Tuesday, May 1, 2012


According to one survey that I have read last time, an average person can have at least three to five close friends, not counting the acquaintances and not to mention the “friends” in social networking.

People are made to interact with one another. But a normal person finds it hard to communicate and get along with a lot of people. How about teachers? Being a teacher is one tough job. It is one of those jobs that require interaction with not just ten people but often times, especially in public school settings and some in private schools, a teacher has to deal with fifty to sixty students. Getting along with fifty students is one thing, but motivating them to listen and to learn from what the teacher is saying is another thing.

What could be the best motivation to use for the students? Motivation is what drives someone to do something. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivations are those things around or outside the person that motivate his or her to act on something. A reward, a prize, a gift, or an incentive where the person can benefit from can be considered as extrinsic motivators. While enjoying the work itself and not relying on the prize that he can get from doing it, is an example of an intrinsic motivator. In short, a motivation from oneself is called intrinsic and a motivation from others is called extrinsic.

The thing is there are no hard and fast rules for motivating someone. Motivation varies from one individual to another. One person can be so motivated by money to work hard while other is already satisfied by having the work done without thinking of the money.

A good teacher knows his students by heart. He must know his students names and be sure to call them by their names. One’s name will always be the sweetest sound in one’s ear. This is especially important so that the teacher can be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. If a teacher identifies these things, then it would be easier for him to control and manage them. This will also be helpful for him to know what kind of motivation to use in each student.

The following are some Motivational Theories that a teacher can use to motivate his students.

1. The Incentive Theory. When someone gets a reward for something that he has done, he may be motivated to do the same thing again. Studies show that if the person receives the reward immediately, the effect is greater, and decreases as duration lengthens. Repetitive action-reward combination can cause the action to become habit. Motivation comes from two sources: oneself, and other people. These two sources are called intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, respectively.

2. Escape – seeking dichotomy model. Escapism and seeking are major factors influencing decision making. Escapism is a need to break away from a daily life routine whereas seeking is described as the desire to learn, gain some inner benefits through travelling. Both motivations have some interpersonal and personal facets for example individuals would like to escape from family problems (personal) or from problems with work colleagues (interpersonal). This model can also be easily adapted with regard to different studies.

3. Drive-reduction Theory. The Drive Reduction Theory grows out of the concept that we have certain biological drives, such as hunger. As time passes the strength of the drive increases if it is not satisfied (in this case by eating). Upon satisfying a drive the drive's strength is reduced. The theory is based on diverse ideas from the theories of Freud to the ideas of feedback control systems, such as a thermostat.

4. Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Suggested by Leon Festinger, cognitive dissonance occurs when an individual experiences some degree of discomfort resulting from an inconsistency between two cognitions: their views on the world around them, and their own personal feelings and actions. For example, a consumer may seek to reassure himself regarding a purchase, feeling, in retrospect, that another decision may have been preferable. His feeling that another purchase would have been preferable is inconsistent with his action of purchasing the item. The difference between his feelings and beliefs causes dissonance, so he seeks to reassure himself.

There are still lot theories that we can find about motivation. There is no one best motivational theory. The best motivation is the one that will work best.

These theories can be very useful for teachers. The job of a teacher is no less than the job of any manager in a prestigious office or corporation. A manager or a teacher both need to have the ability to motivate the people under them – the subordinates for the manager and the students for the teachers. A teacher who knows how to motivate the students will find it easy to bridge learning. Motivations can also play a huge role in developing the full potential of a child.

Effective motivators do not only benefit the students but also benefit the teachers too. If the students are well motivated enough to study and learn their lessons then this means less effort for the teachers since the students will try to work on their own to get what they want.



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