Your Progress


Definition of motivation
There are several definitions of motivation available to us; however, the simplest and most useful in the context of this unit is the dictionary meaning that defines motivation as an inner drive or impulse that causes an individual to act.

We attribute human behaviour to a number of cognitive processes usually referred to as thinking, problem solving and information processing all these events take place internally and are not directly observable. In the literature psychologists usually define motivation as an internal force that initiates, regulates and sustains behaviour toward a goal. How would you define motivation? We need to examine several aspects of motivation and its effect on learning outcomes. It is also designed to provide answers to the adult learner on how to stay focused and motivated in a non-traditional learning environment.

Why is motivation important?
The successful outcome of any venture is grounded in the drive and motivation of the individual or group. In other words, an activity that is assumed to be intentional and voluntary has a purpose or is goal directed. The concept of motivation is key to the continuous attainment or desired expectancies or outcomes. This concept implies that a certain amount of energy is required to activate or ignite you to perform an appropriate behaviour. It is vital that you comprehend its importance to your persistence over time so your efforts to succeed can occur in spite of obstacles or setbacks. As you achieve each of your goals, you may decide to change direction or set your sights on loftier, but not always attainable, goals, so that there is always some goal to strive toward. Bear in mind that what motivates some individuals may not work for all. Furthermore, it is said that motivation is selective, and does not activate equal responses from all of us.

How motivation affects teaching?
You will discover that all of your students possess a number of differences both socially and intellectually. Your task is to determine how best to accommodate these differences in your teaching while simultaneously maximising your ability to effect student learning. When students observe a teacher, they often acquire new patterns of behaviour. These behaviours range from curiosity, enjoyment and alertness to disinterest and boredom.

Why such a broad range of behaviours?
One might deduce that the teachers inability to motivate the students, and hence sustain interest, is a major factor. The effectiveness of a teacher is determined in part by his/her ability to help support the students efforts and build their self-esteem. This factor alone is highly motivating to the learner. Good relationships with your students also promote motivated learning. Your effectiveness also increases when your students like you as a person, respect you as a teacher, and are convinced that you are prepared. With these characteristics they can instinctively sense your commitment to their growth and development.

There are many principles that can be employed to increase student’s willingness and motivation to learn:
-Set achievable training goals
-Get student feedback and points of view
-Listen actively to their questions and concerns
-Stay focused on lesson objectives
-Evaluate student’s progress
-Reinforce key points of the lesson
-Follow up

A motivated teacher invariably motivates positive behaviours in his/her students. Behaviour modelling is a powerful way to provide teachers with the skills to facilitate motivated learning.It is an important fact that motivation does not affect the nature and type of instruction; however, it is essential for teachers to practise what they teach.

Much of your job as a teacher is to create conditions and structure activities that will motivate students to achieve their full potential. Knowledge of the motivational theories can assist you in the process.Many theorists and psychologists dating back to the early 1800’s wrote a number of papers on the fundamental behavioural phenomenon of human motivation. While some agreed that there were obvious similarities in biological needs, considerable disagreement regarding internal and external stimuli led to yet further analysis and studies.Psychologists assume that behaviour is largely determined by needs, drives and incentives that are closely related concepts.