How to Motivate Students in the Classroom | Science in the City

Nov 29, 2019

How to Motivate Students in the Classroom

How to Motivate Students in the Classroom

Why are they unmotivated? 

How to motivate students in the classroom is such a difficult topic!  So many students that I see are very disengaged for a variety of reasons.  These reasons are discussed in depth here, along with some methods to address various reasons.  However, there are some general statements that can be made as well.  In order to get them motivated, I think it is really important to find out what those reasons are.  There can be many varied reasons within one classroom. Are they disengaged because there's something going on with them outside of school?  How can they focus on academics when they're concerned about where they're going to sleep or where their next meal is coming from? Are they disengaged simply because they don't understand and they have not been successful in school in the past? Are they disengaged just because it's not their topic of interest? And there are probably as many more reasons as there are individual students. 

What to do about it?? 

Lots of Encouragement

So what can you do about that? It can be difficult to get students motivated, for sure!  Again it's important to be positive with students.  Don't assume that their behavior is coming from a negative place, or is directed negatively towards you.  Telling them something like "you're doing a great job," or "you're off to a good start, let's see if we can finish this up" or event "do you need help getting started?" can go a lot further. Also, helping them see the bigger picture and see the progress and successes that they are making is so important.  This alone be motivating. Constant encouragement that they can do it and that they will be able to have success will also be so important. 

Bigger Conversations

Having those bigger conversations, if the opportunity arises, with students about their goals, and  about not following blindly what their friends are doing is important. They may not have someone else in their life often talking to them about what they want (graduation? College?) and how those goals fit into what's happening today.  I have seen quite a few students who don't make the connection between what's happening today, and their longer term goals. 

Engaging Lessons?

Of course, you will hear recommendations to motivate students by making a lesson more engaging.While it is absolutely true making a lesson engaging and relevant to students is absolutely key, this is not the only way.  Doing something that gets their attention right away is so important but then we don't want them to lose that motivation the minute that it's not as engaging. 

I'm now working in a program with students who are recovering credits.  They are all behind on credits to be in the program.   In fact, much of their coursework is pre-packaged and is not particularly motivating or engaging all the time.  It has been interesting for me to look at what keeps them motivated.  For many students it's simply a desire to earn credits, to graduate, to be at the appropriate grade level, or to catch up to their peers. They are willing to do what they need to do.  It's been an interesting lesson in making engaging curriculum vs. other motivating factors. 

Our students are successful when they build positive relationships with the teachers, when they feel that they can be successful, and when they have some flexibility to get the help that they need. 

Ultimately I think the motivation has to come from within the students. If that means taking the time to do some mindset/reflection type of work, build relationships and work on things that are not content specific I think it will pay off.  There are other articles that have researched and had similar findings about student motivation. 



1 comment :

  1. I need a help Which is better? Hands On Science Learning for kids or Learning Science by Theory.
    Best Regards
    Cathy Smith

    ReplyDelete

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