What is Motivation?
There are so many ways we could define motivation. The Oxford English Dictionary states that motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a certain way. It also states that it can be a desire or willingness to do something. In other words, motivation is enthusiasm to do something.
Personally, I believe that motivation is having a drive to do something and to achieve the best possible outcome, and I think that this is something that should be encouraged within the classroom.
Types of Motivation
There are various types of motivation but the most commonly talked about are probably extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
I really liked this example of extrinsic motivation during our lecture today and for me it definitely sums up what it means. Extrinsic motivation is when you are driven by external factors. It is the type of motivation that will make you work for tangible rewards rather than obtaining the reward from the work itself.
People are more likely to feel rewarded as a result of the activity that they have completed. The motivation here is not caused by a goal or product and it has a much bigger impact on the person than extrinsic motivation does.
Motivation is the key to capturing the attention and curiosity of your pupils. It is a way of encouraging that challenging energy towards their learning and can ultimately provide a much better piece of work than you think.
If you take the approach of deciding to not motivate your pupils and to not be motivated yourself then you are far more likely to witness a more rebellious situation from the class. Work won’t be completed to standards that you set and children will definitely not want to enter the classroom to learn.
Motivation and Your Classroom
I think that it is vital to put across at this point that many will see motivation as something that isn’t all about money, exams and getting results. For some children in your classroom, they may believe that motivation is being able to do something for someone for the better rather than achieving to please yourself.
All teacher’s should enter this profession with the belief that they can change someone’s life for the better. It is something that should give you a warm feeling inside.
“Creativity is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”
Failure plays a big part within motivation too. If you don’t let the children face the experiences of being wrong then they will stop being creative and motivation will disappear. It’s a good idea to let the children know when you get something wrong too. This only shows that it’s OK to make mistakes and that everyone makes them. “Kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. They’re not frightened of being wrong.” (Sir Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity). I believe that this is a very valid point and it something that we should always remember as teachers. We shouldn’t let children fear being wrong.