This article discusses concerns and issues that are often expressed by preservice and practicing teachers who work at higher education institutions about the implementation of motivation strategies, gives brief descriptions of programs that offer possibilities for fostering positive motivation and achievement.
Key words: motivation, students, academic progress, implementation, goals.
В этой статье обсуждаются проблемы о реализации стратегий мотивации, которые часто выражают практикующие преподаватели, работающие в высших учебных заведениях, дает краткие описания программ, которые предлагают возможности для поощрения положительной мотивации и достижений.
Ключевые слова: мотивация, студенты, академический прогресс, реализация, цели.
A major goal of formal education should be to equip students
with the intellectual tools, self-beliefs, and self-regulatory
capabilities to educate themselves throughout their lifetime.
Bandura (1993, p. 136)
There are general issues that must be thought about and resolved or they may become barriers to implementation of motivation strategies in the classroom. As teachers, although we value student motivational qualities such as effort and self control, we may not think it is our job to teach them. We often focus on these qualities only from a negative viewpoint (e.g., “Students don’t try, they don’t have goals” Sockett,1988). The flip side is, “What am I going to do help these students develop adaptive motivational beliefs and strategies?” This aspect is often neglected, or it is assumed that these qualities are unteachable. Murphy and Alexander (2000) examined motivational terminology in the current literature and concluded “the most compelling perception is the number of motivational constructs significantly linked to students’ academic growth and development” [p.44]. The important point is the extent to which teachers see these constructs as susceptible to instructional intervention. We have seen that teachers can influence many factors that affect motivation.
Reform movements have devoted little attention to the significance of student motivation [Meece&McColskey, 1997; R. S. Weinstein, 2002]. Weinstein argued that motivation is important if students are to develop to the expectations of higher standards, and as an educational outcome. In the short term, it may seem that valuable time would be taken from content needed to pass the test. However, if the absence of qualities such as effort, goals, and study strategies interfere with students’ academic progress, then our option is to teach students the tools they need. As Weinstein stated, “to cope successfully in a changing world, one must want to learn and know how to learn” [6, p.76].
Roderick and Engel’s  findings and conclusions provide insight into the role of student effort in high stakes testing and the influence of teachers.
– Effort. Student effort was an important predictor of outcomes on the test. As the researchers cautioned, if the responsibility for achievement and goals of the reform are placed solely on students, the students with lowest skills are particularly placed in jeopardy.
– Social context. The mechanism through which motivation translated into substantive work effort was dependent on the degree of collective responsibility for learning that teachers were able to create in their classrooms and convey to students.
– Role of teachers. Teachers influenced students’ perception of the task and their motivation in other ways. They helped students understand the purpose of the standards and did not assume that low-achieving students will necessarily respond negatively to a strong emphasis on achievement. Also, the teachers helped students feel supported with a sense of efficacy for achieving their goals
a) Expectations: they helped students understand the purpose of the standards and did not assume that low-achieving students will necessarily respond negatively to a strong emphasis on achievement.
b) Efficacy and support. They helped students feel supported with a sense of efficacy for achieving their goals.
c) Structure of activities. They structured learning activities so that they are meaningful, and all seemed to be essential components for success. [1, p. 273–274]
The beginning of the academic year is the time to set the framework for a motivation climate for all students. The basic framework for optimal motivation and engagement is established at this time and it includes expectations, beliefs about ability and effort, a climate that supports a sense of membership, task components that foster engagement, and the incentive and grading system. This is the time to discuss adaptive motivation processes with students, attributions for success and failure, the meaning of effort in your class, views of intelligence, and the importance of learning strategies.
According to Alderman, the successful implementation of motivation strategies depends a great deal on the teacher’s motivation [1, p. 274]. Motivational characteristics of teacher efficacy, goal setting, risk taking, volition, and persistence are especially important for carrying out a plan of action.
Taking into consideration above mentioned opinions, Alderman highlights aspects of motivation for a plan to be successful as followings:
– Set your goal — distal and proximal.
– Research your environment and identify potential obstacles or difficulties.
– Take moderate risks. Reflect on the self-worth motive in terms of your own risk-taking and self-protective strategies.
– Establish a monitoring or feedback mechanism for yourself.
– Get feedback and support from peers, administrators, and parents. [1, p. 274–275]
Researchers have documented important relations between positive aspects of teacher-student relationships and students’ social and academic motivation with accomplishments at school. At a general level, the theoretical perspectives used to guide this work are based on notions of causal influence, with the nature of teacher-student relationships resulting in student outcomes. In this regard, each acknowledges the importance of emotionally supportive relationships with teachers for students’ success at school [7, p. 309].
Maintaining the focus on learning in the context of standards and high-stakes testing presents motivational challenges for teachers and students. Motivation to learn and commitment to education are vital elements in education reform. The successful implementation of motivation strategies depends a great deal on the teacher’s motivation.
- Alderman, M. Kay. Motivation for Achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning, London 2004.
- Ames, C., & Ames, R. Goals, structure, and motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology 1992, Vol. 84, p. 261–271
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- Bandura, A. Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 1993, p. 28, 117–148.
- Meece, J.L., &McColskey, W. Improving student motivation: A guide for teachers and school improvement teams. Tallahasse, FL: Southeastern Regional Vision for Education, 1997.
- McCombs, B. L., & Miller, L. Learner-centered classroom practices and assessments: Maximizing student motivation, learning, and achievement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, p. 309–310.
- McCombs, B. L., & Whisler, J. S. The learner-centered classroom and school: Strategies for enhancing student motivation and achievement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
- McCombs, B. L., & Pope, James E. Motivating hard to reach students. In B. L. McCombs & S. McNeely (Eds.), Psychology in the classroom: A mini-series on applied educational psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological
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- Wentzel, Kathryn R. & Wigfield Allan. Handbook of Motivation at School. New York: Routledge, 2009, p. 309–310.
- Walker, R. A., Pressick-Kilborn, K., Arnold, L. S., & Sainsbary, E. J. Investigating motivation in context: Developing sociocultural perspectives. European Psychologist, 9(4), 2004, p. 245–256.