Are Students Motivated Enough To Learn?

Motivation to learn

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? To do household chores? To write a paper? To go to work? Lack of motivation might interfere with our personal as well as our professional lives, making simple tasks look difficult and effortful. What is motivation? Is it an individual variable or vulnerable to environmental influences? Numerous theories tried to define and explain human motivation. One general definition for motivation could be what energizes, directs and supports our behavior. If motivation is crucial to our everyday lives, it can most probably impede or improve one’s learning process.

The classroom environment, teaching and instructional strategies, students’ goals as well as their self-efficacy and self-worth, their interpretation of belongingness in the classroom, their evaluation processes, their cognitive strategies as well as their attributions; all of these factors can have impact on motivation and consequently on student’s learning process, performance and achievement.

Helping students interpret events in a positive way in order to maintain their sense of value of their learning experiences might lead to developing healthy attributions about their successes and failures.

By giving students unconditional value, that is appreciating their effort regardless of their grades, might enhance students’ self-belonging and self-worth.

By understanding the type of goals students engage in, teachers can try to find strategies that help students become skillful and better learners.

In addition, finding students’ interests might also enhance their intrinsic motivation leading to better performance and classroom engagement. This can be achieved by providing students with choices of tasks and activities.

Finally, providing the appropriate strategies specific to each learner would improve his learning process. And if we consider motivation and learning to be mutually causal; those who are more motivated learn more and those who learn more become more motivated. Thus, putting effort into making a motivational classroom would benefit the learners as much as the teachers by transforming learning into a joyful and fun experience.

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