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Applying Motivation Theory in the Classroom

Motivation as defined by Bustos,A. et al. (1996) as a process wherein ones energy, attention and interests are directed towards a particular goal. There are aspects of behavior which are determinants of motivation namely Direction, Energy/ Intensity, and Duration/ Sustainability. Direction is that one chooses to perform as to what activity he/she would like to perform which is focused by our own effort and the one we are motivated to do. Energy/Intensity is that one would extend his/her energy in order to perform the thing which the person wanted to do.

Duration/Sustainability, the motivation has something to do with the period of time the activity. Psychologist study and help implement behavior in organization. Motivation determines behavior, one’s ability affects what the person can do, the situation affects as to what is allowed to do, and the motivation now affects what one is willing to do. When one is surrounded with people who are supportive, maximum behaviors is observed due to the fact that the person is highly motivated because of the supportive environment that he/she has where he/she can perform tasks that one wanted to perform.

Reinforcement theory of motivation (Skinner, 1969) one of the oldest and famous theories of motivation, Skinner analyzed reinforcing stimuli based on the law of effect (Thorndike), he emphasized as well that the effects of the subject’s action among the causes of behavior. Reinforcement is defined as any behavioral consequence that strengthens behavior. The particular response of the subject is likely to increase its reoccurrence. An activity that would fit with this is the Appreciative Inquiry Board wherein it is where students or even teachers can posts their appreciation for the students or even for their fellow teachers.

For an instance Angela, a student in the university, found a wallet at the canteen she had it returned to the guidance office since she doesn’t have any idea who the owner is. To show the appreciation of the guidance counselor to Angela’s act of kindness she would likely to place a letter on the A. I. board saying “To an honest student Angela who was so kind to return the lost wallet, you are a role model to your fellow students may you continue doing goodness to others.

” Angela who now feels good because she had been appreciated she would likely continue doing good things. Another motivational theory is Maslow’s Need Hierarchy which states that the sources of motivation are certain needs may it be biological or instinctive needs. One will be motivated for the higher needs (social) if the lower needs (physiological) are already satisfied. In a school setting teachers realizes that their students have different needs and so to satisfy them teachers would likely give varied activities to the their students in order to fulfill their needs.

Teachers should make sure that their students are already fed up before he/she would proceed to the activity the teacher wanted to be done in order for them (students) be motivated to do the things you (teacher) wanted to do. Job characteristic theory (Hackman and Oldham, 1976) states that if an individual’s potentials fit the job his/her motivation would increase. There are five core dimensions which are theorized to induce motivation and these are Skill variety, Task identity, Task significance, Autonomy, and Task feedback.

In implementing this motivational theory in a classroom setting, groupings would likely be done wherein each member should have their own task and must have a high variety of skills, appreciation of one’s work is a must, should let the members be aware of the significance of the job he/she is handling, they should be given enough freedom to perform their task, and finally afterwards they should have a group discussion in order for them to talk about the output of their job so each member would see the worth of every inch of effort exerted for the job one has done.

Expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) the motivation comes in as a result of one’s choice with regards to the job outcomes that is provided for the workers. This theory has it’s principles in order to evaluate the outcomes accordingly. These are the following principles: Valence – one’s emotion towards the outcome of the job. Motivation comes in when an employee perceives higher valance or sees the job as important and satisfying. Instrumentality – one’s vision on the relationship between performance and attainment.

One would be motivated if he/she perceives a strong relationship between his/her perception towards his/her performance and its outcome. Expectancy – one’s perception on the relationship between effort and performance. One would be motivated if he/she sees the importance of his effort to the outcome of his/her work. A retreat would likely to be done since this theory is connected to one’s affective domain in which realization among students is needed.

The facilitator would likely ask the students about what they wanted to happen in their lives for the next year in school. Each student surely has their own aim after college. Since this varies the teacher on the other hand who guides them all the way must also have varied activities throughout the school year in order for them (students) would not decline from school. Not routinely done activities but more on modified or even new activities to stimulate their interests.

The sustainability of motivation lies on the person as to how determined he/she is. Environment such as school and home are factors that would certainly affect his motivation. The very concern of the teacher now is the knowledge and application of motivation. “No lesson planis complete unless motivation is included in it. ” -Bustos,A. 1996


Bustos, Alicia S. Ed. D et al.. Psychological, Anthropological, and Sociological foundations of Education. 1996. Psych281 – Lesson 10 Commentary

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