Sunday, March 21, 2010

Motivation: A Teacher's Problem.

February 23 – Weinstein 7

I found this particular chapter on Enhancing Students’ motivation extremely interesting and practical for my classroom. I could relate to the chapter as soon as it opened up with a student teacher’s sentiments about her unmotivated 5th graders, and found one point in particular especially intriguing: “motivation is an acquired disposition amenable to change. It can also be situation to specific, varying with the nature of the particular activity. According to this… perspective, teachers are responsible for trying to stimulate students’ engagement in learning activities.” (p.202) I suppose I had always realized that this was the nature of motivation, but failed to put that perspective into practice when dealing with my “unmotivated” 5th graders. I sounded a lot like the opening student teacher, complaining about how I could threaten them with calling parents, taking away recess, or using any other bit of leverage I could find to make them understand the importance of taking school seriously. To realize that students’ motivation lies in my hands, though, and to put that to action, is almost a foreign concept to me. How can I take steps to implementing that? Does expectancy x value framework really work?


  1. I understand your frustration when it comes to wondering how it is we motivate our classrooms. I think that what even makes it more difficult, is motivation is something that changes. What motivates one student could have no affect on another, and worse yet, certain students motivation changes WITHIN A SCHOOL YEAR! I think that Expectancy X Value Framework is a good place to start, but I think it is important for us to always keep in mind that there will be certain students who this won't work for.

  2. Motivation I think is going to be one of the trickiest things in our future classrooms. Because usually motivation does not happen for every student at once! I feel that once I get some students motivated the others will not be. I think it is important to find activities that can motivate the students themselves, as well as having insentives that will motivate the class as a whole. I think it is important to have both types of motivation in a classroom. I do not think that there is a perfect solution for motivation to fit a whole class. I think it is important to remember not to get frustrated and to use a variety of techniques to find one that goes with your students.