Inspiring students to become independent and motivated learners is an important task to any educator. It takes more than just standing in front of a class delivering an oration to become a good educator. Educators are aware of the need to transfer knowledge in a manner that the subject is delivered with enthusiasm as to influence students to learn…
195). Sockett's statement expresses a basic premise about the role of motivation: It leads to possibilities for fostering the development of students' potential or "life chances" (Mclnerney & Van Etten, 2001, p. x).
In some rare cases the educator is lucky enough to have a group of students who all arrive with enthusiasm for the subject. They have well developed study skills and a strong aptitude towards learning. In these instances the task for the educator is to maintain this enthusiasm and to utilize it to ensure these already advanced students continue to achieve high levels of success. However, the circumstances for educators are often quite different. Their study skills may be underdeveloped and the academic learning may be less than impressive. It is for this reason that an educator should be armed with the knowledge and skill to develop or even create motivation.
A central theme of this paper is that teachers have a primary responsibility in education to help students cultivate personal qualities of motivation that can give them resources for developing aspiration, independent learning, achieving goals, and fostering resiliency in the face of setbacks. Perhaps this responsibility is even more important in the context of the motivational problems and challenges faced in the home and in schools in the early 21st century. The research on the issue will include reviewing the literature on motivation and discussing of teaching approaches that stimulate students' motivation. The research paper will also focus on subject interest and draw upon the practical experiences of teachers faced with students whose level of interest in their subject matter is low. Student's discouragement to learn is not uncommon and arises widely throughout the educational system. During the years of compulsory education, the lack of motivation is a matter of constant concern. Students are faced with a wide ranging curriculum designed to provide a well rounded education. Amongst the myriad of research subjects there will be some favored topic/subjects, while other subjects may not be that interesting to an individual student. Successful teaching will almost inevitably require the adoption of a different approach to the teaching and learning activities undertaken.
Definition and overview of motivation
Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain the initiation, direction, intensity, persistence, and quality of behavior, especially goal-directed behavior (Maehr & Meyer, 1997). Motives are hypothetical constructs used to explain why people are doing what they are doing. Motives are distinguished from related constructs such as goals (the immediate objectives of particular sequences of behavior) and strategies (the methods used to achieve goals and thus to satisfy motives). For example, a person responds to hunger (motive) by going to a restaurant (strategy) to get food (goal).
Motives are usually construed as relatively general needs or desires that energize people to initiate purposeful action sequences. In contrast, goals (and related strategies) tend to be more specific and to be used to explain the direction and quality of action sequences in particular situations ...
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