Strategies For Enhancing Motivation

  • Create opportunities for intellectual risk – “Challenge them,” with tasks that are still achievable.

  • Provide a safe and secure environment – failure without penalty.

  • Create personal learning profiles that identify strengths and weakness. Build off of strengths when possible

  • Foster a student’s self-belief in their ability to perform well and achieve a level of competence

  • Scaffold and model projects to teach students how to break down problems into manageable steps

  • Offer choices in the learning process to increase a sense of ownership

  • Offer open-ended activities to develop creativity – using a degree of ambiguity on occasion

  • Develop a level of autonomy – Internal locus of control to empower students to take ownership

  • Reinforce the required strategies needed for different types of learning

  • Teach a variety of organizational techniques used for learning effectively

  • Differentiate instruction

  • Create assignments with leveled curricular outcomes and/or

  • Allow for flexible pace through unit material – allowing students to move on when knowledge is achieved

  • Foster self-reflective practice. Teach students to evaluate themselves

  • Use competition as a tool to have students compete against their own performance – lose with dignity to motivate future improvement.

  • Establish relevance for learning by connecting skills and understands to real world applications

  • Use rewards & punishment with caution

  • Diagnose and understand attention seeking behaviors in class

  • Manage student perfectionism, if present, to ensure that the appropriate learning targets are managed appropriately.

  • Understand the human need to connect to others. Avoid power struggles or any compromise to a students social status in the classroom

  • Balance individual learning opportunities with collaborative studies. Understand that a quiet student may be more engaged than a verbal student.

  • Use technology as a tool to enhance student progress, provide feedback and allow for differentiated pace in learning.

  • Allow students to explore different learning modalities, kinesthetic, visual, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, or naturalist.


The Underachievement Syndrome, Causes & Cures. by Sylvia Rimm (1986)

Building Motivation -

Self Determination Theory


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