teacher has to understand that the students in the class come from different
walks of life. They have different problems of their own, some deal with them while
some can't. Stress and conflicts are prominent in the life of students as well.
Though they come to school to learn, they have a list of activities in their mind. It's
important that the teacher makes his class exciting, so that the students can learn,
and at the same time have fun.
However, the student itself has to find the whole learning process interesting
enough to motivate himself.
Abraham Maslow
David McClelland
Frederick Herzberg
Albert Bandura
Jerome Bruner
Carol Bainbridge: B.A. degree in psychology of Purdue University, Lafayette,
Collins Dictionary.