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Angelo Scalisi

Deputy Headteacher, Secondary Education - Social Studies

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Motivation: link for students

More and more students show difficulties to learn and unstable behaviour. For these students, staying at school it is abhorrent and really hard. There are too many teachers that give them too few motivations. I think that the motivation is the link for students. In this way they won't be lost!

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  • Jun 14 2012: All teachers want to motivate their students - the satisfaction of doing this far outweighs the salary. Consider the conditions under which teachers struggle - large class size, mobile phones, broken homes, latchkey kids, poor role models at home, cramped curriculum and the list goes on and on.
    Students too are under pressure - too many distractions such as video games and mobile, too many subjects to study, exam oriented learning, attend tuition classes after school hours, long school hours in some countries (is it deliberate to keep kids off the streets?) and this list goes on and on too!
    Parents are struggling to do their best for their kids - the solution is not extra tuitions or buying expensive gadgets for them but spending time with them and being part of their lives.
    The education system needs to be changed. More is not necessarily the best. Factors such as what age to start schools for boys and girls, small class size, support for teachers and curriculum overhaul should be considered.
    Education is not a priority - it must be THE PRIORITY in all countries. Now is the time to do it! Bold decisions need to be made and put into action.
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    Jun 10 2012: This certainly isn't a controversial position to take:) Wouldn't you say this is universally understood? Motivation has been an absolutely central concern in research into teaching and learning, in teacher training, and in educational practice for a long time. There is a truckload of research about fostering intrinsic motivation in students and the conditions under which extrinsic motivation can be used as well.
    What are you hoping for in responses to your thread?
    • Jun 10 2012: It's truth, of course, you are right :o) ... but in despite of all those researches and of all teacher training about motivation, we still see students drop out day to day. I'm wondering if school is not so much fascinating nowadays... where is the mistake?
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        Jun 10 2012: I can think of a host of intervening problems. One may be that teachers feel pressured to cover more material than fits into a school year and feel little flexibility in using strategies that would make some material more interesting. Another issue is that "spiraling" through a curriculum, which is to say teaching something first superficially and then swinging back through in more depth, makes the material less satisfying first time around and less fresh the second and third time. There are other issues unique to particular fields. There is the issue that even if teachers aim to offer intrinsic motivation, parent expectations and pressure about grades or exam scores are extrinsic. There are also issues related to some kids coming to school underfed, scared, or distraught Then there is the fact that different strategies are motivating to different kids and large class sizes make using many strategies both necessary and challenging.Then there are situations in which the necessary makes it hard for kids to focus just on the joy of learning...It may be difficult to focus on the joy of learning when the prospect of getting a job afterwards is small... I mention these matters not to suggest that the challenge is impossible but rather to raise an issue that is a pervasive part of our culture. That is, regardless of how complex a situation is (in the sense of the number of factors that need to be considered), it seems that in modern life popular feeling is that there is really a simple solution that people are ignoring out of laziness, personal interest, or lack of enlightenment. In fact some problems are more complex than they may appear from outside the trenches.
        • Jun 11 2012: "All men by nature desire to know" - Aristotle writes this in his Methaphysic. After, he continues "...For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize". Teachers shouldn't stifle this natural desire but they should create favorable conditions to attract and raise the ability to amaze and surprise, that is, to create the stunned and pregnant expectation where can germinate research, which starts in the inner route through which everyone can become what it wants to be. This is one of the most important school's duties: to arouse wonder, through action, words, situations, to start building the motivation. Then student starts with awareness his learning process and focuses on the joy of learning. The curiosity stems from wonder and it is that thanks to which man has more incentive to learn, feeling not only a pleasure but a duty to himself. This intrinsic motivation is that germinates more successfully the process leads to knowledge. Actually, it's really hard and we know it very well because we are inside the trenches... :o)
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    Jun 11 2012: As an undergraduate I also faced and saw my friends also facing difficulties learning and unwillingness to attend lectures. The problems, as i understand now, are rooted in students, teachers, and the education and the administrative systems of the relevant school or institution. It is an interactive process.
    Students, as we know, have diverse backgrounds and intellectual temperaments. Some like to learn and some do not. Those who do not like probably have have different interests which they would pursue passionately if they get a chance. Or still there could be those who have other reasons that stand as hindrances: family problems, internal conflicts, etc.
    As to teachers, I came across those who had full schedules and yet could never give the students any reason to miss a single lecture. They are full of motivations, touch the hearts of students by the way they are. There are others who are much free and yet they cannot inspire students. Under this category, I would include teachers who dont like questions, teachers who dont teach well and dont give satisfactory marks, teachers who are lazy and are teachers only in name. (There are several other categories)
    As to the education and the administrative system, they are probably exam-oriented and very rigid. The systems are valued more than the students. They are more interested giving the students what they want rather than allowing them to be creative, creative in the sense of allowing students to develop their own strategies, suggest possible alternatives, develop their own potentials in the way they can, and so on. I often wonder why so much blurred is the gap between younger generation and the older generation. For example, as a parent, president or any elderly citizen we should not merely force the younger generation to accept our ways but need to have discussions, dialogues, and compromises.Dialogues need not merely be between elders and elders or students and students but also between students and elders.
  • Jun 10 2012: Yes motivation is the key to anything. The world as we know it was created because somebody or group of people was motivated to change the world, and in turn motivated others to carry out that vision. Now how do we motivate students. For me, personally, being a student, motivation came from having some ultimate end that education would take me closer towards. I believe that we need to create a similar thing for students. Of course, everyone is different and responds to different motivations, so the big key that this pursuit of motivation leads to is that schools need to be more individualized, decentralized, and tailored to the needs of the students, not the teachers