how do you build intrinsic motivation?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by mikemack42, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. mikemack42

    mikemack42 Companion

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    Dec 3, 2011

    I was inspired to ask this question by a 9th grade class I taught on Friday. Usually it's a difficult group, with lots of interruptions, but we've started giving a grade which is based on contributions to class (both positive and negative), so I'm now keeping track of interruptions and also of positive contributions to class. The kids saw I was keeping track and behaved much better.

    That's great of course, but I'd like them to be motivated by something besides grades. I do try to talk about the "why" behind what we study and get them to look for answers that don't involve grades or preparation for the next school year or university. They seem to know that "why", but I wonder if it's just something they're aware of, instead of something they really buy into. What do you do to build intrinsic motivation?
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Dec 11, 2011

    I'm not sure you can build intrinsic motivation, but you can build relationships. If the kids believe that you really care, that you want what's best for them and that you want them to succeed, they tend to work for you. We all want to be acknowledged for what we do and valued for who we are. I know that might sound silly, but that's what works for the teachers at my school. It's not until our kids "buy in" to our program that we see a real change in who they are as students and people. It's a constant struggle. Changing from bad habits to good ones is long and difficult, and there will be some back sliding, but if you just keep letting the kid know that you're in their corner and you want them to be successful, most of them come around.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 11, 2011

    Agree with the above poster.
    Just like to add, that i think that's one of the most important things to do. We can make kids do things, but we can't make them want to do things.
    I think if we let them know that we believe in them, have high expectations from them, and know they can do something, they are most likely to want to do them. But this will only matter if you have established a relationship or bond with them, as the above poster said.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Dec 11, 2011

    Intrinsic motivation for what is what I ask.

    Compliance? Pleasing?

    No one is truly intrinsically motivated to learn every subject they are expected to learn in the manner they are expected to learn it by that teacher in the timeframe given.

    Often what we do see with a student like this is the intrinsic motivation to comply or please. So, if the teacher expects students to do the extra credit or push beyond the basics of the assignment, this student will do that not because the material is interesting, but because they are intrinsically motivated to please or comply.

    Those student intrinsically motivated by subject matter will not do this for all subject matter. People just don't love learning everything and anything by learning it exactly how they are told to. That just isn't natural.
     
  6. Pacificpastime

    Pacificpastime Companion

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    Dec 12, 2011

    Agree with pps about building relationships. Intrinsic motivation is important, but intrinsic motivation *for the most part* changes. We work hard in high school to get good grades to go to college. We workout to be more fit to be more attractive. We read certain magazines over others because we are interested in the content and want more knowledge.
    Perhaps the more important thing is to focus on the value of learning and thus instill a love of learning. Maybe you could bring somebody you know who has an amazing story that would illustrate the value of learning? Or, talk about why learning is so important. You could link it to spys (who doesnt like espionage) and their need for a wealth of knowledge. Spies do not know the situations they will get themselves into ahead of time. BUT, they must be prepared for any and all situations and circumstances. The same is true in life. The settings and situations may not be as dramatic or exotic, but in relating to people they can be just as valuable.
    Sorry, that was a ramble. I hope it made some kind of sense. :)
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 12, 2011

    I agree with a2z above - I'd be more specific about what you are trying to instill a love for. I disagree that you can't promote or facilitate the development of a love for specific subjects, for learning itself, etc. I do agree that you can't force it like you can completing homework, but you can absolutely do things to promote it.
     

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