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Motivation: key to learning
July 17 , 2013

What you do well with little or no supervision is probably done with a willingness to do it and a sheer belief that you are able to do it. However, being born and raised with diverse backgrounds and upbringing styles, many kids of our growing generation are left without basic abilities to yearn and motivate themselves to learn. Battered egos, the feeling of been unwanted and unappreciated leave many students losing faith in themselves. Many have even lost the will to carry on. 

Major stakeholders and facilitators in the education sector such as school administrators, proprietors, teachers, and caregivers are encountering an enormous challenge in motivating new and fresh students coming into schools, especially those who are found wanting in their level of preparedness for the rigorous and demanding life that schools demand from them. This unprecedented lack of adequate preparedness often leads to acts of disobedience to constituted school authorities, sluggishness and cause students to have bogus ideas that are not compatible with reality or fact.

Several views have been flying around on the importance of motivation on what the students can achieve academically and the steps that can be taken by stakeholders in the education sector to motivate them. Deliberations, such as these, on how to motivate the unmotivated student, continue to open up boxes of several questions—what can be done about these students? Can students be taught how to motivate themselves? What are the high level plans that can be put in place to achieve more motivation? Is it sufficient to say that motivating students who are already motivated is sheer wastage of time and resources?

In retrospect to the aforementioned questions, and motivation aids identified, what should be done by educational institutions to help students achieve more excellent feats in their studies? Of course, in this era and age, educational institutions must escalate far above been seen as places where developmental instruction alone is given and must rise up to address the issues pertaining to motivation in a more complete way; including all elements or aspects of approach. A major approach to curb this unmotivated student menace is to identify those students that are having problems at an early stage. Studies have shown that detection and rectification of unmotivated students in their early days in school is highly essential and helpful. 

Some of the approach, though, that may be useful in working with students with motivational issues could be in giving them challenges that are a bit higher than their present ability level. Tasks that are too easy to solve tend to encourage boredom and limit students reasoning ability. Also, students should be encouraged to have role models in the identity of someone that is far above them in age, class and social status and they can also find a peer role model who succeeds at classroom task than them.

In addition, a supportive, and yes, an encouraging style of teaching should be adopted by teachers as this will inspire student’s interest in educational tasks and activities. People feel connected or related to other people when they feel a sense of belonging, students who have the feeling that they ‘belong’ are more motivated and academically confident. A feeling of warmth, friendliness and openness will encourage students to participate in activities with great enthusiasm and eagerness.

A happy individual will give his or her best when demanded and administrators may find it easier to motivate students if the root cause of lack of motivation is observed and detected at an early stage, and then, tackled quickly via constructive criticisms. Identifying issues like these relating to motivation is done usually to stem the tide, and this may be of help in creating targeted strategies towards ensuring that students achieve exemplary successes in schools.

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Learn more about this author, Odunayo Iyiola.
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