Archives For Student Engagement

When it comes to student motivation; values in education are more important than the value of education.

bigstockphoto Values Road Sign 3471393 300x199 The Power of Values In Education

We do what we value!

We talk a lot about the value of education, which is an important topic and one that should be discussed.  However there is a significant difference between the two.

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What name immediately comes to mind when you hear the phrase unmotivated student?

I’m sure we can all think of at least one!  The reason for [almost] appearing in the title is that despite all the research and advances in teaching theory and practice; despite the advances in our understanding of how the brain learns, and regardless of how motivated and passionate you are in the classroom the unmotivated student is here to stay.

There will always be students who despite our best efforts will refuse to engage.  It would be nice if there was a magic formula or we could program the students so they would respond according to our wishes but that’s not the reality of teaching.

robot students Three Ways [Almost] Guaranteed to Help Motivate Even The Most Unmotivated Student Pt 2

You can't program your students!

That being said, there are some things that you can do to create a culture or an atmosphere that encourages the unmotivated student to engage in their learning.

In the previous post we looked at the first way [almost] guaranteed to help motivate unmotivated students which was to interrupt the cycle of failure.

Today we will look at the remaining two (obviously this is not meant to be an exhaustive list):

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Will unmotivated students ever be a thing of the past?

Benjamin Franklin is famous for saying “there are only two things guaranteed in life; death and taxes.  Benjamin obviously wasn’t a teacher otherwise he would have said that there are only three things guaranteed in life; death, taxes and unmotivated students.

It doesn’t matter where you teach, students are students.  There are no magic formulas, nor are there any guaranteed ways to motivate unmotivated students. That being the case, there are at least three ways that are almost guaranteed to motivate even the most unmotivated students.

Today we will look at the first one and in the next post we will look at the last two:

teacher Three Ways [Almost] Guaranteed to Help Motivate Unmotivated Students Pt 1

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In the previous post we looked at how rewards can decrease not increase student motivation.

In that post we discovered that you can teach your students to be more interested in the reward than in their learning.  This decrease in student motivation is generally attributed to the over use of ‘if – then’ rewards.  This is where you will say to a student, “If you finish your work, then you can have a merit certificate” or something similar.

The answer is not to abandon rewards; we all love to be rewarded for our work, but rather to use rewards in a certain way to increase student motivation.  You can read yesterdays post to see some general guidelines on how to reward.

unmotivated student How to Use Rewards to Increase Student Motivation

Is this happening in your classes?

Today I want to give you some specific strategies on how to use rewards to increase student motivation.

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The research is clear.  If you can increase student motivation, your students can be up to forty percent more productive.

I don’t know of a teacher who wouldn’t want to increase the productivity of their students by forty percent.  The problem is that generally we are so busy just getting our students to be compliant that student motivation and student engagement seems like a fair fetched dream.  Even teachers who deal with well behaved students often say that one of their greatest problems is encouraging the students to be intrinsically motivated and engaged in their work.

unmotivated student 2 How to Use Rewards to Increase Student Motivation and Engagement

The perfect candidate for some strategies that increase student motivation!

One of the reasons that our students are unmotivated and dis-engaged is that the education system teaches them to be this way.  Let me explain.

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