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ESSENTIAL MOTIVATION IN THE CLASSROOM

Submitted By:
Hania Asif

MP/2016-S-03

M.Phil. in Education (Morning)


Submitted To:
Dr. Tariq Mahmood Ch.

Institute of Education and Research


University of the Punjab,
Lahore
Oct 17, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sr.

Contents

Page No.

No.
1.

INTRODUCTION

2.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Definition of Motivation

Theoretical Approaches

Essentials for improving students motivation in the

8-13

classroom.
3.

CONCLUSION

13-15

4.

REFERENCES

16-17

ESSENTIAL MOTIVATION IN CLASSROOM

Essential Motivation In Classroom

INTRODUCTION
Motivation refers to those reasons that underlie behavior that is characterized by
willingness and volition. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is animated by personal
enjoyment, interest or pleasure. Researchers often contrast intrinsic motivation with
extrinsic motivation, which is motivation governed by reinforcement contingencies.
Traditionally educators consider intrinsic motivation to be more desirable and to result in
better learning outcomes than extrinsic motivation.
Motivation within individuals tends to vary across subject areas, and this domain
specificity increases with age. Generally, individuals appear to enter school with high
levels of intrinsic motivation, although motivation tends to decline as individuals
progress through school. Research suggests that motivation of students in the classroom
can be effectively increased.
Essential factors contributing in students effective motivation includes effective
use of teaching strategies by the teacher, effective selection of content to be taught and
safe environment provided for teaching and learning. Teachers should attempt to give
students more autonomy or control over their learning by allowing them to make choices
and use collaborative or cooperative learning approaches. Teachers should create a
supportive classroom environment with respect of goal structures of learning and learner
attributions.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Educational psychologists have recognized the significance of motivation for
supporting students learning. The purpose of this literature review is: (a). To explore the
ways in which motivation has been defined by researchers, (b). To investigate how
motivation develops, (c). To learn how teachers can encourage development of
motivation in their students and (d). To review the essentials motivation in classroom.

Definition of Motivation

Essential Motivation In Classroom

According to Broussard, S.C., and Garrison, M.E.B., (2004) broadly define


motivation as The attribute that moves us to do or to do something (p.106). However,
intrinsic motivation is motivation that is animated by personal enjoyment, interest or
pleasure. As Deci etc. al (2000) observe, Intrinsic motivation energizes and sustains
activities through the spontaneous satisfaction inherent in effective volitional action. It is
manifest in behaviors such as play, exploration and challenge seeking that people often
do for external rewards (p.658).
Researchers often contrast intrinsic motivation with extrinsic motivation, which is
motivation governed by reinforcement strategies. Moreover, traditionally educators
consider intrinsic motivation to be more desirable and to result in better learning
outcomes than extrinsic motivation (Deci et al., 2000).
Motivation involves a constellation of beliefs, perceptions, values, interests and
actions that are closely related. As a result, various approaches to motivation can focus on
cognitive behaviors such as, (monitoring and strategy use), non-cognitive aspects such as
(perceptions, beliefs and attitudes) or both. For example, Gottfried, A.E., (2002) defines
academic motivation as Enjoyment of the school learning characterized by a mastery
orientation, curiosity, persistence, task-endogency, and learning of challenging, difficult
and novel tasks (p.525).
On the other hand, Turner, J.C. (2004) considers motivation to be synonymous
with cognitive engagement, which he defines as voluntary uses of high-level selfregulated learning strategies, such as paying attention, connection, planning and
monitoring (p. 413).
Theoretical Approaches
According to Stipek, D.J. (2002), early approaches to the study of motivation
were rooted in literature on extrinsic motivation. Within this literature all behavior
including achievement was believed to be governed by reinforcement contingencies.
Proponents of this approach include B.F. Skinner, who identified different types of rein
forcers. Positive reinforcers or rewards are the consequences that increase probability of
the given behavior; they were made contingent on, whereas negative reinforcers are the
consequences that increase the probability of a given behavior by reducing negative

