ERIC Number: ED286284
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Practitioner, v14 n1 Sep 1987
Although ability partly explains why some students are eager to learn in school whereas others are disinterested, motivation is another significant factor. This newsletter discusses factors that affect students' motivation to learn, considers techniques that can increase motivation, and identifies schools that have developed activities to enhance motivation. Students bring characteristics to the learning situation that vary tremendously (abilities and aptitudes, confidence, background experiences). These characteristics and unique combinations of factors influence the level of motivation. Motivation is also affected by the nature of the learning environment, including the degree of interest in a subject or a teacher, and the physical and psychological environment. Several theories provide explanations for motivational behavior. Behaviorists stress positive reinforcement. The rewards, however, may become more important than the learning. Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation proposes that "deficiency" needs (safety, love, esteem) must be satisfied before "growth" needs (self-actualization, knowledge). Others hypothesize a need for achievement and a contrasting need to avoid failure. Students who experience failure in school are less motivated to do well. Techniques to improve motivation include the following: (1) consider individual differences; (2) ensure that deficiency needs are satisfied; and (3) make subject matter interesting and relevant. Several schools and districts illustrate how programs and activities can develop motivation. In New Hampshire, for example, Amherst Middle School requires the students to use the skills of all academic areas in life-oriented, thematic units. The document provides addresses and contacts of seven schools and districts. (CJH)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Academic Failure, Educational Environment, Improvement Programs, Learning Activities, Learning Motivation, Learning Theories, Motivation Techniques, Performance Factors, School Role, Secondary Education, Student Characteristics, Student Motivation, Student School Relationship
Publication Sales, Research Department, National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, VA 22091 ($1.25; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.