Reflective Discourse Essay
Motivation Theory in Action
Psychological studies of motivation have developed into five cognitive theories of motivation (Eggen & Kauchak, 2007). These theories build upon the knowledge that humans have a set of beliefs and expectations about their world, and that they have a need for order, predictability and understanding. The cognitive theories help teachers to understand the underlying causes for motivation, or lack of it, and to shape their instruction for the best possible outcome.
In my current work, I am building up a learning center that I started in my first year of teaching. My students are in tutoring with me in place of regular study hall. They either have IEP’s or are identified as at-risk students. One of our biggest challenges is motivation, because inevitably these children are among the most discouraged and therefore have low motivation.
During my master's studies, I have concentrated on motivation theories and strategies. Knowing that students need to do work that they feel is valuable; they need to expect that they will be successful; and they need a positive self-perception, I design interventions that meet these specific needs. For example, I promote positive self-efficacy in my communication with students and by creating a safe classroom environment. This in turn helps increase motivation to work toward our goals.
Meeting one’s goals is a definition of success. Students who set the appropriate types of goals and accomplish them have increased motivation to learn. I continue to guide students to focus on learning goals and help to monitor those goals, leading to an increase in motivation and a positive learning experience.