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Student Motivation and Success

Page history last edited by Jayson Yeagley 10 years, 3 months ago

STUDENT MOTIVATION AND SUCCESS

( excerpts included from "Motivation for Achievement" by Dr. Kay Alderman)



MOTIVATIONAL PROBLEMS

Motivation leads to possibilities for the development of our potential. Motivational problems develop when students think their ability is the reason for success and their lack of ability is the reason for their failure. Throughout their education, students may adopt strategies to avoid others' perception of their failure (ie. not trying, showing little or no effort, setting unrealistic goals). In some students,disengagement from school occurs when they lack any  investment in learning and separate themselves from school expectations (ie. doing no work, skipping school, causing disruptions).


In addition to disengagement, motivation inequality occurs as students age and progress through school. Many things can contribute to this inequality. Ineffective teaching practices, poor home life, negative peer pressure, poverty, tracking, and an ineffective school climate may lead to the "competitive learning game". Teachers can foster inequality by incorrectly reinforcing ABILITY and not EFFORT and communicating low expectations to students who struggle.

Students often do not have tools needed to be successful. Teachers must address motivation as part of instruction and be proactive to foster confidence and assist students to become self regulated learners. Students need specific skills:


- concentration on the task. 
- persistence by purposely engaging in tasks. 
- goal orientation by establishing realistic goals for success. 
- volition- maintaining concentration in the face of obstacles so they can learn independently. 
- delay of instant gratification for completing a task successfully. 
- strategies for acquiring and retaining knowledge so that they understand the learning process and
 how they learn the best.

THE TEACHER’S ROLE IN MOTIVATING STUDENTS

Teachers need to avoid the “self fulfilling prophecy”  that occurs when the teacher forms different expectations based on some student characteristics. The teacher behaves differently toward various students. These behaviors tell students what behavior and achievement the teacher expects from them. If this treatment persists and if students do not resist or change it in some way, motivational patterns, such as their aspirations and self efficacy are likely to be affected.
With time, students' achievement and behavior will conform more and more closely to that originally expected of them. High achieving students continue to achieve, whereas low achieving students gain less.

Teachers communicate expectations to students through :


- questioning strategies ( different questions for low abilities or even giving answers to slower students). 


- grouping practices in  reading or cooperative learning groups.

- the leveling of classes.

- giving less demanding content or a lower level of reading. 


Teachers can improve lesson expectations by:


-building on prior knowledge.

 
-requiring higher level thinking of all students.

 
-increasing activities and engage students in 100% participation.


Teachers can communicate expectations to students through :


- invested learning (giving choices). 
- teaching that mistakes are part of learning. 
- developing a trusting environment.
- creating flexible classroom seating. 
- giving adequate wait time. 
- praising accomplishments.
- assigning challenging projects. 
- modeling learning and products.
- involving parents in the educational process. 

Teacher should keep expectations for students current by monitoring their progress and noting improvement while giving feedback based on individual student performance and improvement. Teachers should use different teaching strategies and materials for reteaching when students have not understood a lesson. An important part of motivation is to focus on stretching all minds through the use of higher levels of thinking. Teachers should stress intrinsic motivation and not extrinsic motivation for ensuring success.


TEACHERS HELPING STUDENTS


Teachers can help students develop self regulated learning strategies such as self monitoring, self control and help seeking.

Teacher can help students to learn effective time use through:


1. Discuss time use with students ( I don’t have time for...). 
2. Have students record their time use both daily and weekly to determine how they use time.
3. Have students make a personal time schedule. 
4. Ask students to estimate time needed to complete various types of activities.
5. Give examples of how you plan time for your lesson planning, grading etc.
6. Use computer software and other organizational aids (calendars, to do lists, post-its etc.). 
7. Make a calendar for your students to fill in with assignments for their classes.



Teachers can help to INCREASE TASK MOTIVATION

Teachers should establish a mastery classroom climate by increasing peer collaboration and emphasizing intrinsic motivation (learning for learning sake). Opportunities for self directed learning and choices in assignments will help to develop independence in the learner. An important instructional feature is to teach metacognition to students (how do we learn best).
Monitoring long term projects and breaking or scaffolding them into steps (with feedback at intervals) is essential for student success. Other teacher initiatives include stimulating task interest, personalizing learning, and developing relevance (why is it important for us to learn this).


THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTRIBUTIONAL FEEDBACK


Attribution is a cognitive theory that considers a person’s beliefs about causes of outcomes and how those beliefs influence expectation and behavior {CAN (ones ability) vs. TRY ( ones effort) }. If we fail at a task our expectations for future success differ depending on whether we attribute the failure to lack of effort or not having the ability to succeed.

If a student attributes failure to not using the right strategy or not putting forth the best effort, she will be more likely to be motivated to try again. If the student attributes their failure to lack of ability (I'm not smart enough) then she may not willingly try the task again.

FOUR REASONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO  SUCCESS AND FAILURE: ONES ABILITY, THE AMOUNT OF EFFORT ONE PUTS FORTH, THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TASK AND GOOD OR BAD LUCK.


Teachers need to establish a climate where students are encouraged to ask questions and SEEK HELP. They should teach students a self-talk script to practice asking teachers to help in class when needed. The most important part of this is to communicate the expectation that study strategies and effort are the keys to learning. For difficult tasks, the early teacher feedback should be toward the student's effort-as the skills develop, the teacher feedback should shift to the student's ability for the task.


Teachers must also concentrate on developing adaptive attributions by: giving students study and memory strategies, linking student effort to outcome ( see sample below), having peers and teachers model attributions and coping strategies.

Cooperative learning has been found to facilitate more productive attributions especially if students are taught to give attributional feedback to others and to themselves through self talk.
Gender differences can be factors in attributions. Girls are more likely than boys to attribute failure to their lack of ability, although their achievement is usually higher, and make external attributes (luck) for their successes. Girls tend to underestimate their performances whereas boys tend to overestimate.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
STUDENT ATTRIBUTIONAL RATING FORM

Score on Test ____________

My test score is a : success /nonsuccess

The reasons I received this score include
1.
2.
3.

How I prepared for this test:
1.
2.
3.
This is what I plan to do next time:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

QUESTIONS FOR STUDENT MOTIVATION AND SUCCESS

Answer these questions and submit your answers in the Dropbox for Instructional Content for Week Two.


1. HOW WOULD YOU ASSIST YOUR STUDENTS IN ESTABLISHING REALISTIC GOALS FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM?

2. DEVELOP A LIST OF INTRINSIC AND EXTRINSIC MOTIVATORS FOR YOUR STUDENTS.

3. WRITE A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF A TIME IN WHICH YOU EXERTED MORE EFFORT THAN ABILITY TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS. INCLUDE A REACTION TO HOW YOU FELT ABOUT THE LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT YOU ATTAINED.

4. DEVELOP A CHART OR GRAPHIC TO COMPARE THE STUDENT’S ROLE WITH THE TEACHER’S ROLE IN DETERMINING STUDENT SUCCESS

5. MAKE A LIST OF AT LEAST FIVE THINGS THAT WOULD AFFECT THE CLIMATE IN YOUR CLASSROOM TO PROMOTE A HELP SEEKING ENVIRONMENT. BESIDE EACH ITEM, EXPLAIN HOW YOU WOULD IMPLEMENT IT.


























 

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