Motivating Middle School Students

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Dr. Mary Amanda Graham
Program Director
Seattle University
Engaging the
Disengaged
Frustrations
 What
challenges do you face with your disengaged
students?
What the Student Thinks
 What’s
important?
 What
motivates?
Definition of Motivation
 Motivation-internal



Action
Direction
Engagement
 Motivation
+ Engagement=Learning
What Motivates You…What
Engages You
 Why
is it different for students
Why We Do Things
 Enjoyment
 Rewarding
Why Do We Do Things Less
Enjoyable
Students
 All
Students are motivated by something
 All Students can be engaged
Internal vs. External Motivation
 What
are internal motivators at your
school
 What are external motivators at your
school
The Problem with the Candy
Bar
 It
is never enough…
 Short Term
 Student losses interest
 Geared toward the “motivated” student
 Not a real life transferable skill in many
situations.
The Internally Motivated
 Engaged
 Self
Starters
 Comprehend Materials
 Uses failure as a motivation
 Creative
 Enjoys School
 High Level of Academic Achievement
Assumptions of Choice Theory
Basic
Needs
Quality World
Behavior has a Purpose
Implications of Choice Theory in
School
Basic
Needs:
Love and Belonging
Freedom
Fun
Power
Survival
Love and Belonging
 Social
over school
 Acceptance
 Belonging in a group
 Cared about
 Known on a personal level
 Protecting self to fit in
 Seems Disinterested
Freedom
 Need
for Independence
 Decision Making
 Relatedness
 Involvement in Own Learning
 Pursuit of Interests
 Autonomy
Fun
 Engagement
 Enjoyment
 Fun
 Excitement
Power
 Responsibility
 Leadership
 Achievement
Survival
Safety
Basic
Needs (food, shelter,
clothing, safe home…)
Risk Taking
How Are These Basic Needs
Met for Students
In
Your school?
Quality World
What does that mean?
What does that mean in regards to School?
Group Activity
 Brainstorm
with the
people at your
table. Can you
come up with 10
ways to meet
students’ basic
needs, as well as
their needs specific
to your school
Ideas To Foster The Needs
 Become
a part of the students quality
world
 Work with teachers on the value of
personal relationships
 Buy in from administrators on the role of
counselor
 In-service for teachers
 Assess Curriculum and Meaning
 School Environment
Ideas-Continued
Mentorship
Presences
Lunch
Before Class Activities
A Systems Approach
Contact Info
 Dr.
Mary Amanda Graham\
Seattle University
[email protected]
References

Glasser, W. Counseling with Choice Theory: The New Reality Therapy

Loyd, Byron D. (2005). The effects of reality therapy/choice theory principles on high
school students' perception of needs satisfaction and behavioral change. International
Journal of Reality Therapy, Vol 25(1), 2005, 5-9

Wubbolding, R. (2000) Reality Therapy in the 21st Century.
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