Gone are the days where the job of the teacher was to teach and that of parents was to get the child to complete the homework. Today’s children wouldn’t blindly accept and what the teacher has to say. It requires more than the teacher’s authoritative voice to motivate the children.
Motivating the children seems like a difficult task because there is a gap between the teacher, parents and the students. The teacher must understand what would motivate the children and proceed accordingly. Motivation can be described as the ability to arouse interest to do some task. These are two types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic is driven by rewards such as awards, trophies, and a compulsion to do better than the others while the intrinsic one is where the interest is generated within the child.
Motivation is at its peak when:
- When children take up tasks out of their own interest without external pressure, then they would give in their best and remember the lessons learnt for a life time.
- Task is appropriately challenging
- Choice of tasks is available
Tips to optimize the learning environment of the children:
- Children should not be pressurised to perform to score the highest
- Tasks offered should not be too easy or too difficult. In the former they would be bored and in the later they’d give up
- Tasks offered should be meaningful and enable the children to develop the essential skills of life rather than rote reading
- Children should be suitably rewarded for performing the task. Those who had made sincere attempt but should be recognised as well
- Children should be able to make choice on the way to execute the task. If the goal to be achieved is given and means is left open ended then the children would feel free to use their creativity
- The structure of the learning pattern also makes an impact. The instructions should be clear, guidelines on executing the task should be specific and simple, students should understand their goal properly, and there should be no delay in giving feedbacks. Feedbacks should guide the students to improve in their weak areas and should not comprise just the grades or scores.
- The parents and teachers should give all the support required to the children. If the child feels that their efforts would be invalidated, then they would not give their best.
To sum it up, students would live up to their potential if their efforts are appropriately recognised and rewarded, they are treated with respect, encouraged and do meaningful tasks.