Essential Motivation In Classroom

external stimulus. Punishment on the other hand, refers to unpleasant consequences that
decrease the probability of a given behavior.
Under this framework, the teachers job is clear, to use good grades and praise to
reward desired behavior and bad grades or loss of privileges as punishment. As, stipek
notes this approach is limited to the extent that rewards and punishments are not equally
effective for all students, and desired behaviors such as paying attention are difficult to
reinforce. Moreover, the benefits of extrinsic rewards tend to decay over time. (Stipek,
J.K. 2002).
Also, Stipek, J.K. (2002) explains, new approaches for the motivation of students
that is Cognitive Behavior Modification CBM, This approach recognizes the effects of
reward contingencies are mediated by cognitive variables, such as verbal ability. Thus
goal of CBM is to change overt behavior by manipulating cognitive processes. Under this
approach student; takes more responsibility for their own learning by monitoring their
behavior, setting goals, deploying Meta-cognitive strategies, and administering their own
rewards. Giving students such control over their own learning is believed to result in
maintenance of learning behaviors over time, the transfer of learning behaviors to new
context, and more independence in exercise of such behaviors.
There is a third-wave literature that is characterized by the belief that behavior is
affected by cognition rather than consequences of one own actions (Stipek, J.K. 2002).
Broussard, S.C. and Garrison, M. E.B. (2006), observe that contemporary motivation
research tends to be organized around three questions:

Can I do this task?

Do I want to this task and why?

What do I have to do to succeed in this task?

Can I do this task?


As Broussard and Garrison note, those pursuing the first question developed the
new theories regarding self-efficacy, attributions, and self-worth. Eccles, J.S. and
Wigfield, A. (2002) define self-efficacy as an individual confidence in his or her ability
to organize and execute a given course of action to solve a problem or accomplish a task
(p.110).

Essential Motivation In Classroom

According to Banduras, A. (2000), self-efficacy theory, efficacy is a major


determinant of effort, persistence and goal-setting. Empirical research supports this
notion, suggesting that individuals with higher efficacy tends to be more motivated and
successful in a task. (Pintrich, P.R. & DeGroot, E.V. 2002). Self-efficacy has also been
associated with use of strategies, and self-efficacy perceptions predict achievement over
and above actual ability levels. (Pintrich, P.R. & DeGroot, E.V. 2002).
Another important theory in field of motivation is locus of control; individuals
should be motivated to the extent that they feel they are in control of their own success
and failures. (Eccles and Wigfield, 2002). Locus of control is closely related to concept
of attributions. Attributions refer to an individuals beliefs regarding causes of successful
of failing performance. There are several types of attributions, including ability, luck,
effort and task. According to attribution theory, the types of attribution a person holds
determine his or her level of motivation according to whether the cause is perceived as
something that is changeable or within persons control. (Eccles and Wigfield, 2002).
However, effort is within a persons control and entirely manipulable. Both task
characteristics and luck are outside ones control and thus tends to be variable. Thus poor
performance on a task is more likely to contribute to reduced effort and motivation for
those holding ability attributions than for those holding effort attributions because failing
performance for the former groups communications a lack of ability that may be difficult
to change, whereas failure for the latter group communicates that success is within reach
if effort is more expanded. Empirical research suggests that those holding effort tends to
exhibit more positive learning behavior, such as goal-setting that focuses on learning
rather than performance. (Miller, S.D. 2000), use of strategies and persistence at difficult
or challenging tasks. (Stipek, D.J. 2002).
Hence, teachers must frame the successful performance in the classroom in terms
of ability rather than in terms of effort, because success communicates positive
information about the competency of students. (Schunk, D.H. 2004).
Another theory that contributes in motivation of students in classroom is selfworth theory is both related to self-efficacy and locus theory. According to this theory,
students need to believe they are competent in academic domains to feel that they have
self-worth in the school context. (Eccles and Wigfield, 2002). This line of research

