Ten strategies to motivate your students
Karin Silvina Hiebaum – International Press
Most students respond positively to a well-organized subject taught by an enthusiastic teacher who has an interest in his learning.
The actual learning in the class depends on the teacher’s ability to maintain and improve the motivation that the students brought at the beginning of the course (Ericksen, 1978). Whatever the level of motivation that the students bring, it will change, for better or for worse, whatever happens in the classroom.
Javier Sancho from the University of the Basque Country introduces with these words his article Teaching techniques to improve the motivation of students. If we want them to learn, he warns, we must create conditions that promote motivation.
Studies with university graduates have shown some of the factors that most motivate students, such as the enthusiasm of the teacher, the work material and its appropriate level of difficulty, the organization of the subject, the active participation of the students, the diversity in the use of teaching technologies and the connection between the teacher and the students.
In the following, the author suggests some precise techniques to motivate the boys in the classroom.
Start by getting to know the students. The first presentation of all group members is necessary not only to try to get in touch with the boys, but also to know their strengths and weaknesses. Sancho recommends asking for the first day of school to make cards with their name and the interest they have in the subject and have it issued.
Show enthusiasm. If you are apathetic or bored, it will also be the students. This enthusiasm often comes from the taste for matter or from the real pleasure of teaching. You notice when a teacher likes to teach, the author writes.
Spend time for each student. It should be remembered that each student has different needs and competencies. Let’s try as much as possible to individualize the lessons: to recognize each student, to review his work regularly, to support his learning and to inform him individually about his process.
Maintain high expectations. It is desirable to show students confidence with motivational sentences (you can do it) and practical advice (study time, problem). Encourage them not only to approve, but to learn, says the author.
Point out the importance of the subject. Explain why the subject is important and how it can be useful in your professional life.
Vary the teaching methods. Boredom and routine must be avoided by all means: Try to make each class a new adventure. Listening is important, but let’s remember that the student learns more by doing, building, designing, creating, solving. Learning improves when the student is forced to use multiple senses. The tools that can be used include master class with discussion, brainstorming, panel of experts, videos, discussion in small groups, case analysis or laboratory practices.
Promoting the participation of students with questions. This will increase your interest and learning. Sancho recommends questions about knowledge, but also about understanding (interpreting, describing in his words), about the application (problem solving, giving examples), about analysis (identify motives, separating the whole thing into its parts) and about evaluation (giving opinions, value judgments).
To resort to humor. Interrupting lessons with anecdotes or making jokes on this topic creates a more relaxed atmosphere that promotes student learning.
Organize the study material. A clear, readable and appealing material motivates learning. Outdated, not updated notes indicate little concern from the teacher.
Tell round stories. May each class have a beginning, a development and an end. It is frustrating for the students to leave things halfway. In the end, always take the time to summarize everything you have seen.