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Connecting Content and Motivation

Understanding motivation in learning among students requires a thorough insight of each ones capability to handle the load that the instructor offers and the style that it uses. Thus, the instructor’s capability to influence students to be motivated is an important determinant for learning. Recognizing that there are external and internal factors can help contribute in the overall process of learning among students. An internal factor that an instructor should consider is the importance of content that shall be taught to students.

“For decades curriculum specialists, classroom teachers, and teacher educators have emphasized the importance of content. ” (Burke, 1995 p. 68) Teacher’s should understand that content is an important facet in pursuing and promoting motivation among students. Another important internal factor that an instructor should look into is the importance of goal setting within the classroom. Teacher’ must be able to efficiently combine both mastery and performance goals to address the needs of students in the classroom.

“This combination of mastery and performance goals enhanced interest relative to either single goal, and the results clearly indicate the importance of considering how mastery and performance goals interact to affect interest and intrinsic motivation. ” (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000 p. 167) One external factor that an instructor has to look into is that students vary in different preferences. “Kozeki argues that children develop contrasting sets of preferences for rewards, depending on their temperament and on their experiences at home and school.

” (Entwistle, 1987 p. 131) Another external factor that teacher’s can influence is student’s interest. Student’s interests vary depending on their relative and personal experiences. “Interest can be viewed both as a state and a disposition of a person, and it has a cognitive, as well as an affective, component. ” (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000 p. 152) In addition, “research has demonstrated that interest has a powerful facilitative effect on cognitive functioning. ” (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000 p.

152) Seeing the four mentioned factors, it is thus important for instructors and teacher to address these to facilitate motivation and learning among students. It can be argued that the four mentioned factors can affect the success and failure of students in the classroom. The synchronization of both content and goals in the classroom is important in motivating students because these two factors serve as a determinant and gauge in determining the overall capabilities of an individual to learn.

“There has been a continuing tendency in recent years to point up the responsibility of the teacher for making classroom activities interesting and motivating. ” (Entwistle, 1987, 143-144) Failure to do so will lead to students failing the subject or finishing the subject with little knowledge acquired. Thus, it is the responsibility of the teacher to apply formal teaching techniques and styles to create an avenue for deeper learning among students for the objective to be successful. With regards to external factors, the instructor also has the capability of influencing preferences and interests of students.

“By focusing on the enhancement of situational interest in classrooms, educators can find ways to foster students’ involvement in specific content areas and increase levels of academic motivation. ” (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000 p. 153) The failure to address interests and preferences will lead to the decline of students’ ability to comprehend and motivate them to learn. While on the other hand, instilling important facets of learning in congruence to each individual’s interest can lead to a better facilitation of motivation and education.

To conclude, the challenge for every instructor is creating a scenario for every student to be motivated for learning. It requires a careful examination of important elements and conditions References Burke, D. J. (1995) Connecting Content and Motivation: Education’s Missing Link in Peabody Journal of Education. [on-line] 70 no. 2 Retrieved November 12, 2007 from http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0161-956X%28199524%2970%3A2%3C66%3ACCAMEM%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-R Entwistle, N. (1987) Motivation to Learn: Conceptualisations and Practicalities in British

Journal of Educational Studies. [on-line] 35 no. 2 Retrieved November 12, 2007 from http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0007-1005%28198706%2935%3A2%3C129%3AMTLCAP%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-C Harackiewicz, J. M & Hidi, S. (2000) Motivating the Academically Unmotivated: A Critical Issue for the 21st Century in Review of Educational Research. [on-line] 70 no. 2 Retrieved November 12, 2007 from http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0034-6543%28200022%2970%3A2%3C151%3AMTAUAC%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-4

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