Essential Motivation In Classroom

suggests that students attempt to maximize their self-worth and will protect a sense of
competence by making casual attributions that enhance their sense of competency and
control.
Do I want to do this task and why?
Under this category Broussard, S.C. and Garrison, M.E.B. (2004) includes
expectancy-value theories, intrinsic theories and self-determination theory.
One strand of this literature focuses on the values individuals hold for participating in
various types of activities. (Eccles and Wigfield, 2002). Values are incentives or reasons
for engaging in an activity. The value of a given task or activity has four components:
attainment value, which refers to personal value of doing well on a task; intrinsic value,
which refers to subjective interest or enjoyment of performing a task; utility value, which
refers to the extent to which task completion is perceived to facilitate current or future
goals; and cost which refers to the negative aspects of engaging in a given task, such as
anxiety and fear of failure. (Eccles and Wigfield, 2002).
Idea of intrinsic motivation is related to intrinsic value. Intrinsic motivation refers
to the personal enjoyment, interest or pleasure and is usually contrasted with extrinsic
motivation, which is motivated by reinforcement contingencies. (Guay et al., 2010).
Manipulation of extrinsic motivation can either be tangible i.e. money, grades or
privileges or intangible i.e. praise etc.
Another aspect is self-determination theory, which distinguishes several types of
regulatory mechanisms that can act as reinforcement. External regulation corresponds to
lowest level of self-determination, where behavior is motivated by a desire for reward or
punishment avoidance. Finally, under integrated regulation, the regulator is actually
consistent with an individuals other values and needs and becomes part of ones selfidentity. This latter type of regulation is closely related to intrinsic motivation. (Guay et
al., 2010). Educators typically consider intrinsic motivation to be more desirable than
extrinsic motivation, and some research suggests that the learning outcomes of intrinsic
motivation are far better than those obtained under extrinsic motivation. (Ryan, R.M. &
Plant, R.W. 2000).

Essential Motivation In Classroom

Moreover, closely related to values are interests, which refer to an interactive


relation between an individual and certain aspects of his or her environment. (Hidi, S.
2000, p.152). Interests are content-specific, can be viewed as either a state or trait, and
entail both cognitive as well as affective domain. (Hidi, S. 2000). The literature on
interest distinguishes between individual or personal interest and situational interest.
Individual interest refers to a relatively stable state developed with respect to particular
subject. This type of interest refers to the persistence at a task over long periods of time,
closer attention, ability to focus, increased learning and enjoyment, even among young
children. Situational interest on the other hand is more immediate, affective and
transitory, depending on the task environment. (Hidi, S. 2000). Task features likely to
encourage greater interest include personal relevance, novelty, activity level, and
comprehensibility. (Hidi, S. 2000).
Finally an individuals goals are related to his or her reasons for engaging with
tasks. Goals can be sub-divided into mastery goals i.e. which can be compared with
intrinsic values and performance goals i.e. which can be compared with extrinsic
motivation. (Broussard, S.C. 2004). Mastery goals focus on the learning for sake of
learning. Whereas, performance goals emphasizes to high achievement. Mastery goals
are associated with high perceived ability, task analysis and planning, and the belief that
effort improves ones ability. On the other hand, performance goals are associated with
judgments about achieving, grades, or external rewards. An alternative framework for
categorizing goals is to compare ego-involved goals (similar to performance goals) and
task-involved goals (similar to mastery goals). Ego-involved goals focus on maximizing
favorable impressions of competence. Those with ego-involved goals are pre-occupied
with question like, Will I look smart? Or Will I outperform others? Ames, C. (2002)
argues that students with ego-involved goals are more likely to select tasks they know
they can complete. In contrast, task-involved goals focus on task mastery and increased
competency. Students with task involved goals are preoccupied with questions, how can I
do this task? And what will I learn? Such students are more likely to choose challenging
tasks. As, Eccles, J.S. and Wigfield, A. (2002) observe mastery goals are associated with
strongest empirical evidence to date and have been linked to self-competence, selfconcept, effort attributions, increased persistence at difficult tasks, and use of cognitive

