What are some ways to motivate students?


Quick Answer

Some ways to motivate students include explaining the transferable value of each lesson, fostering self-belief and creating a supportive environment. Positive reinforcement is another motivating factor, as students will typically engage better when they can see their actions bringing about a desired or positive outcome.

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Full Answer

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of motivation to consider in education: "intrinsic" motivation and "extrinsic" motivation.

Intrinsic motivation involves explaining the transferable value of lessons and fostering self-belief as described above. It is a more sustainable method, since students are encouraged to develop an interest in the subject itself.

Extrinsic motivation focuses more on systems of rewards and punishments, such as grades. Although these can be more effective at eliciting immediate results, they are also more likely to diminish a student's genuine engagement with the subject. Furthermore, it is often not possible to come up with rewards and punishments that every student will be interested in either pursuing or avoiding. Extrinsic motivation is not sustainable and typically lasts only as long as the system of rewards and punishments is enforced or until the class is merely passed.

Nevertheless, while intrinsic motivators are best suited to those students who are actually interested in learning about a subject, extrinsic motivators are more useful for those people who are driven by competition and rewards as well as for those who have an aversion to deep learning.

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