Development of Students

Topics: Educational psychology, Reinforcement, Motivation Pages: 5 (1495 words) Published: March 28, 2013
Jacqueline Green

On a daily basis various obstacles are presented to teachers and certain decisions need to be made to ensure didactic and learning efficiency. Because of this, teachers draw upon several methodologies to aid better decision-making. With these things in mind, this essay will, firstly, outline the customs adopted by teachers to handle and develop peer motivation, and, secondly, explore the effects of assessment and positive reinforcement when students are dismayed. Lastly, it shall investigate the benefits of adapting cognitive and memory techniques to students in order to maximise learning and development.

In a classroom, it is not uncommon for a teacher to find that some students may become unmotivated during the course of their schooling; this can be for various reasons. An apathetic student can affect the outcome of their own learning, as well as the learning of other students, and since motivation is contextual and can change over time (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010) it is a frequent obstacle that teachers face. According to Eggen & Kauchak (2010), motivation can be split into two groups: extrinsic motivation, whose involvement is based on the need for students to obtain good grades, and intrinsic motivation, whose involvement is based purely on the student’s willingness to learn.

There are numerous suggestions to engage unmotivated students; these include presenting a challenge to them, promoting student autonomy, evoking curiosity, or introducing methods for creativity (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010 p287).[1] Having considered these things, this essay will now focus on the development and application of self-regulation (Eggen & Kauchak. 2010) and mastery orientation (Sigelman & Rider, 2009) in order to help engage an unmotivated student.

The development of self-regulation is an effective way to motivate students; it involves a series of steps to ensure that their goals are reached. These steps include setting achievable goals, monitoring those goals, and including meta-cognition and strategy (Eggen & Kauchak. 2010). Albeit, specific learning goals focus on learning new things, so that the height of a student’s learning ability is reached (Sigelman & Rider, 2009 p290). Furthermore, children who do not attempt to set those learning goals run the risk of becoming helpless in the classroom. This helplessness involves a cognitive component, whereby students expecting to fail put little effort into the task (Eggen & Kauchak. 2010). Therefore, the promotion of self-regulation may become challenging for the teacher if the student does not know or want to set their own goals. It may be necessary to develop self-regulation, foremost, through intrinsic motivation and instructional scaffolding.

Mastery orientation is the theory whereby students believe that their increasing effort and persistence will reward them in the end. These students tend to be high achievers; relating their success to internal and stable causes (Sigelman & Rider, 2009).

Having said this, student motivation is likely to be amplified when one associates failure with lack of effort. Because effort can be controlled (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010), motivation tends to decrease when students correlate failure to uncontrollable causes, and thus a learnt helplessness orientation develops (Sigelman & Rider, 2009). To ensure students remain enthusiastic and curious, it is imperative for a teacher to expose them to a mastery-focused environment (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). In this way, teachers, who are strong role models, can emphasise that “learning is conscious, intentional, and requires effort” (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

Assessment is an essential tool in the learning and teaching process. It can be described as “all the processes involved in making decisions about students’ learning progress”. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010 p434). To achieve a sound classroom, where continuous improvement is verified by students, an effective classroom cycle should be...
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