Essential Motivation In Classroom

strategies related to monitoring, problem solving, deep processing of information and


self-regulation.
What do I have to do to succeed in the task?
A third strand of contemporary motivation research has focused on the question,
what do I have to do to succeed in the task? Broussard, S.C. and Garrison, M.E.B. (2004),
argue that this strand of research led to development of self-regulation and volition
theories, which both share an attempt to connect motivation with cognition. For example,
self-regulated learners have been shown to use a variety of strategies, have high selfefficiency, and set goals for themselves. Self-regulated learners also monitor their own
activities, evaluate their performance, and experience reaction to evaluation outcomes.
The valence of a persons reaction to the evaluation depends on the way that
successes and failures are framed, with positive reactions more likely to spur increased
motivation than negative ones. Self-regulation theory postulates that individual can
fortify their own motivation by engaging in a number of self-regulatory strategies, such
as setting appropriate and achievable goals, applying learning strategies and monitoring
and evaluating progress towards goals. (Zimmerman, B.J. 2007).
Also Pintrich, P. R. (2002), offers a model of relationship between motivation and
cognition that incorporates students prior achievement, social aspect of the learning
setting, motivational variables (e.g., expectations and values), cognitive variables
background knowledge, learning strategies, meta-cognition, and self-regulation.
This model depicts motivation both affecting and being affected by cognition, both of
these are, in turn affected by social context. This model also portrays cognition and
motivation as affecting academic engagement and achievement.
Essentials for Improving Students Motivation in the Classroom
According to Palmer, D. (2007). Student motivation is an essential element that is
necessary for quality education. How do we know when the students are motivated?
They pay attention, they begin working on the tasks immediately, they ask questions and
volunteer answers, they appear to be happy and eager. Basically, if any learning can occur
unless students are motivated on a consistent basis. The five key ingredients impacting
students motivation are: student, teacher, content, method/process, and environment. For

Essential Motivation In Classroom

example, the student must have access, ability, and interest and value education. The
teacher must be well trained, must focus and monitor the educational process, be
dedicated and responsive to his or her students and be inspirational. The content must be
accurate, timely, stimulating and pertinent to the students current and future needs. The
method or process must be very inventive, encouraging, interesting, beneficial, and
provide tools that can be applied to the students real life. The environment needs to be
very accessible, safe, positive, personalized as much as possible, and empowering.
Motivation is optimized when students are exposed to a large number of these motivating
experiences and variables on regular basis in the classroom. (Palmer, 2007).
According to Montalvo, G.P. (2005) students benefits more motivational benefits
from teachers they like over teacher they dislike. An effective teacher is the one who
exercise professional judgment in classroom to attain clearly expressed goals. Following
are several essentials that a teacher can utilize to get students more motivated in
classroom:
According to Finegan, T. (2006). Students usually perform better if they are
a. Educated in the smaller schools where they are well known, b. have smaller class
sizes, c. Receive a challenging curriculum, and d. Have teacher with greater expertise and
experience. According to Darling-Hammond, L (2000), year the curriculum quality and
teacher skills makes more difference to the educational outcomes than initial test scores
or racial backgrounds of the students. Teacher skills include staying calm, eliminating
negative thoughts or feelings, disengaging stress, remembering that students have their
own realities and are doing their best, not taking students actions personally,
remembering that students are not bad rather than just in the process of development, and
maintaining a sense of humor. (Whistler, J. 2003).
Tippins, M. J. (2002) states that Almost everything teachers do in the classroom
has a motivational affect on students, either positive or negative. This includes the way
information is presented, the kinds of activities teachers use in classroom, the way
teachers interacts with students, the amount of choice and control given to the students
and opportunities for students to work alone or in groups has also great impact on the
students performance. Students react to who teachers are, what they do and how
comfortable they feel in classroom. (Olson, 2005).

Essential Motivation In Classroom

10

According to Olson, G (2005), a teacher must do the following things to keep


students motivated in the classroom:

Greet each student by his or her first name.

Make eye contact with students.

Use smiles.

Be genuine.

Actively listen to each student.

Avoid sarcasm and criticism.

Be clear in approval or disapproval.

Let students know that you dont hold any grudge.

