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Motivational Theories Essay

1257 words - 6 pages

Motivational Theories and Education
Amanda R. Davis
Grand Canyon University: EDA- 575
April 16, 2013

Motivational Theories and Education
Creating a plan that can motivate and encourage students is necessary for any teacher in today’s day and age. Most teachers are extremely busy and always striving to have their students achieve their goals and meet the standards, while at the same time monitor behavior around the room. Having a motivational plan that works in the classroom and/or school will help any teacher or administrator accomplish their lesson or school goals with the utmost efficiency. Motivation is what makes a person engage in an activity or uphold expected behaviors. ...view middle of the document...

This type of student usually does not need an incentive to get the job done. Students who only want to do well to get a good grade, or pass to the next grade, have motivation that is primarily extrinsic. They will perform a job or task, but want to reward when they are completed. Clearly, it is imperative that a teacher or administrator knows what would motivate certain students in order for them to become successful in school.
In addition to intrinsic and extrinsic motivational theories, some suggest there are major components of motivation that also must be included. Research has shown that “competence beliefs, control beliefs, higher levels of interest, stronger perceptions of value, and appropriate
goals motivate students” (Murray, 2011). At Hinman Elementary, it is very important to set goals for the students that are achievable and realistic. The students like a healthy competition, especially when they are mainly in competition with themselves and what they can accomplish. For example, there is a school based reading program called Accelerated Reader at Hinman. It is set up where the kids have to read a certain amount of books worth a certain amount of points and pass tests based on their reading level. Once they have passed the amount required at their reading level, they move up to the next level. After achieving this, they receive prizes. Some students want to pass levels merely for the prize, while others have found that they truly enjoy reading, and may pass a level without even knowing that they did. Either way, both students who are motivated extrinsically and intrinsically do well.
Furthermore, competence plays an important role in education. If a student feels that they cannot master a subject or do well, their motivation is decreased heavily. Murray states that “Students who believe they are able and that they can and will do well are much more likely to be motivated in terms of effort, persistence, and behavior than students who believe they are less able and do not expect to succeed” (Murray, 2011). Therefore, competence is the foundation of future success. At Hinman Elementary, teachers, administrators, and specialists provide tutoring opportunities for students who fall below the twenty-fifth percentile based on AIMS web scores. Sometimes the students are provided extra interventions during recess, while other times they are provided interventions during specials or center time. As a part of a motivational plan, this should continue. All students should have the opportunity to catch up to their peers through intensive intervention, if needed. Once they feel that they can be successful, they will begin to be motivated to do well.
At Hinman Elementary, part of a motivational plan for the school would also be to include the students more. Students should have some input over the rules of the class and consequences for breaking those rules. This would...

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