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ERIC Number: EJ896441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Creating Motivating Learning Environments: What We Can Learn from Researchers and Students
Daniels, Erika
English Journal, v100 n1 p25-29 Sep 2010
The author began her career teaching kindergarten. All 38 of her students showed up to school excited to be there and eager to learn. When she moved to the middle school, it was an entirely different story. She was stunned when most of her students didn't care whether or not they were successful academically. She encountered the same attitudes years later as a ninth-grade English teacher. Many students told her they "hated" reading and that school was "boring." In 2007 she left the full-time English classroom and began teaching in a college of education, but she has stayed connected to students. As she observes in dynamic teachers' classrooms and interview students to find out what makes them motivated, she has learned a lot. Additionally, academic researchers have spent decades researching motivation and have developed a clear definition. Briefly, "to be motivated means to be moved to do something." When combining the two bodies of information--academic research and student interactions--some clear strategies emerge. First, however, it is essential to understand what motivation looks like in a school setting. Sustained motivation comes from within an individual, but it can be influenced by contextual factors. Teachers cannot "make" someone motivated, but they "can" create motivating learning environments. Eschewing punishment and reward schemes, and with references to current academic research and comments from secondary students, the author suggests concrete methods for helping students motivate themselves.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A