Talk to students about negative concerns privately as not to embarrass them in


front of the class.

Walk around the room and give students an occasional pat on the back or give
them an okay sign as appropriate.
According to McGlynn, A.P. (2008). For the effective in the classroom know your

students and build on their strengths. Hence, a teacher must use the strengths students
bring in the classroom. For example, Gen Y individuals like group activities and want to
learn information relevant to their lives and that can make a difference in the world. That
is, experiential and service learning programs could be very effective with this group in
that it requires a shift from teacher driven and content centered learning to seeing the
classroom as student-centered and process driven. Collaborative learning is effective with
Gen Y. It is important to teach the students how to find the information and also to
evaluate validity of the information. (McGlynn, 2008).
According to MacGrath, (2005). Relationships are at the heart of teaching since
its an activity based on communication. Hence, for the students to be motivated in the
classroom its essential for teacher constructive relationship with his/her students. Such
relationship must be based upon trust, treat everyone all the time with respect, be in
charge, leading students towards achievement, working together, showing you can listen
and accept what the students says. Moreover, empathy can also help to build a trusting
student-teacher relationship. (MacGrath, M. 2005; p. 157).

Essential Motivation In Classroom

11

According to Palmer, D (2007). When the teacher is more enthusiastic about a


topic, then the students will be more inclined to believe that the students will be more
inclined to believe that the topic has a value for them. That is, teachers enthusiasm can
motivate students. Enthusiasm can be expressed by facial expressions, body language,
stating preferences, describing personal experiences and facts, showing artifacts, using
humor, putting energy into their lesson preparation, and meticulously preparing materials.
The teacher should also balance his or her enthusiasm appropriately for audience.
(Palmer, 2007).
According to Doran, J. (2002). Has suggested following tips for effective
motivation of students in classroom by a teacher:

Use inventive teaching techniques.

Instill a fire in your students.

Discuss contemporary topics.

Use inventive teaching techniques.

Make each student feel special.

Encourage your students to embrace technology.

Make learning both interesting and entertaining

Share personal relevant experience.

Be devoted to your students.

Capture interest of your students.

Convey a real sense of caring to the students.

Teach them how to use information to make proper decisions for real life.

Learn students individual needs and respond to them properly.

Create a classroom environment where the students are passionate for


learning.

According to Alderman, M.K. (2000). Two basic approaches are essential for
the cultivation of effective motivation in classroom a. creating a classroom structure and
institutional method that provides the environment for optimal motivation, engagement
and learning; and b. helping the students to develop the tools that will enable him or her
to be self-regulated. According to Deniels, E. (2010). Students motivation will eventually

Essential Motivation In Classroom

12

rise and students will always be motivated to learn if the teacher utilizes the following
different strategies and methodologies:

Using incentives and rewards.

Using mutual goals and objectives that will promote continuous improved
performance of the students.

Objectively criteria should be clearly communicated and employed in


testing and evaluating students success.

Allowing students to participate in decision making and assuming


responsibility can also be very motivating to students.

Using positive verbal statements of encouragement and praise strongly


influences student motivation.

Using case work contributes a lot in increasing motivation of students in


classroom because the students did feel that local cases provides more
realistic learning experience.

Using positive social interactions also have a great impact on the students
motivation in classroom because when students will have more positive
social interactions, they will become more engaged in learning.

Using collaborative quiz and story telling results in improved performance


of the students because using such strategies promotes increased
motivation of the students.

Presenting students with challenging, interesting and useful activities in


the classroom also promotes increased motivation of the learners.

According to Lengnick Hall, C and Sanders, M (2007), the environment must be of


quality or caliber that contributes to the motivation of the students. For example, if an
environment is not safe, it is difficult and may be even unwise to put all of your attention
on learning. On the other hand, an environment of openness and freedom to learn from
our mistakes can foster motivation to learn. The environment can be physical as well as
mental, emotional and even spiritual in some regard.

Essential Motivation In Classroom

13

According to Rumsey, D. (2005), when creating effective environment educators need to


consider the following:

Overall approach to material presentation and development,

Use of engaging classroom activities,

In-depth discussions or simulations,

Fostering positive peer social interaction and exchange,

Moving from simple to more complex problems,

Making sure that that academic tutoring is available.

