Motivation as an Effective Instructional Technique

Behavior of Highly and Poorly-Motivated Students

In every classroom, we find both groups of students – the highly motivated and the poorly-motivated students. Unfortunately, more often than not, we find just a handful of highly motivated students. These two groups can be easily identified by their behavior. Highly motivated students are observed to behave in the following manner:
  • Actively participates in every class activity
  • Often seen procuring over additional references
  • Curiously examining the proboscis of a butterfly
  • Volunteers to borrow and return materials used
  • Facial expression shows satisfaction over an award.
In contrast, poorly motivated students are:
  • Passively stuck to the seat during discussions
  • Uninterested look and facial expression
  • Endlessly bother neighbor rather than listen
  • Unable to follow simple instructions
  • Leaves’ learning task half-done

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation is a driving force that impels one to react. It is described as an inner urge that moves a person. As used in teaching, it refers to the teachers’ and the students’ rationale or purpose, which originates from the self to undertake a learning activity. Motivation energizes, directs and sustains behavior that ultimately leads to higher achievement in the classroom. It makes the learner get interested in learning and keeps the learner engaged in learning. Teachers who are motivated are observed to be fired with genuine enthusiasm and are full of energy as they face their students. Students who are motivated to learn are observed to be wide-eyed and are eager to be involved in any learning activity.

Kinds of Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is also called internal motivation. It originates from the students’ inner selves or from factors inherent in the task being performed. For example, students may engage in a learning activity because they enjoy the activity or because they are convinced that what they learn is important or is the right thing to do. Intrinsic motivation Is greatly influenced by the innate values and attitudes possessed by the student. The inner sense of trustworthiness and responsibility is easily exhibited and observed by the teachers. A student with a curious and inquiring nature is instantly motivated when facing an instructional material.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is also called external motivation. It originates from the students’ learning environment or from factors external to the students and unrelated to the task at hand. It takes the form of rewards or incentives or recognitions. Examples are a trophy for the first placer in a contest, a trip to Disneyland for a year-end grade, a certificate for being well-behaved and a medal for winning in a debate. Which group of motivated students is most likely to show the beneficial effects of motivation. Obviously, the intrinsically motivated students. Why? Because these students tackle assigned tasks willingly and are eager to learn even without reward or authority like a teacher to prod them. The extrinsically motivated students have to be enticed by an external reward or prodded by a teacher to learn. This means that when there is no more reward offered, or when the authority figure is gone and students are left to themselves, the interest and enthusiasm to learn is also gone. That which makes intrinsically motivated students to perform comes from within themselves. That which makes extrinsically motivated students to learn comes from outside. Intrinsic motivation is internalized. It is no wonder why the intrinsically motivated students are most likely the ones to exhibit the beneficial effects of motivation.

Motivational Strategies

Knowing the abilities and interests of their students, teachers find it easier to raise their level of motivation. The following are some general suggestions:
  • Employ a variety of teaching strategies. If one technique does not keep, them awake, try another. What is important is, teachers must be sensitive and observant during a class activity. If the responses are unsatisfactory and the discussions are incoherent; tactfully revise the procedure„Change to one, which’ will require more movement and participation of every member.
  • Narrate a short story or recite a poem which is related to the lesson. Conduct a short contest revolving around the lesson and give a prize t6 the winner.
  • From experience, teachers could vividly remember the kind of motivation that would work for every group of students. Those that they have tried in the past where students suddenly perk up and move could be tried again. Young children are fast to react favorably.
  • A good sense of humor never fails to elicit a positive reaction as long as it is not overdone. Know when and how to make them smile. Smile with them. They will always look forward to a fun-filled lesson.
  • A pleasing personality always wins positive interaction. A warm and sincere teacher can easily motivate students to follow instructions. They remember to do their assignments at home to be able to enjoy a lively lesson the following day.
  • Plan lessons that will arouse their curiosity. Any object preferably a living thing will keep’ them wide-eyed. Many questions will be asked. Entertain their questions.
  • Lessons that will require manipulation of tools and operation of the equipment will keep everyone moving to get a chance at the wheel. Teaching models that need to be drawn will keep • them busy with the brush or pen.
  • Introduce an educational game that is related to the lesson. It will surely arouse their interest to try to win, especially if there is a promised prize for winning.
  • Some teaching strategies that have high motivating power could be tried. Some of them are: a) role-playing, b) simulation, c) drama presentation and d) a musical show.
  • Film showing, slide presentations, television broadcasts learning devices will keep them highly attentive and concentrated.
Finally, teachers who are enthusiastic, energetic and “happily-charged” are likely to be joined by equally energized and joyful students throughout the year.