Assignment 2: 1500 Word Essay
TOPIC 7: MOTIVATION AND ENGAGEMENT
Learning and Learners
Bachelor of Education Y41
(Yr 1 to Yr 7)
Tutorial: 11:30 - 1:30 (Fridays)
By Vera Andony
Student No.: 10198342
Due: 29 May 2012
Tutor: Michelle Ellis
Define the terms motivation and engagement and explain the connection. How can motivational theory inform classroom practice that supports the engagement of children in deep learning?
Motivation and engagement are key factors that help students engage in deeper learning. Krause, Bochner, Duchesne and McMaugh (2010) explains engagement to be the energy that connects and shows our willingness to participate in an activity. This incorporates motivation, passion, desire, ambition, classroom climate and inspiration. It is the educators’ role to motivate students so they may reach their full potential by engaging them with intellectual, meaningful and challenging experiences or tasks. According to Rubie-Davies (2010) there are thirty-two different types of motivational theories. In all the different theories there are some relative agreement that motivation is the force which drives humans to achieve their goals. This essay will focus on behavioural and humanistic motivational theories and the associated motivational concepts. Rubie-Davies (2010) explain motivation to be an internal psychological, self-developed state that cannot be directly given to student in a tangible form. Students achieving deeper learning in the classroom requires students to be engaged and motivated.
A key theorist in the Humanistic Motivational theory is Dr. Abraham Maslow. According to Maslow (1987) humans are driven to achieve their maximum potential and will always do so unless obstacles are placed in their way. These obstacles include hunger, thirst, financial problems, safety issues, or anything else that takes focus away from reaching maximum psychological growth. Maslow refers to these motives as a hierarchy of needs. This theory considers the student’s wellbeing through his / her needs being met first before academic achievement is achieved. An example of this would be a child who is hungry will not be able to learn or stay focus until their need has been met. Humanistic schools include, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Steiner. As Krause et al. (2010) explain these schools have a strong emphasis on student - directed, social and emotional and cooperative learning models which promotes and supports the students’ individual needs. This includes student’s uniqueness, self-esteem, student’s input in decision making, positive relationship between teachers and pupils, a warm, pleasant and caring school environment and school support with guidance available for all students equally. According to Krause et al. creating a positive classroom climate is essential in promoting positive forms of motivation. A problem with humanistic schooling programs is quantitative evaluation in student’s basic skills, such as reading and writing have indicated poor results. This may be because teaching is focused on student’s attitudes and feelings rather than their academic outcomes (Krause et al.). Therefore students may be achieving deep learning in humanistic schooling but their core focus in not the national curriculum. It is the whole child. Montessori schools claim their style of education helps each child reach their full potential. There are many greats who have attended Montessori schools, for example the creators of wikipedia, google and amazon.com as well as, George Clooney and Prince William and Harry (Montessori Answers, n.d.). Witnessing my own children in a Montessori setting, I was amazed to watch the teachers engage and deliver their class with the children in the range between three to six years old. During my five years participation at this school I never heard the teachers’ raise their voice. The...
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