Creating situation in which students perceive themselves academically


productive,

Use of real-life experiences through out that are varied in scope and field of
application,

Developing positive attitudes,

Having voluntary parental and community support and involvement as necessary,

Encouraging critical thinking e.g., (what do you mean, what if, what works /does
not works, and how would you,).

CONCLUSION
Hence, motivation refers to those reasons that underlie behavior that is
characterized by willingness and volition. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is
animated by personal enjoyment, interest or pleasure. Researchers often contrast intrinsic
motivation with extrinsic motivation, which is motivation governed by reinforcement
contingencies. Traditionally educators consider intrinsic motivation to be more desirable
and to result in better learning outcomes than extrinsic motivation.
Motivation involves a constellation of closely related beliefs, perceptions, values,
interests and actions of individuals. For example, self-efficacy is an individuals
perceived competency in an area, and people tends to be more motivated to participate in
the activities at which they excel. A persons perceptions of control over their own
successes and failures are known as attributions with certain types of attributions more
likely to stimulate motivation than others. In particular, attributing failure to lack of effort

Essential Motivation In Classroom

14

is more motivating than attributing failure to lack of ability, whereas the opposite is true
for successful performance. Values are incentives or reasons for engaging in certain
activities, with intrinsic values more likely to foster persistence and effort than attainment
values. An interest also increases motivation. Interest may be situational or individual
interest. Individual interest is a trait that is developed with respect to a topic. However,
situational interest is immediate, affective, and transitory and reflects certain
environmental factors such as task characteristics. Individual interest is believed to foster
greater long term persistence than situational interest. Finally, persons goals are related
to his or her for engaging with a task. Mastery goals focus on learning for sake of
learning. Performance goals refer to excelling in relation to others. Students holding
mastery goals are more likely than those holding performance goals to have high selfefficacy, to prefer effort attributions, to persist at challenging tasks, and to use cognitive
strategies associated with self-regulated learning. Such strategies involves in setting
achievable goals, monitoring ones performance, evaluating progress, and framing
successes and failures with respect to effort and ability.
Above all are different motivational theories and their use depends on the goals
and needs of learning in classroom context. However, generally there are five essential
contributing in motivation of students in classroom i.e. student, teacher, environment,
methods of teaching and content to teach. More important factors contribute the teaching
strategies and techniques used by teacher in the classroom context. Even everything that
the teachers do in the classroom have motivational affect on students, either positive or
negative that is, the way information is presented, the kinds of activities teachers use in
classroom, the way teachers interacts with students, the amount of choice and control
given to the students and opportunities for students to work alone or in groups has also
great impact on the students performance. Students respond to who teachers are, what
they do and how comfortable they feel in classroom. Moreover, for the students to be
motivated in the classroom its essential for teacher constructive relationship with his/her
students. When the teacher is more enthusiastic about a topic students will eventually be
more motivated to learn a topic. Hence, the teachers need to be more careful about their
actions while teaching in classroom.

Essential Motivation In Classroom

15

Moreover, two basic approaches are essential for the cultivation of effective
motivation in classroom: A. creating a classroom structure and institutional method that
provides the environment for optimal motivation, engagement and learning; and
B. helping the students to develop the tools that will enable him or her to be selfregulated. Classroom environment also contributes for effective motivation of students to
learn. Environment of the classroom must be of quality or caliber that contributes to the
motivation of the students. For example, if an environment is not safe, it is difficult and
may be even unwise to put all of your attention on learning. On the other hand, an
environment of openness and autonomy to learn from mistakes can promote motivation
to learn. The environment can be physical as well as mental, emotional and even spiritual
in some regard.
Above all factors contribute in motivation of students in classroom. May be educators
could start just by choosing and trying three new possibilities for enriching student
motivation or may be they could just watch themselves and their own behaviors to
become self-aware of new understandings about motivation.

Essential Motivation In Classroom

16

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