Po co motywacja w edukacji


Why motivation in education?

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Po co motywacja w edukacji
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2024-01-12 12:16:13
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The answer seems simple. Motivation drives a person to act. This is what most teachers, educators and parents care about, that their charges are actively and independently involved in their own educational process. This will enable them to achieve success in the future and find their interests more efficiently. Of course, students will also be able to absorb the knowledge they need much faster, more pleasantly and for a longer period of time, which is the goal of many educators.

However, one should be well aware that motivation is not a simple concept. Many different factors play a role in its influence, and its arousal can be quite an individual issue.

What is motivation?

However, it is necessary to start from the beginning, which is the concept itself. The word “motivation” comes from Latin and means as much as to move and not to stop. When we add a goal, a need or a desire, we find what motivation is all about, which is some focused effort to achieve something. In a similar way, motivation is defined by many scientists in their works with a special focus on how it works or the type of forces that push us toward a goal that we define.

External and internal motivation

There is a popular distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It primarily involves locating the factors that compel us to act.

Extrinsic motivation is driven by factors found in a person’s environment. So these will include all the punishments and rewards that she may receive for performing the relevant activities, such as: grades, feedback, criticism, achievement in a competition, parental approval, fear of competition from others. These will also include all those things that the person has committed to in school, work and other external projects. Performing activities related to this type of motivation is not always fun and is willingly done. Sometimes it becomes just a sad duty. Nevertheless, an action started in this external way can develop into one that is also internally motivated.

In the case of intrinsic motivation, the impetus for action is found within oneself. The pure joy of doing something or one’s own curiosity drives a person to behave accordingly. In the case of education, it will be the student’s private willingness to learn on his own and his commitment to the class. This is a rather difficult motivation to generate, but it is the one that brings the most success. It is therefore necessary to direct the educational process in such a way that students want to discover the secrets of science of their own accord.

What will a motivated student bring to class?

First of all, yourself. His attention and commitment. I think it’s a great feeling for any educator when they don’t have to speak to an absent class. Ideally, of course, students should still be intrinsically motivated, but even the encouragement of extrinsic motivation can be enough to start with. There may yet be time to awaken curiosity and the joy of doing something.

Secondly, motivation to learn or participate in activities can become an important aspect for the students themselves. They will gain the necessary knowledge about the world. It will contribute to their cognitive, emotional and social development. With even small achievements, their well-being and self-esteem can improve. They will find meaning in repeating the material in question, and by doing so, perhaps they will also get rid of the feeling of lost time in classes that already take up so much of their daily lives.

What does motivation in the classroom depend on?

The factors could be many. Some of these are directly influenced by the student or teacher. Others are completely out of their control. Below is a very selective list of those that may be important in building motivation.

  • Presence of good and motivated examples
    One way to acquire knowledge is to learn by observation. If a student sees a motivated teacher, parent or other adult, he or she can build his or her own commitment to the area by their example.
  • Acceptable behavior in a student’s environment
    With whom you associate, such you become, one saying goes. If proactive behavior is accepted and encouraged in the peer group, there is a good chance that motivation will be systematically aroused.
  • Family problems, peer problems, divorce, abuse, world conflicts, etc.
    This is a demotivating factor that we usually have little control over, which can backfire on commitment to achieving goals. The most effective method will be to solve the aforementioned problems or work through them properly, for example, with a therapist.
  • Mental state and other commitments
    Can tie in with the previous point. At certain times, for example, we are too tired or have too many other things on our minds, so that even if we have the beginnings of motivation, we will not be able to make it a reality.
  • Personality traits
    Each of us is different and will react slightly differently to various external and internal stimuli. So not everything has to stimulate action in the same way. The motivation curve from the start of an action, to its completion, can also follow differently. Some will work harder at the beginning or end of a project. Others will systematically pursue the goal.
  • Knowledge of the purpose of the class and how it is framed
    In motivation, you need to know what you are aiming for. It is also important to pay attention to how we present the goal: is it understandable to everyone? Is it achievable?
  • Boring classes
    It is worth checking whether the methodology introduced in the classes arouses the curiosity and involvement of students. You may want to tailor your program for different learning styles.
  • Failures and successes
    Both will be intertwined in the learning process. The presence of failures can demotivate, while successes can motivate. Some balance must be found between the two. Learn to learn from failures and, despite them, not stop working. It’s also a good idea to start recognizing successes, even the smallest ones, and to celebrate them accordingly.
  • Amount of time to achieve the goal
    Once gained, motivation does not have to last all the time. The more you have to sacrifice it to achieve a goal, the greater the chance that you will eventually let go. So it’s worth dividing your goal into smaller parts.
  • Ease and difficulty
    The challenge should be chosen “just right.” A task that is too simple may fail to stimulate curiosity, while one that is too difficult may demotivate action.
  • Control over motivation
    It is important especially for larger projects. It concerns both the awareness of the goal and the individual objectives, as well as the constant monitoring of progress, in its achievement. When control is lacking, the pursuit of a goal can fade.
As a teacher, how can I influence students’ motivation?

Start with yourself. A motivated teacher can lead by example and infect others with his enthusiasm. Visible involvement in one’s own development, acquiring new competencies, discovering passions and actively participating in various initiatives will set a positive direction for students and show that it is possible to function or succeed in such a way. Even with failures, the teacher can give a good model for coping.

Create engaging activities. Students should have the opportunity to take the learning process into their own hands. As a result, they will be able to expand their own competencies and discover passions. Adapting classes for different learning styles will certainly support them in this life journey.

Give feedback. Any evaluation or feedback has a big impact on extrinsic motivation. Descriptive notes, in which the student’s strengths and praise can be conveyed, as well as pointing out those that are weaker and need work, will work better than numerical grades. Together, too, you can look for ways to improve its performance.



Urszula Skorodziłło
Urszula Skorodziłło
Member of the Knowla Program Board
Cognitive scientist fascinated by the workings of the brain and the senses. She is involved in the creation and analysis of psychometric tools. At Knowli, she co-creates, consults on applications, creates lesson plans and makes sure the material is adapted for young audiences.

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