How to Motivate Students to Learn

Motivating students to learn can be both challenging and rewarding. It can be a challenge because not all students will be motivated by the same thing. However, all students can be motivated by something. There are also some students that require no motivation and simply enjoy the learning process. When motivating students to learn it is important to challenge, inspire and stimulate them.

Many students can be motivated by overcoming challenges and others by approval of their accomplishments. When trying to motivate a student one must understand the factors that affect a students motivation. These factors include interest in subject matter, persistence and patience, a basic desire to achieve, and self-esteem and self-confidence. When motivating a student the instructor should focus on the individual students’ values, wants, desires and needs.

A student’s interest in the subject matter will have a major influence on their motivation to learn it. Some students like English, some like history, some like math and some like science or the arts. Some students will be motivated to learn their favorite subjects, but not motivated to learn subjects they dislike. When this occurs it is important to incorporate the subjects they do like into the subjects they do not like. For example, if a student enjoys art, but not history, incorporate some type of art into the history lessons to try and motivate them to learn history. This can be done by making collages of historical events or by allowing them to draw time lines.

When motivating a student to learn it is important to be persistent and patient. Instructors should push the student, but not lose their patience if the student is simply not motivated to learn it. This is when the instructor will need to get creative to help motivate the student to learn something they simply don’t have an interest in.

Most students have a basic desire to achieve, but some do not. Some students are not encouraged at home or in other areas of their life and this can lead to a lack of desire to achieve and a lack of motivation to learn. When this occurs the instructor will need to find a way to help that student regain their desire to achieve. Many instructors do this by encouraging the child and giving them simple rewards as they learn, or achieve, new things.

Self-esteem and self-confidence can hinder a student’s motivation to learn significantly. When a student does not feel that they are smart enough they often withdrawal themselves from the learning process. It is also important to keep in mind that a student who seems confident may not be. When this occurs the instructor must help the student raise their self-esteem and self-confidence. This can be done through private tutoring and giving the student small rewards. Once the student begins to gain confidence in their abilities, their motivation to learn will increase.

Regardless of the student’s reason for not having motivation, it can be overcome. Some students will take longer to gain motivation and in some cases it will be difficult to figure out what motivates an individual student. However, all students can become motivated with some work and dedication.


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