Motivational Tools for Students: Techniques & Examples

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  • 0:01 Defining Motivation
  • 1:55 Motivational Tools
  • 4:30 Teacher Motivation
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jade Mazarin

Jade is a board certified Christian counselor with an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a certification in Natural Health. She is also a freelance writer on emotional health and spirituality.

In this lesson, we will explore the importance of student motivation and ways that teachers can motivate their students through tools like rewards, praise, and encouraging independence.

Defining Motivation

Have you been one of those students who participates often in class? Did you enjoy learning and want to do well on tests? Or have you been a student who went to class because you had to, so you did the bare minimum to get by? Chances are if you were the first student, you felt motivated. That motivation could have come from your own desires to achieve and/or from the teacher's efforts to make class interesting. On the other hand, if you identify more with the second scenario chances are you felt, you guessed it, unmotivated. And your lack of motivation probably made it harder for you to pay attention consistently, absorb the notes you took, and answer questions posed by the teacher. Not surprisingly, when we are not feeling motivated in school, we get less out of it. That's why teachers and educators do a lot of talking about what techniques they can use to foster motivation in their students.

Before we look into strategies used to create motivation, let's get clear that motivation is the inner drive to act. When you want to feel healthier and more toned, you exercise. The more you want those things, the more you choose to do it. Of course, there are times you would rather lay on the couch and watch television. In those instances, you don't have the motivation to get moving.

Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is based on personal interest, self-fulfillment or the desire to grasp material. However, extrinsic motivation is based on the desire for certain results—like grades or teacher recognition. To use the earlier example, if you wanted to exercise to feel better and healthier, it would be intrinsic motivation—it's for you. But if you did it to please a person in your life, it would be extrinsic motivation. Both kinds are useful for teachers to foster in their students, though intrinsic is especially valuable since it comes from within.

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