Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to motivate children to achieve at school

Competence motivation is all about students striving towards achieving mastery of skills, knowledge and concepts; ultimately what we as teachers should be looking to develop within our students.  The Handbook of Competence and Motivation identifies eight key strategies for enhancing competence motivation in classrooms:

  1. Develop and assign academic tasks and activities that are personally meaningful and relevant to children.
  2. Develop and assign moderately, or appropriately, challenging tasks and material.
  3. Promote perceptions of control and autonomy by allowing students to make choices about classroom experiences and the work in which they engage.
  4. Encourage students to focus on mastery, skill development, and the process of learning rather than just focusing on outcomes such as test scores or relative performance.
  5. Help students develop proximal, challenging, achievable goals.
  6. Infuse the curriculum with fantasy, novelty, variety and humor.
  7. Provide accurate, informational feedback focused on strategy use and competence development rather than social comparative or simply evaluative feedback.
  8. Assess students' confidence, attributional tendencies, and skill levels to help meet their preferences for challenge and help students approach tasks with realistic expectations and cope with difficulties adaptively.


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