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How to motivate your students?

Motivation makes us act and try to achieve our goals. Motivation can be internal or external. Internal motivation means the motivation which comes from within yourself; you are very motivated to learn more about a topic that you are interested in. External motivation, on the contrary, means motivation that is not coming from yourself and rather from for example the pressure from others. Motivation is also external if the motivating goal is to be able to achieve a secondary goal, for example working in a job which does not motivate in itself but the salary is good and you need the money for your rent.  

Children show very clearly if they are interested in something and motivated to learn more. On the other hand, this amazing internal motivation can be easily destroyed. One of the core theories behind Mightifier is the self-determination theory by Richard Ryan and Edward Deci. This theory is about motivation and especially it looks into the internal motivation that drives without any external influence or pressure. In this theory, Ryan and Deci identify three components that are essential for one’s wellbeing – competence, autonomy and social relations – and how these psychological needs affect our motivation. 

How to motivate your students for school work?

Competence
By competence Ryan and Deci mean the amount of competency and capability the person thinks she/he has to achieve their goal. Positive feedback, especially when least expected, has been found to boost internal motivation and on the contrary negative feedback has been found to decrease internal motivation. So as an educator, parent or teacher, if you want to increase the internal motivation of a child even further on a topic or skill they have an interest in already, give them praise and positive words when they least expect it. 

Autonomy
Autonomy in relation to motivation is according to Ryan and Deci the need to be in control of one’s own life, decisions and schedule. In school, taking away the students’ autonomy for example with some kind of rewards during the learning process can diminish the internal motivation to learn. 

If you wish to reward good behaviour and learning, why not give them 2-3 options of something fun you would all do together as a class once the students have accomplished something as wanted.

An easy way to motivate your students, in general, is to give them a choice of 2 topics for example and they get to choose which one they are going to learn more about. Their motivation is bigger because they have the feeling they have had something to say in the matter. 

Social relations
Relations to others, the feeling of togetherness and belongingness is a big psychological need we all have and therefore affects our motivation as well. Here the positive feedback from peers is the key when it comes to school motivation. Peers are important for students and the support from each other encourages them to stay motivated and interested. In this, the Mightifier Feedback rounds are of big help for you as a teacher as the students will be able to give peer-to-peer feedback from their school works easily.

Let us know your ways of motivating your students? Is there anything, we can help you with. Send us a note to hello@vanhat.mahtisluokka.fi