Chapter 5

Motivating Students to Learn

 

Other chapters in this book describe how students learn and organize information. The present chapter will focus on motivation - strategies for enticing individuals or groups of learners to actively pursue instructional outcomes. Motivation is certainly not the only factor necessary in order for learning to take place; but without sufficient motivation, not much learning is likely to occur. The following section is designed to motivate you to read and understand this chapter.

 

What Moves You?

Examine each of the following statements. Which of them would make you most eager to read this chapter?

  1. If you can pass a simple, ten-item, multiple-choice test at the end of this chapter, we'll refund the entire cost of this textbook - and let you keep it besides!

  2. If you can pass a simple ten-item multiple-choice test at the end of this chapter, you're about average.

  3. If you cannot pass a simple ten-item multiple-choice test at the end of this chapter, you're really pretty stupid.

  4. If you can understand and apply the principles discussed in this chapter, you'll be able to motivate your students more effectively.

  5. If you can understand and apply the principles discussed in this chapter, you'll be able to motivate those students who have been thus far so impervious to your efforts.

  6. If you cannot understand and apply the principles discussed in this chapter, you'll never really be much good as a teacher.

  7. This chapter includes humor and some very practical examples.
    1.  

The preceding statements all run parallel to techniques that teachers often use to motivate their students. Some of these statements would really stimulate you to read and understand this chapter - but only if you believed them, and it may take more than the simple statement to convince you that the chapter could deliver the promised outcome. Others are just plain offensive - but if you seriously believed them, you just might want to read and understand the chapter. (Incidentally, Statement 1 and a few of the others are not at all true.) By reading and understanding this chapter, you'll be able to evaluate statements like these and have sensible reasons for motivational strategies of your own.

After reading this chapter you should be able to:

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Click on a topic from the following list, or use your web browser to go where you want to go:

Introduction <<You are here>>
Motivation
Intrinsic Motivation
Challenge
Curiosity
Control
Fantasy
Interpersonal Motivation
Summary of Intrinsic Motivation
Motivating Through Curriculum
Reinforcement and Punishment
Affective Aspects of Motivation
Physiological Aspects of Motivation
Cognitive Aspects of Motivation
Needs and Motivation
Self-Efficacy
Attribution Theory
Development and Motivation
Motivation as a Personality Characteristic
Teacher Expectancy
Social Aspects of Motivation: Classroom Structure
What Teachers Can Do About Motivation
What Parents Can Do About Motivation
What Students Can Do About Motivation
Chapter Summary
Annotated Bibliography
Footnotes
Answers to Quizzes